TheFWord-Logo

Breaking Digital Frontiers: Brands Revolutionizing Fashion

Digital Fashion The F Word

Table of Contents

Luxury and mainstream brands have adopted digital fashion in diverse ways, ones little by little while others created worlds in the digital realm. Some brands were even born digital.

The fashion industry is undergoing revolutionary transformation as it steps into the virtual realm, embracing the metaverse to redefine how consumers interact with clothing. From immersive experiences to NFT apparel, brands are leveraging digital channels to connect with audiences in unprecedented ways.

From mass-market to high-end brands, entering the metaverse is a way to reach a wider audience and tap into broader markets, especially younger demographics. It also allows labels to experiment in design and create avant-garde virtual garments that attract people’s attention and influence their purchasing behaviors.

If you’ve read our other blogs, you have an idea about digital fashion. Let’s delve into the brands at the forefront of this industry.

Gucci

Gucci was a pioneer in the adoption of the metaverse, establishing its presence with groundbreaking initiatives blending luxury and digital innovation.

It sold its first video collectible “Aria” in 2021 through auction house Christie’s, with a price of $25,000.

In 2022, the brand created the Gucci Vault store in The Sandbox, which is an online gaming platform that offers immersive experiences and enables NFTs monetization in the blockchain. The Vault was built to showcase the company’s rarest vintage apparel and be an accessible way for visitors to know the brand and its history, while in the real world this would be an almost impossible opportunity. Players can experience it at 360°, immersing themselves in narratives and accessing exclusive rewards. Gucci Vault’s doors were opened to everyone without an NFT, or ticket required.

Around the same time, the brand opened Gucci Garden on Roblox, divided into themed rooms where visitors immerse themselves into the creative director’s vision and inspirations. The Garden featured a store where users could purchase exclusive, limited-edition avatar items. This initiative attracted 20 million visitors, reflecting the reach of the digital realm. Consequently, it opened Gucci Town, a permanent space on Roblox where consumers can experience the brand in a whole new way.

Louis Vuitton

The emblematic brand participated in the NFT boom of 2021-2022 with their first drop being a game app featuring the company’s mascot Vivienne on a virtual journey through France. Louis Vuitton partnered with web3 artist Beeple to make the game happen. During the game, players could explore the virtual world while collecting NFTs and candles that unlock stories about the fashion house. The game included a themed PFP (profile picture) NFT collection.

In 2023, Louis Vuitton came out with a very exclusive drop called the Treasure Trunks. Each trunk NFT will need to be unlocked by a digital key that will be launched in the future. When users open their treasures, they will also receive a physical version of the item.

And one last detail, the brand will only launch a few hundred collectibles and the price for each Treasure Trunk is $39,000.

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana sold at auction a nine-piece collection of digital NFTs in 2021, named Collezione Genesi. Along with some actual couture, the collection generated over $6 million. Five of the pieces were physical creations designed by Dolce & Gabbana, with virtual iterations by UNXD, a curated NFT marketplace for digital luxury and culture. The four other pieces were digital, sketched by the luxury designers and constructed by UNXD.

In 2022, Dolce & Gabbana partnered with UNXD again and inBetweeners to drop an NFT Drip collection on OpenSea the world’s first and largest web3 NFT marketplace. Then again, this high-end brand joined the Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 with The Future Rewind, a digital wearable competition.

Yves Saint Laurent

YSL made its debut in fashion NFT creation with 10,000 Beauty Golden Blocks, opening the door to a new community in Web3. After, the company launched a collection related to their fragrance line Black Opium, where NFTs were acquired on their online store alongside physical perfumes.

The brand’s Collezione Genesi is an example of physical items making it to the NFT fashion marketplace. The collection was auctioned off for $5.7 million, confirming consumers’ interest in NFTs.

