Content, Collaboration, and Community at Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week
What we're excited about ahead of DMVFW 2023
Fashion Week returns to the Decentraland Metaverse from March 28 to 31. It is an exciting time for fashion innovators, brands, and creatives who are working to evolve and explore the future of fashion, shopping, and consumer experience.
Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 (DMVFW23) takes place in Decentraland’s Luxury District, developed by Metaverse Group, and includes work from Decentraland community designers, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, COACH, adidas, DKNY, Alo Yoga, Vogue Singapore, Monnier Paris, DUNDAS, Phygicode Dress in collaboration with Rubin Singer, and many others.
As keen observers of user experience and content within Web3 and the metaverse, we are particularly interested in a few key elements of DMVFW23 and will be excited to report back after the event.
We have a lot of opinions about the critical role of content strategy and brand storytelling to shape and drive meaningful immersive experiences for consumers in these early days of Web3 and the metaverse. No one exactly knows what the shape of Web3 and metaverse marketing will even look like, never mind the main platforms, their rules, and consumer needs and preferences within them.
If anything, the recent crypto crash and the so-called “metaverse winter” highlight the value of experimentation and proofs of concept for early adopters to learn, measure, assess, and share what works and what does not within these ever-evolving Web3 and metaverse technologies. This is, in part, why you see so many brands entering into the space through the lens of collaborations with tech, gaming, and other critical partners who are either closer to the technology or closer to the target demographic of a specific campaign, like streetwear brand Kith’s collaboration with NFT collective Invisible Friends in 2022.
So, what excites us most about Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week?
It is the second year of the event.
Like all new tech, getting the product, user experience, and marketing right takes time. DMVFW22 was the inaugural event and brought with it all of the highlights and lessons one would expect from an innovative, experience-focused consumer product launch.
Media coverage after the event was quick to note all of the elements that did not work. People complained about the poor quality of the graphics, the randomness and lack of purpose within the shows and exhibitions, and the glitching and latency of the platform itself. Then there were the poor sales, such the Jason Wu x DressX 8.5 ETH (approx 13,600 USD) Michelle Obama dress, which came with tickets to Wu’s show but received fewer bids than expected.
For year two of the event, we expect that many of the technical issues will be resolved and are interested to participate to get a sense of how the UX is evolving and how consumer needs are being met.
Jakob Nielsen once quipped that when it comes to user experience, “Pay attention to what users do, not what they say.” If the sad stats on Decentraland daily users taught us anything, it’s that, while the use cases for the metaverse are still evolving, big splash events can work.
No matter how you measure success, DMVFW22 was a pioneering event that put the metaverse on the map for fashion lovers and tech-curious people everywhere. We are excited for this year’s event to see what surprises it will bring.
It involves more collaboration and more cross-platform interoperability.
DMVFW23 involves a heavier focus on open metaverses and Web3 interoperability. For the event, Decentraland is partnering with UNXD, a leading immersive art and culture platform, as well as the Spatial and OVER metaverses on a number of cross-platform, interoperable experiences and activations over three days.
These collaborations offer consumers more flexibility and new ways to experience digital fashion across multiple metaverse platforms, including portable, customizable wearables and avatars, a variety of interactive experiences, and new activations to showcase how brands are adapting products and retail experiences to these more dynamic digital environments.
Some things we’re watching:
Miami Fashion Week is joining Decentraland with events, panels, and runway shows at its L'Atelier.
DUNDAS is teaming up with DressX and UME, bringing looks from Paris Fashion Week and offering a new range of wearables.
Amorepacific has created “New Beauty Land,” inspired by its Seoul headquarters.
Dragon City is hosting composer Alastair White and his latest fashion opera in the Metaverse Opera House. Not fashion per se but we are excited about it, anyway.
Tommy Hilfiger’s experience has daily product drops, AI-generated fashion, unique collaborations and a community competition chosen by Tommy himself.
DKNY is bringing DKNY.3, a space that includes a gallery, pizzeria, and rooftop launch and a recreation of its historic Soho landmark wall.
OVER is running a cross-metaverse wearable design competition, for which winners will be showcased on a hybrid AR/IRL catwalk at a four-day event in Milan, from Feb 28 to March 31.
Ben Bridge, the U.S.-based jeweler, will host its first metaverse store with a built-in game and wearables that connect to in-store benefits.
Threedium will host shoe brand Clark’s within their mall.
The Museum District will present a virtual version of the Teatro Colón in partnership with the Buenos Aires government.
