Dozens of fashion labels will be exhibiting pieces and hosting after-parties in Decentraland’s upcoming fashion district next month.
Metaverse platform Decentraland will be hosting its first Metaverse Virtual Fashion Week (MVFW) between March 24 and 27. Dozens of global brands and thousands of visitors will be able to virtually attend fashion shows and live music sessions at branded after-parties and buy and wear digital clothing directly from catwalk avatars.
Some of the fashion items will even include a physical duplicate of the item in the sale of their NFT fashion pieces.
Events will be free to attend for all, and users can make their purchases by linking their wallets. However, some access to front-row seats will probably be kept exclusive and destined to owners of fashion brands’ NFTs. These will provide access to some exclusive private events and after-shows.
To ensure the event’s look, feel, and sounds meet the expectations associated with a fashion week, UNXD, a luxury NFT marketplace that worked with Dolce & Gabbana on its NFTs, is helping curate the event.
Although organizers claim a dozen household fashion powerhouse brands have already shown interest in participating since it was announced in late December, the only name revealed so far is that of Hugo, a newly rebranded part of the Hugo Boss label that has recently signed with MVFW partner Boson Protocol, enabling people to buy physical Hugo goods in the metaverse.
During the four days, fashion labels will showcase their digital concepts, host concerts, after-parties, and more, on lands rented or purchased on the platform’s emerging fashion district – a virtual real estate parcel within the Decentraland metaverse purchased last year by Toronto-based Token.com for $2.4 million.
“We want to help the onboarding process and push creativity and show everyone what is possible,” Sam Hamilton, creative director of Decentraland Foundation, said in a recent interview with Vogue Business. “We do this to show the community and other brands, ‘Hey, Decentraland is a place for shopping, everyone is wearing cool clothes and brands can release on the platform.’ It’s a way of bringing more people to the platform and making it more compelling for users.”
MVFW is not the first digital fashion show. In recent years and since the pandemic struck, the fashion industry has hosted digital shows such as Helsinki Fashion Week and the virtual reality fashion event “Fabric of Reality.” Brands that have opted for digital-only shows include Balenciaga’s “Afterworld” and Hanifa’s all-digital runway.
Interest for representation on the blockchain on behalf of fashion labels is gearing up and gaining momentum.
Gucci and Ralph Lauren have both held virtual pop-ups in the metaverse. Nike, Vans, and Adidas have opened permanent spaces in Roblox and The Sandbox.
“We have gone from brands saying eight months ago, ‘What is it?’ to now, when brands have to have it, and it’s become an essential part of a luxury brand strategy,” explained Justin Banon, CEO and co-founder of Boson Protocol. “Brands have to have a metaverse strategy. It’s like a switch has been switched.”
Late last year, Decentraland hosted a four-day music festival featuring Deadmau5 and Autograf among the 80 performing artists. The event attracted 40,000 people and paved the way for up to 12 events to take place on the platform daily with daily attendance records. In December, Decentraland reported 500,000 monthly active users.