Burberry

In 2021 and 2022, Burberry partnered with Mythical Games, a game technology company at the intersection of video games and economics. The fashion brand launched NFT collections in Blankos Block Party, a multiplayer party game featuring toys that live on a blockchain. The brand also created spaces within the game for players to have a Burberry virtual experience. The collection was available for purchase to users. Burberry also launched a limited-edition virtual handbag collection on Roblox.

Burberry partnered with Minecraft to create a game experience where players wandered mythical London populated with Burberry-themed characters.

Prada

This iconic fashion house launched an NFT collection in 2022 where customers had to buy physical merch to obtain digital assets. Since then, it launched several timecapsule NFTs, with users having to keep up with timecapsule physical clothing releases, only available for a short period. The brand also partnered with Adidas for a joint venture to launch NFTs with their clothing lines.

Balmain

Balmain dropped its first NFTs in collaboration with Barbie in 2022, launching three one-of-a-kind NFTs for auction via minftNFT, a marketeplace focused on creative collaborations.

After this successful debut, Balmain continued its partnership with mintNFT to bring “The Balmain Thread” to life, an official NFT-based-membership program. The program oversees the luxury house’s evolving series of NFTs and offers access to upcoming brand events, collections, surprise drops and digital experiences. The launch coincided with Paris Fashion Week 2022. Memberships are minted on XRP Ledger, a decentralized, public blockchain led by a global community of businesses and developers creating value.

Last year, Balmain dropped 130 limited-edition unicorn sneakers that come with identical NFT versions designed by Space Runners, a digital fashion brand creating digitally wearable items for the Metaverse and the fashion NFT marketplace. The Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection included five debuting unique sneaker designs with prices between $1595 and $2095 which users can pay in traditional money or ETH (Ether-cryptocurrency native to Ethereum, a decentralized global software platform powered by blockchain tech).

Givenchy

Givenchy was among all these pioneering brands to join the trend during the NFT boom in 2021-2022. Givenchy Parfums teamed up with gallerist Amar Singh and artists from the Rewind Collective to create digital work in honor of Pride Month in 2021. The proceeds were destined to the association Le MAG Jeunes.

The fashion house then partnered with brand (b). STROY and collective FELT Zine to launch a collection of limited-edition NFTs that were minted on Ethereum and facilitated by Aura Blockchain Consortium, an NGO offering Web3 solutions to luxury brands.

Balenciaga

Balenciaga released an NFT wearables collection with Fortnite in 2021. It also ran a virtual fashion show fashion show for its autumn/winter collection that year and a virtual showroom for customers to visualize and purchase their collection in a 3D setting.

The company has been implementing digital tools and experiences ever since. For instance, their innovative Fall-Winter 2024 collection at the Paris Fashion Week show featured an immersive art installation with screen displays on the runway, ceiling and walls, showing images with digital distortions inspired by Iceland, Greenland, Montana, the Scottish Highlands and the Sahara Desert. The scenes were modified on-screen, and AI created dynamic mages of flowers being regenerated.

Meta and partners

In 2022, Meta announced a digital fashion marketplace for avatars as part of their efforts to build a centralized metaverse experience. The idea is to allow users to connect among each other while expressing themselves through digital fashion.

The social media giant partnered with iconic fashion brands for this initiative. The first three to join were Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne. Users can purchase these high-end outfits or use free outfit options.

In 2023, Meta partnered with luxury brand Valentino to drop a new line of virtual clothing on the Avatar Store. Users can purchase digital clothing and dress their avatars across Meta social media platforms or in its virtual reality (VR) experiences.

What’s more, digital metacloset DRESSX, a digital fashion retailer, joined Meta to launch a digital-only fashion collection on the Avatar Store. DRESSX is the first digital native retailer in Meta’s team-up.