David Cash’s Cash Labs Gallery is returning multimedia exhibitions from Nick Knight/SHOWstudio and The Wall Group and interoperable experiences by Vogue Singapore and Artisant.
Brand New Vision (BNV), a Web3 fashion ecosystem, is bringing specially-designed stations that will allow people to try on wearables in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Coach, DVF, Carolina Herrera, and Vivienne Tam.
It has an increased focus on content co-creation and community engagement.
DMVFW23 looks set to offer consumers more ways to interact with their favorite brands and to participate in the world of fashion. Several brands are providing incentives for engagement, ranging from live voting on exhibitions to participating in design competitions, including the DCL Foundation Emote contest, for which the winner will be featured in the DCL community fashion show and win special prizes.
Some events and activations we will be watching:
Sportswear giant adidas is the most anticipated launch, bringing its active NFT community together through a variety of events and exhibitions showcasing “adidas virtual gear.”
Alo is bringing yoga and meditation sessions to the metaverse.
COACH teamed up with several Web3 artists to create new special gear and experiences.
Gaian, a wearable start-up with the world’s first energy generating sneakers, will unveil a digital retail space.
Diesel and HAPE will take over the D-CAVE space, throwing an interactive virtual party that features multiple wearable NFT airdrops.
Clarks is bringing the “Clarks Arcade,” which will feature themed video games, dance battles and vintage fairground rides.
MetaTokyo will feature digital fashion designers influenced by Japanese culture, including wearables and activations by EDOLENABLE, Kay, Nyankee, and Supermind Studios.
It should feature more differentiated, dynamic content and storytelling and emerging digital designers.
The theme of DMVFW23 is “Future Heritage,” celebrating the first steps of fashion brands into Web3. This suggests an interest in not only what brand heritage means in the age of Web3; but also it signifies a desire to uncover what kinds of storytelling, products, and experiences resonate with users and build brand loyalty.
One of the most interesting features of this year’s event include deepened connections between traditional fashion brands and emerging digital designers.
Here’s the long list of really cool events and activations we are curious to see from a content perspective, particularly insofar as they look to create new kinds of stories and explore the boundaries between new and old in fashion:
““Dear Vivienne’' - The Digital Design Community Pays Tribute to the Punk Queen of Fashion” is an immersive installation by art collective Vuelta inspired by the legendary Vivienne Westwood.
The Fabricant, which we love for its huge focus on immersive storytelling, has partnered with two community creators, RuRingoM and Siki.
“House of Barth,” HBO’s The Hype Season 2 winner, Winston Bartholomew Holder III, known as Barth, brings a collection that represents the multiple masks one wears daily.
Vogue Singapore will be announcing the winners of their digital fashion competition.
Altr, a digital fashion platform, will highlight 10 different cultures through the brand’s “Digital Meets Culture” initiative.
The Institute of Digital Fashion will debut wearable “IoDF Emblem of Change” to highlight the unsustainable consumption of physical fashion.
Dolce & Gabbana’s metaverse space features winning designs from its Future Reward competition.
DRESSX brings 3D fashion brands Blade Runway and Injury to the DRESSX flagship store.
Phygicode is launching “Phygicode Dress,” a collaboration with Decentraland community creators, re-imagining an iconic dress by Rubin Singer.
Meta Fashion House will be featuring 3DMetaDress, a physical 3D printed couture gown made up of 300 hand-drawn 3D printed names of women in Web3 and STEM.
FASHION FUTURE AWARDS is an annual project initiated by FASHION ZOO to focus on the pioneer forces in China's fashion and creative industries.
Digital asset platform Kraken will return with an infinite NFT gallery that will provide users with a special collection of fashion themed projects.
Vegas City teamed up with Perry Ellis for exclusive wearables that will be shown in a virtual exhibit.
It is now one of many Web3 and metaverse fashion events.
Last year, DMVFW22 stood out as the first-ever fashion week to be hosted in the metaverse. This year is a bit different with the explosion in fashion-focused events across the Web3 and metaverse space, including the recent Digital Fashion Week NYC events in New York and London.
While we are excited to have so many brands and designers in one place for DMVFW23, it is even more exciting that it is now one major event among a sea of Web3- and metaverse-focused events across platforms. DMVFW23 is significant because it marks the continued interest of fashion and luxury brands in innovation projects. But it also is critical because it underscores “the emergence and elevation of digitally native fashion,” as Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, head of Metaverse Fashion Week, noted in a press release. “We are excited to see some of the world’s greatest fashion minds engaging in the future of fashion, and what it can mean for their communities.”
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