Metaverse and Fashion: What can be Expected

The Metaverse is a hot topic among fashion businesses as they investigate how they will operate within this new dimension. 

The Metaverse brings many new challenges, broader target markets, brand opportunities and collaborations, and new products. But how will the Metaverse change and shape the fashion industry as we know it?  

Our very own education partner, Kofi Oppong, founder of Urban MBA, sheds some light on the topic. He is a Metaverse advocate and has a great love for fashion. He thinks it is important for entrepreneurs in fashion to ask questions like:

  • What will fashion houses be in the Metaverse? 
  • Will physical stores and Metaverse stores share the same clientele? 
  • How will the brand be represented in the Metaverse? 

The Metaverse will change the fashion industry 

Kofi says that there are two things to be kept in mind regarding the fashion industry in the Metaverse. “Firstly, we need to ask if fashion will continue to be as we know it, or will digital fashion become just as important as physical fashion?” 

He asks this question based on the idea of creating avatars and how each person dresses their own avatars. Kofi poses the question: “will brands, like Nike, launch limited edition items for our avatars to wear?

“From an NFT perspective, will it be as important for your avatar to have the latest fashion that you have on yourself physically?” Based on past events with Reddit avatars, the chances are excellent  that an avatar’s style will come to matter just as much as fashion does in real life. 

Kofi says that how this develops will depend on how society perceives brands in the Metaverse. Once brands see that people care what their avatars look like, they will start creating items for avatars to wear. 

There is also a question about whether high-end fashion brands will be perceived in the Metaverse in the same way as outside of it. Either way, this certainly opens up the opportunity for new and innovative  brands to create a reputation for themselves in the Metaverse and find success. 

Brands will have to adapt

Within the Metaverse, there might be some changes, Kofi explains. For example, some brands might find  that presenting as high-end does not get them the support they need, or vice versa. It will be dependent on how each brand is perceived online. 

“I suppose fashion houses have to create that image of what they are as we know them still in the metaverse,” says Kofi. “Gucci, as an example, how would they create that high-end feel? Because from a brand like Gucci’s perspective, they’re probably going to be selling products at a shop in the Metaverse, for people to buy as they would in real life.” 

Kofi considers how brands will uphold the same high-end image in the Metaverse. Within this digital environment, the shopping experience is slightly different. “If you go on to the internet at the moment, you just have a flat website with pictures and copy. But in the metaverse, you could be roaming around the Gucci shop in the same way as you do on the street,” explains Kofi. 

It’s a different type of shopping, so how do brands attempt to keep that image? Kofi proposes another idea. Having a brand in the Metaverse is the perfect opportunity to break a company’ s  image down and start from scratch. 

Take Harrods, a leading luxury department store in the UK with only one store, as an example. Kofi explains that he feels uncomfortable walking into the store, and knows of so many others from ethnic backgrounds who feel the same. Many factors come into play in this scenario, and this brings up the question of  consideration for how people of colour are perceived in real life vs. the Metaverse. 

So, what if brands like Harrods decide to open a store in the Metaverse? Will they stay the same? Or, will their business model and target market shift to better accommodate diversity and inclusion? There’s a definite brand opportunity here.

From a consumer perspective, would people of colour support a  brand in the Metaverse which they do not support now? Would they feel psychologically safer and socially included when shopping in the Metaverse? These are elements that big, luxury brands need to ask themselves. 

Fashion week and the Metaverse 

Imagine Fashion Week in the Metaverse. There is no need to fly out to Milan or Paris; it becomes entertainment that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Kofi explains that Fashion Week already exists in the Metaverse. 

“That’s the one thing the metaverse can do is bring those fashion experiences and catwalk shows to the masses,” says Kofi. Not only is it beneficial for the consumer, explains Kofi, but also for the fashion house. “Fashion Week in the Metaverse will ensure that consumers get closer to the product and the timeline. And in turn, the sales will be quicker.” 

Another unanswered question is how we buy things in the Metaverse. The answer, according to Kofi: digital currency! 

Digital currency and fashion

With the growth of the Metaverse comes a more significant investment into digital currency, explains Kofi. “Will we start really using digital currency? Will it open up to the masses?”

There are some hurdles at the moment, explains Kofi, and the biggest of them is conversion. Since not everyone knows how digital currency converts, they prefer to stay away. This means that the masses don’t currently support digital currencies because they are perceived as too much trouble. 

Does this mean that fashion will drive digital currency in the Metaverse? 

Fiat currencies – the money we use every day –  are centralised, and increased support for digital currencies is more likely as soon as digital currency becomes decentralised. Moreover, people must make purchases in the Metaverse, which might drive the masses to use digital currencies. 

Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the Metaverse, explains Kofi. There are many speculations, but until we actually dive into it and use it every day, there is no way of knowing what might happen.

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