Is the metaverse influencing real-life trends?

Is the metaverse influencing real-life trends?

Is the metaverse influencing real-life trends?

By Lucy Maguire

The virtual universe explored at Metaverse Fashion Week is connected to the physical world, with potential for huge overlap. Is it just a marketing opportunity for luxury brands, or a path to significant new sales?

Kanye West’s Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga drop was a talking point this February, in design terms drawing inspiration from music, art, culture and video games. The last of these influences caught the eye — the aesthetics of virtual clothing are seeping into physical fashion.

In the aftermath of a high-profile Metaverse Fashion Week, should luxury brands devise virtual collections to drive trends in the real world?

As interest in the metaverse grows, retail analysts say it is clearly influencing trends in real life. That’s typically through evolving already-established aesthetics or adding an element of fantasy to clothing, says Kayla Marci, analyst at retail intelligence firm Edited. “The concept of dressing like a video game character fits with popular fashion trends like Y2K as well as subcultures like fairycore and cyberpunk and the enduring appeal of dystopian films like The Matrix.”

New arrivals, or product launches, for micro-mini skirts — inspired by Miu Miu’s viral set and often seen on female gaming avatars — are up 56 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, according to Edited’s global retail data. Leather is up by 58 per cent, combat boots by 20 per cent and platform shoes by 161 per cent.

A new generation is taking note. Huaxi Yu, an MA fashion innovation student at Central Saint Martins, produced a virtual collection for her BA Fashion graduation collection. Her friends in fashion design are prioritising physical garments inspired by the virtual world, with “very crazy, very dark shapes and colours” akin to gaming skins, she says. They’re often 3D rendered before they are produced physically.

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By | April 27, 2022