Just like in the real world, virtual dressing can make an impression. For example, a 3D fashion filter could give you the latest Dior digital jacket and give you confidence for your next remote interview.
“Fashion isn’t just there to keep us warm,” says Elliott-Young, co-founder of the Institute of Digital Fashion. The Institute of Digital Fashion is a think tank and digital fashion consultancy that advises luxury clients on how to use virtual fashion. “It’s about expression, a creative community, being within your tribe.”
For those looking to join this rapidly emerging (and often confusing) space, here are some ways to expand your virtual wardrobe.
The Institute of Digital Fashion collaborated with LA-based couture house August Getty Atelier to create digital couture. credit: Digital Fashion Institute
where do you shop?
DressX also has a store on the browser-based metaverse Decentraland. In 2021, Decentraland unveiled his Metajuku. Metajuku is a 16,000 square foot virtual shopping destination inspired by Harajuku, Tokyo’s famously stylish district. You can browse well-designed stores in this immersive digital realm, albeit in low resolution. Players can’t try on clothes in this metaverse yet, but they can see a 360 degree suspended version of the clothes. Clicking on an item will take you to an off-platform, browser-only purchase page.
When it comes to video games, where users have long embraced digital fashion, purchasing avatar “skins” depends on game preferences. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, players will get their hands on a special collection by Marc Jacobs, Valentino and Maison Margiela via a free download code posted on the Animal Crossing Fashion Archive Instagram account (@animalcrossingfashionarchive). Roblox and Fortnite require players to purchase clothing from official in-game catalogs called the Avatar Shop or Item Shop. In June, The Sims teamed up with the resale platform and his Gen Z favorite, his Depop, to launch a variety of 2000s-inspired digital looks, from corsets to his tops to flared jeans to graffiti on his jackets. I made a costume. These special outfits are only available in the High School Years extension pack. This is an add-on that costs about $40 on top of his $20 base game of The Sims for PC, Xbox, or Playstation.
DressX has a virtual store in Metajuku, the immersive shopping district of the Metaverse Decentraland. credit: Decentraland
what am i actually buying?
Digital fashion comes in several forms. The first form is a “wearable” version of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens). Unlike the digital art market, where NFTs only exist as collectible images, many digital fashion designers now include “wearable” versions of their NFTs in their sales. Make digital clothing move with your body in real time.
A “skin” is another construct of digital fashion used to personalize avatars in video games. In 2021, Fortnite teamed up with Balenciaga to release a series of in-game skins designed specifically for your Fortnite avatar.
The Metaverse IT Bag wearable NFT designed by Diverge can be seen here as a photoshopped 3D rendering of a customer image. credit: Divergence
How do I pay? Need cryptocurrency?
Prices for digital fashion range from $1 a piece to thousands of dollars. Items typically cost around $50 to $120 per piece of clothing, much like real-world items, depending on brand and level of detail.
Purchasing digital clothing in the Metaverse often requires digital currency. Decentraland accepts Ethereum and MANA (official crypto created by metaverse providers). You can buy both on crypto trading platforms such as eToro and Coinbase.
To fully access the Decentraland metaverse, you will need to set up a digital crypto wallet. There are several different wallet providers such as MetaMask, Fortmatic, WalletConnect and Coinbase. A digital crypto wallet is a way to manage your funds while keeping everything secure with a set of private passwords.
The DressX website has over 2,500 virtual clothes for sale. credit: dress x
But if you’re uncomfortable with app transactions, you can now buy cryptocurrencies directly with PayPal. The app sells Bitcoin and Ethereum directly to account holders via its website and smartphone app.
Some digital fashion marketplaces also accept payments in traditional currencies. “It’s like opening a bank account,” says Elliott-Young. “But as technology improves, I think we are starting to see a smoother route to balance. We will also be using pounds and currencies beyond crypto.” DressX, Replicant, Auroboros Garments can be purchased in US dollars.
On Roblox, the native currency “Robux” can be purchased with a debit or credit card by going to the “Buy Robux” page in-game. Similarly, a user can purchase “V-Bucks” by playing and selecting his Fortnite “Buy V-Bucks” menu.
Where will you wear your new digital wardrobe and how will you store it?
One of the pillars of the digital fashion movement is the concept of “decentralization”. Instead of the usual hierarchy of legacy brands, creatives with programming skills can technically build their own digital fashion labels at relatively low cost.
But the downside to this creative freedom is the cumbersome and disjointed process of purchasing and storing digital outfits. It is working. For her upcoming London Fashion Week, Elliott-Young wants to launch a one-stop members-only metaverse where you can browse, buy and wear digital. Works by various designers. “It’s cluttered in terms of where you can get dressed and where you can shop, but more and more you can use[items]in multiple metaverses and augmented reality.” , DressX is already supported in Decentraland and will soon be available in Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse.
Designers spend a great deal of time creating digital couture, from creating each bead to ensuring that the gemstones reflect light realistically. credit: Digital Fashion Institute
Outside of the metaverse and video games, digital fashion can be worn in custom 3D-rendered photos, smartphone videos, and even live streams. Digital fashion’s checkout page includes an upload tab where you can submit a few photos or videos of yourself, and the brand will photoshop the clothing onto your body. Post these where you would normally post a selfie please. For live video chat, digital fashion filters are available through Snapchat’s downloadable desktop application SnapLens, which is compatible with Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype.
These photos and videos become items and can be saved to your camera roll or hard drive just like you save any photo. Game skins remain in the purchased video game, but screenshots allow you to share your outfits on social media. NFTs should be stored in a cold storage wallet (similar to USB sticks or external devices not connected to the internet).