Share it now:

Table of Contents

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other Posts

Digital Fashion The F Word
Digital Fashion Trends

Gen Z: Charging The Digital Fashion Revolution

When you think of those shaping the future of fashion, who do you think of?  Generation Z is reshaping consumerism across industries, becoming the cohort to win over. It hasn’t been different for the fashion industry, where Gen Z is the trendsetting powerhouse of tomorrow with a new canvas: digital fashion.    The Powerhouse Consumer   Gen Z are prominent fashion buyers, prioritizing this expense even if they must make spending cuts, per a 2022 UK Mintel Report. Bank of America projects their global income will be $33Tn by 2030.   Also, with 67% placing high importance on sustainability when buying fashion, they make eco-friendly choices.     A Generation of Digital Natives   This is the first generation of digital natives. Tech isn’t just a tool for them, it’s their playground. They’ve grown up online, spending significant time on social media to gather information, discover brands, make purchases, forge connections, and express themselves.  Online platforms serve not only as channels for sharing information and forming relationships but also as vital spaces for self-expression and social validation, according to a study from The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. They’ve integrated virtual experiences into their daily lives. An essential component of this self-expression is fashion; 60% have shared content of clothing on their socials, per Mintel.  Gen Z’s engagement with fashion is based on inclusivity, authenticity, and innovation. They portray their personalities and identities online, adopting a wider view of fashion in this digital age.   When they interact with fashion online, they’re not just wearing digital clothes, they’re curating who they are. For these users, their virtual realms’ avatars are extensions of themselves, their style, their values and their identities.  Recognizing Gen Z as a consumer powerhouse, the online market is evolving with agile distribution and personalized digital communication services to cater to their needs.    Digital Fashion: Bridging Creativity and Identity  These characteristics explain why digital fashion, a limitless universe where designs transcend physical constraints, is so appealing to Gen Z. 3D clothes and avant-garde garments defying boundaries allow Gen Z’s to express themselves creatively.   Roblox’s latest report on fashion trends and Gen Z revealed key insights. These users are invested in customization of looks and styles while expecting options to be diverse in skin tones, body sizes, hair color, textures and styles, with 70% caring about this matter.  Roblox’s survey also revealed that 48% of Gen Zers think of “utility of design” as an important aspect, meaning they’re interested in exploring unconventional virtual clothing styles even if they wouldn’t wear them in real life. This is where digital fashion makes all the difference! Brands and designers who dare push creative boundaries give Gen Z the tools for expression.   Additionally, 56% of Gen Zers surveyed by Roblox prioritize styling their avatars over their physical selves. 84% value digital fashion and 85% think it is important. It’s clear: what we wear online is as important as what we wear offline. But that doesn’t mean virtual and physical fashion are mutually exclusive – 84% reported their real-world style was somewhat inspired by their avatars.     Brand Recognition in the Metaverse  Over half – 52% – of Gen Zers look for style as the main attribute of digital clothes, and 47% say wearing virtual garments from recognized brands is extremely important. The influence doesn’t stop there, 84% would try a brand in the physical world after a virtual test run.     Spending on Self-Expression  Gen Z isn’t just having fun, they’re buying. With 52% comfortable spending on digital fashion monthly, the market thrives on exclusivity and experimentation. From head to toe, avatars are a canvas for experimentation and expression, including clothes, makeup, hairstyles and footwear.    Authenticity at the Core  Immersive spaces, authenticity rules. When dressing their avatars, 62% of Gen Zers care most about how they look to themselves instead of others. Why? Virtual realms are sanctuaries where true self-expression flourishes, boosting confidence and mental well-being. Digital freedom of expression, creative options and lack of judgment make 40% of Gen Z feel like it’s easier to present their authentic selves in the metaverse.    How does your generation interact with fashion? Comment below! 

Read More »
Digital Fashion The F Word
Digital Fashion Trends

Unlocking Fashion’s Future: Embracing Digital Marketing

Step into the future of digital fashion marketing where innovation meets style. From AI-powered fashion design software creating groundbreaking collections to AR fashion experiences bringing virtual try-ons to life, explore how brands are reshaping the industry. Dive into NFT marketplaces, where digital fashion ownership and exclusive collections redefine brand engagement. Join us as we uncover the transformative strategies propelling fashion forward in the digital age.

Read More »