After months of video conferences, online events and parties the lines between the work-screen time, the leisure-screen time and the real life ‘screen’ time are definitely blurred for most of us. As the French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard, would say, we are living in a hyperreality state because the technology and the media are affecting the way we perceive the real world.
As the digital and the real mediums intersect, digital clothes are already waiting for us. Gaming and fashion is a partnership that proved how fashion can thrive without being physical. According to Vogue Business the $159.3 billion esports and gaming market, boosted by lockdowns and social distancing, is expected to reach 2.7 billion players by the end of 2020. Puma saw the opportunity in this and inked four deals in the last 19 months with esports and gaming groups. Their newest deal is with Gen. G Esports, the South Korean maker of an online squad of League of Legends players, which offers the option to dress the team in Puma jerseys and a co-branded clothing line.
Going beyond games, now more than ever there is a market for only digital clothes.
Imagine this, 5 mins before your Zoom call, you are still in your pyjamas, but you are quickly selecting the wanted outfit on your computer, so that is what your colleagues will see instead of your cute pyjamas. This future is probably not that far, as we already have digital-only fashion houses.
The Fabricat, the first digital fashion house in the world, wants to change the fashion scene by wasting only electricity and nothing else. The fashion house creates digital couture garments exclusively for virtual environments such as shows or ads, but also clothes that can be used and traded in virtual realities.
If you are still having doubts, the proof that the virtual realities need fashion is the fact the first digital-only dress, IRIDESCENCE, sold for $9500. The Fabricant-designed ‘Iridescence’ couture dress is a traceable, tradeable and collectible piece of digital art.
No you can’t actually feel it, but you can play dress up and add it to a picture. I am already envisioning an Instagram just for digital-clothing, and I am not the only one who sees this kind of future.
The Fabricant’s creative director, Amber Jae Slooten, belives a new digital ‘cult’ is rising:
Our bodies are becoming fluid, our money decentralized, new powers are being formed. Slowly we are moving into a non-dual operating system.
What can a body be when it is freed from physical restraints? What does identity mean when there are endless bits and bytes to express it? Connection is what we yearn for, and connection is what will rise now.
Our frequency is our energy in motion. It provides fluidity of movement, which is what forms this new line. We look for connection in technology. It is our new religion.
And I dare to say she is right. Fashion seems to have a way to adapt to any environment, and it definitely knows how to create cults. While at this point investing in a digital garment might seem an extravaganza for some of us or just pointless, I’m curious how it will be in a few years. Let’s not forget some people buy gold toilet paper or ‘non-visible’ art.
The best part about The Fabricat is that they are against the secrecy that is usually present in the fashion industry and their designs are free to download here: https://www.thefabricant.com/downloads
They are also working on a virtual marketplace where you will be able to have a digital version of your body and try, curate and create digital fashion, but also explore yourself in a way you wouldn’t be able in the real world. But until then, we shall stick to our stylish gaming avatars.