Gear up and strut on: Metaverse Fashion Week is getting ready to head down the virtual runway for its second year, with a focus on open metaverses and interoperability. The hype for digital wearables has been marked by intensified buy-in from traditional fashion houses and a more seamless user experience. Such steps towards a multi-platform metaverse indicate the possibility of a successful future for the Web3 industry.
The original Metaverse Fashion Week, first hosted in Decentraland in March 2021, brought together over 70 brands and cutting-edge digital experiences. This year’s event will again take place primarily in Decentraland, alongside the metaverse platform Spatial and the decentralized augmented reality (AR) layer Over. Luxury fashion houses joining the show for the first time include Coach, Adidas, and DKNY, while returning brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger will bring in new collections.
Each fashion house will also have its own immersive digital experience. For instance, Dolce & Gabbana will be exhibiting works from its Future Reward design competition, Tommy Hilfiger will be launching daily wearables and Ai-powered products, and DKNY will be opening a pop-up art gallery and restaurant. Adidas, meanwhile, is introducing its first digital wearables in the form of its Into the Metaverse non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
The event’s goal of interoperability and open connectivity between different metaverses is especially pertinent, given that technology does not yet exist to enable the seamless transfer of digital wearables across different metaverses. However, the long-term goal remains the same: for metaverse visitors to wander from one platform to the next with their virtual outfits perfectly intact, like in the films.
Fortunately, external infrastructure such as the Lighthouse search engine is working to make this vision a reality. Launched just last December, Lighthouse is the first-ever metaverse search engine, allowing users to see in real time where all their contacts are located in Decentraland and Spatial. It also features porting info and a soon-to-be-introduced trending areas function, providing more accessibility and a more enjoyable user experience.
But perhaps the most striking indication of metaverse progress has been the influx of traditional fashion houses into the space. After an initial hype-flop cycle, the fact that these companies are engaging in the future of fashion showcases how far we have come, and may suggest that users will stay and enjoy their experience.
Ultimately, Metaverse Fashion Week is a testament to the promise of not just a digital utopia, but also of a cohesive, multi-platform metaverse experience. By uniting designers and expanding the aesthetic possibilities within these virtual worlds, it is working to break past the boundaries separating worlds and open doors to a future in which virtual and physical fashion are intertwined.