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Fashion Brands Go Virtual at Metaverse Fashion Week

The metaverse has officially become a hub for fashion, joining the likes of cultural hotspots like London, Milan, Paris and New York City. From March 24-28, Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform, is hosting the first Metaverse Fashion Week, with more than 60 luxury and digital brands bringing presentations, concerts, after-parties and more to the virtual world.

Fashion brands virtually present their Spring 2022 collections in different “neighborhoods” on the platform within the newly opened Fashion District.

The Boson Portal is one such neighborhood designed with Paris’ iconic Avenue Montaigne in mind. The neighborhood was created by Boson Protocol, a Web3 layer that allows for the exchange of digital assets for physical products, services and experiences. Web3 refers to an internet service built using decentralized blockchains.

There, Tommy Hilfiger invited consumers to teleport their avatar to the virtual store and shop floating 3D renders of limited-edition products from its spring collection, including a men’s varsity jacket, a women’s madras shirt, a unisex hoodie and more. The items can be purchased as NFTs, which can be redeemed for physical products delivered to the customers’ home. The brand’s Decentraland wearables will also be available for purchase through the Decentraland marketplace.

“When I founded my namesake brand in 1985, I never imagined I’d see a time when fashion weeks would be held in a 3D, fully virtual world,” Tommy Hilfiger said. “As we further explore the metaverse and all it has to offer, I’m inspired by the power of digital technology and the opportunities it presents to engage with communities in fascinating, relevant ways.”

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Mango also participated in the Metaverse Fashion Week, where it presented three NFTs co-created with crypto artist Luis “Lajos” Arregui Henk, known as Farkas, and the Spanish fashion retailer’s own technology and 3D product design teams.

The pieces will be exhibited for a month within the Museum District of Decentraland at coordinates 13.82. The Mango-dedicated space resembles a museum, with a circular, open concept and columns throughout. Titled Mango Metagirl, Mango Ad Astra and Hanna in the Clouds, they were inspired by items from its Spring collection. Though not for sale, the three NFTs will be uploaded to NFT marketplace OpenSea.

In addition to the NFTs, Mango will also launch its first three wearables showcased during Metaverse Fashion Week.  One is a virtual reproduction of the Lupi dress designed in collaboration with Farkas, and will not be available for purchase. The second and third are men’s and women’s T-shirt wearables intended to be collectibles. Only 50 units of each exist—49 of which will be given away to virtual event attendees. One will remain as property of the company.

“Mango’s development in the metaverse environment is yet another example of the company’s innovative character and its strategy based on constant innovation,” said Jordi Álex, Mango’s director of technology, data, privacy and security. “We have created a specific team dedicated to the development of digital content, where new professionals will be joining in the coming months, in order to develop new projects in the future that will allow us to add the virtual environment to the digital and physical environments in our channel ecosystem.”

The Luxury Fashion District is another fashion-focused neighborhood in the virtual space, hosting presentations from fashion houses and designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab and Imitation of Christ. Luxury NFT marketplace UNXD and Vogue Arabia sponsored the display.

Imitation of Christ showed the IOC Genesis, its first digital collection co-created by artists Tara Subkoff and Adam Teninbaum. IOC Genesis NFTs owners will be invited to exclusive shows and events and have the ability to preview looks before the rest of the public. A portion of the profits will be donated to the UKRAINEDAO, a Web3-based Ukrianian support fund.

As part of Metaverse Fashion Week, NFT marketplace and platform Rarible Street will host the Rarible Fresh Drip Zone, a temporary space of popup shops, from brands like Placebo Digital Fashion House, The Fabricant, Artcade at Fred Segal with exclusive drops by Atari Hotels and Subnation, Perry Ellis America, Artisant in collaboration with Puma and more. The space is designed to mimic the streets of New York City.

Also as part of the event, fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 will debut flagship stores in Decentraland.

The event marks a pivotal moment in fashion history, as brands and retailers make their first moves into the virtual world. Earlier this month, Italian denim brand Diesel debuted D:VERSE, a platform that hosts both physical and virtual products. For its debut collection, D:VERSE offered hero pieces from the brand’s Fall/Winter 2022 presentation recently showcased in Milan.

Heritage denim brand Wrangler also got involved last month and stepped into the metaverse with an exclusive NFT and physical offering made in collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Leon Bridges. Its debut included a two-part NFT drop under the name “Mr. Wrangler” that centered on a denim suit specially designed for Bridges.