Welcome to the Fashion Innovation Round-up, a monthly summary of the most salient stories at the intersection of fashion and technology.
The spookiest thing about October this year had nothing to do with Halloween. It was the price of tech stocks, which were at an all-time low. Despite the dip, the fashion industry remains fixated on the future. Brands desperate to remain relevant keep finding ways to insert themselves into the metaverse hype: retailer Wal-Mart threw a party in Roblox, while luxury brand Armani advertised its new fragrance in Fortnite, giving a new meaning to the term “vaporware.” The NFT craze is dying down, while more investments for digital fashion pour in. Augmented reality continues to innovate the way we buy and sell, and a string of “phygital” fashion campaigns hint at a way brands can connect their online efforts with physical products. Here are the stories you need to know on the ways emerging tech is shaping the fashion industry.
Brands continue to ride the hype cycle by finding ways to insert themselves into the metaverse, which for now means collaborating with existing platforms like Roblox and Fortnite:
- Armani Beauty partners with Fortnite to bring fragrances in the metaverse
- Wal-Mart teams up with Roblox for a music festival in Roblox
Brands continue to experiment with non-fungible tokens even though the craze has died down. Here are two of the most interesting threads to follow:
- The legal battle between Hermes and digital designer Mason Rothschild heats up and poses all kinds of questions about copyright in the metaverse
- Prada Announces the Fifth Installment of its Timecapsule Collection
- SEC Charges Kim Kardashian for Unlawfully Touting Crypto Security
- Farfetch announced that the online luxury retailer now accepts payment in cryptocurrency for customers of its marketplace in 37 countries
- French Luxury Fashion House Chloe announces it will digitalize all of its products by 2025
More investments bring competition to the digital fashion space, but will any of these startups make money selling digital goods?
- Move over, DressX. US start-up Seamm has announced its launch out of stealth with 1.7 million dollars in funding to scale and develop its digital fashion goods platform
Two campaigns from Bloomingdale’s and Disguise show the many opportunities available for AR-powered retail. Meanwhile, L’Oréal teams up with Meta to support emerging Web3 talent:
- Bloomingdale’s celebrates 150th anniversary with AR enabled catalog
- L’Oréal and Meta launch metaverse startup accelerator
- Snapchat offers a try-before-you-buy experience for Halloween costumes in partnership with Disguise
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Google gets into the avatar game, and a new app hints at the future of try-before-you-buy using avatars:
- Google acquires Twitter-backed AI avatar startup Alter for $100 million
- Spree3D Releases the MyDubble™ App for Fashionistas to Instantly Wear True-to-Life Digital Fashion via Personalized Metaverse Experiences
“Going phygital” is becoming a turn of phrase which means offering both physical and digital renditions of something, and that’s the strategy these luxury brands are using:
- Ralph Lauren teams up with Fortnite for a hybrid digital-physical fashion collection
- Rimowa and Rtfkt unveil luxury phygital luggage collaboration
- Gucci Vault Goes Phygital With Physical Twins In LA, NYC & London
Fast fashion gets even faster with the dominance of Shein, which has a proposed evaluation of $100 billion USD. That is more than the GDP of Guatemala.
- Fast fashion giant Shien is on track to generate $24 billion this year