“We want to make it easier to get started, encourage creativity, and show what’s possible,” said Sam Hamilton, creative director of the Decentraland Foundation, the nonprofit organization that runs the 3D virtual worlds platform. “We want to show the community and other brands, ‘Hey, Decentraland is a place to shop, everyone is wearing cool clothes, and brands can post on the platform.’ This way we attract more people to the platform and make it more attractive to users.”
A new space for shops, parties and concerts
Users can explore the platform through customizable avatars and connect their crypto wallet to purchase items such as digital clothing. Similar to The Sandbox competition, virtual land can be purchased on which houses and apartments can be built and rented. Similar to the physical world, stores provide a home, where parties and concerts can be held.
MVFW brings the fashion world together
The MVFW hopes to serve as the official virtual destination for fashion week – versus the one-off virtual events that have served as an alternative or complement to the real shows for the past two years. For example, the all-digital Helsinki Fashion Week and the virtual reality fashion event “Fabric of Reality”. Several brands have opted for digital-only shows and presentations, including Balenciaga’s “Afterworld” and Hanifa’s digital-only runway show, both in 2020.
Digital fashion is inescapable these days
Digital fashion and virtual spaces have since evolved from niche to mainstream, and brands are increasingly taking virtual events like this – and especially their audience – seriously. Brands like Gucci and Ralph Lauren have opened virtual pop-ups on the Metaverse Roblox and Zepeto platforms, and Nike and Vans, among others, have opened permanent spaces in Roblox: “We work with brands that were saying eight months: ‘What is it?’ and it’s now part of their luxury segment strategy,” said Justin Banon, CEO and co-founder of Boson Protocol, an MVFW partner that offers technology allowing brands to tie physical items to NFT sales: “Brands need to have a metaverse strategy. It’s like a switch has been flipped.”
This is how the need for digital fashion was born
This isn’t Decentraland’s first major event. In October, a four-day music festival, which brought together 80 artists, attracted 40,000 people. Since then, there have been up to 12 Decentraland events each day, which has seen new attendance records every day, regardless of the events, Hamilton said. In December, the platform hit 500,000 monthly active users: “We found that we were leading by example and a lot of people started bringing their own communities and artists with them,” he says. For Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com and president of the Metaverse group, this event was also an opportunity for artists to reach a new audience: “It made fashion brands roll. Because people who have these avatars, pay attention to their clothes. When you go to Coachella, you pay attention to what you wear. People are willing to invest money if they want to look stylish.
What to expect at MVFW Fashion Week
Organizers are helping brands create digital fashion that matches the look and feel of Decentraland by partnering with technology partners including Boson Protocol (which runs a virtual store on its own premises) and Threedium, which sells physical products in avatar-compatible clothing, 3D clothing, and augmented reality experiences. Threedium’s services range from $2,000 to $100,000.