A Quick Take on Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week

This weekend, our team jumped into this year’s first Metaverse Fashion Week — a four-day event held inside popular blockchain-powered platform Decentraland. Over the course of the event, 60 brands showcased new clothing collections through a series of digital runway shows, after-parties, pop-up shops and more. Players were even given the opportunity to try on digital wearables using their avatars.

Let’s highlight what we experienced in this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week — including some pros, cons and highlights about the overall experience. We’ll also cover what the success of the event might spell for the fashion industry and future virtual events.

In a nutshell

In all, Metaverse Fashion Week was a great way for various brands to showcase new designs, experience greater exposure and explore new ways to combine both physical and digital wearables into singular purchases. 

A large host of brands, artists and designers participated in the event — with names ranging from Estée Lauder to Dolce and Gabbana to Selfridges and Forever 21. Some brands even purchased real estate within Decentraland’s ecosystem, using their space to debut their new flagship stores. 

Other brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, showcased physical products as tokenised NFTs — meaning that users who purchased any wearables in the metaverse could also redeem corresponding physical items inside actual, real-world storefronts. This new convergence of physical and digital purchasing was enabled by the technology of Boson Protocol — a company that’s currently looking to create a new trading ecosystem for Web3 through its decentralised infrastructure.

Just like real-world fashion events, Metaverse Fashion Week was also brought to life by celebrity attendees and online performances. For example, future-savvy, electronic artist Grimes closed the virtual display of digital fashion brand Auroboros with her own DJ set — all with her avatar dressed in a custom bodysuit wearable.

To make purchases inside the event, users simply had to load their Ethereum wallets. However, the event was free for all to attend — with those not coming equipped with a wallet still able to attend as a guest.

Some of the good and bad

Those who reported attending Metaverse Fashion Week have claimed that connecting their wallets was generally easy and seamless. Each area was also visually appealing and engaging — with digital wearables, promotional visuals and other displays programmatically inserted into each space.

One of the biggest caveats reported by several attendees was the lack of proper graphics support. We’re not the only ones who experienced regular glitching and lagging throughout our time inside the event — with the display sometimes bugging out each time we switched rooms or locations. With that being said, however, better motion tracking, network advances and improvements in latency should allow us to see refinements made in other metaverse events down the road.

Also, due to the surplus of levels and obstacles inside the event spaces (such as stairs, lifts and ramps), we also noted the potential for gamification that the creators of MVFW missed the mark on a little. Seeing fashion brands explore new ways to offer products has been exciting — but it would also be nice to see Decentraland provide players with better incentive structures in future events of a similar nature.

Is this the start of a metaverse event boom?

Whether Metaverse Fashion Week was easy to traverse or not, one thing is clear: that it will likely be the first of many community events inside the metaverse, let alone inside the fashion world. Unlike the case with real-life fashion weeks, planning an event inside of a digital ecosystem has enabled a new way for anyone to attend — regardless of their status, association or location.

When commenting on making Decentraland a more inclusive and accessible platform, Sam Hamilton, Decentraland Foundation’s creative director, has aptly described it as a “virtual social world for anyone, anywhere.” Moreover, he’s commented on MVFW’s potential as a game-changer for the fashion universe, claiming that it has “levelled up the playing field for the world of fashion and decreased the limitations.” 

As was the case in the early days of Web1 and Web2, it will take some time for user experiences to improve in Web3. However, the potential for more accessible, profitable and innovative opportunities has surely been illuminated by the model of Metaverse Fashion Week — and if they haven’t already, now is a great time for brands to start paying better attention to what they can do in the metaverse.

Check out our walkthrough video

If you didn’t make it to this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week, we put together this video covering our walkthrough inside the event. Check it out here:

For more updates on future Web3 and gaming events, be sure to keep reading gmw3.