Web 3.0 virtual fashion company DressX has a new bag — or, rather, virtual hat — and it plans to bring that and more to Metaverse Fashion Week. According to the company, expect new wearables and augmented reality features, with direct offerings and brand collaborations designed to illustrate the increasing scenarios for virtual fashion.
DressX plans to offer new wearables tied to its Genesis hat NFT for holders who attend the event. It’s the latest phase in a multipart offering, said cofounder Natalia Modenova.
For its Genesis hat drop, the company opened up “444 items that were ‘revealable,’ and as soon as you reveal it, you get a unique hat,” she told WWD. “But even before you revealed it, you could still have a wearable, open the DressX app, connect to the same wallet and wear this generative item in augmented reality.”
Indeed, owners of DressX fashion NFTs can see themselves wearing the virtual clothes and accessories in the company’s mobile app through either a live view or in “editorial-quality” selfie photos. It’s the product of a lot of development work. The company, an early Meta partner for avatar wearables, has fueled more than 2.8 million app-based AR fashion try-ons, and now it wants to connect those dots at MVFW, where it will be an official Decentraland partner for AR and curator.
DressX will offer new wearables for Genesis holders and others inside Decentraland, as well as The Sandbox, another virtual world that will connect to the event. It also wants to reach and reward the broader community, Modenova explained. Part of that is allowing attendees to mint NFTs for free during MVFW. Another comes alive through collaborations with real-world brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger.
The scope of its partnership with Hilfiger includes the creation of several augmented reality wearables and a separate “community project” — a design competition for UGC (user-generated content) powered by artificial intelligence. “It will be dedicated to educating the community about the fashion and heritage of the brand, and [also] about modern tools, which intersects,” Modenova added. “We’ll be providing the artificial intelligence technology, and that’s how we will engage the community in creating together with Tommy Hilfiger and with DressX.”
According to the apparel brand, the contest will be unveiled at MVFW, with entries coming via Twitter. The winner will be hand-selected by Tommy Hilfiger, and that design will be made into an NFT and AR wearable, distributed through the DressX platform.
Of course, its MVFW work is not limited to one particular brand. DressX also partnered with Dundas on new wearables for a project showcasing the latest styles from Paris Fashion Week and, to support emerging and digital native designers, it plans to feature 3D fashion brands Blade Runway and Injury at its Decentraland flagship store. Another pop-up may be in the works as well, though the company declined to discuss details at this time.
Directly, its offerings include the Genesis wearables and another for its Cyber Lava suit NFT, both of which will work inside Decentraland, as well as The Sandbox, another virtual world that will connect to MVFW. But whether the fashion comes from DressX or one of its partner brands, the wearables will work the same way, said co-founder Daria Shapovalova: “The activations with the brands comes through AR as well,” she said. “This is separate from the Decentraland platform, because this happens in DressX[’s mobile app].”
DressX isn’t alone. Others are working with brands on AR projects such as Zero10, which will similarly allow visitors to try on Coach’s signature Tabby bag in the Zero10 app. Decentraland also partnered with Over, an AR-focused virtual world, on a cross-metaverse wearable design competition. The MVFW organizer called it “a first for interoperable avatar fashion,” culminating with the winners being spotlighted in a hybrid AR-real world runway event in Milan.
AR often gets pulled into the metaverse conversation, even if the reality of tying it together is still a very nascent effort. But the energy behind blending the real and virtual worlds has been simmering. That’s showing up in a variety of ways, whether projecting a simultaneous feed of virtual MVFW runways into real-world stores and events — as some brands are apparently exploring, according to Decentraland — or figuring out creative ways to place virtual clothes and accessories on real people.
Fashion AR has existed mainly as a novelty, relegating its value to the fashion business as largely theoretical. Now more brands are diving in, and platforms like DressX, Zero10, Over and others are pushing forward to expand offerings or boost creativity in new ways.
There’s more work to be done, as the experience isn’t quite seamless yet. But at least there’s forward momentum, enough to put the potential of this tech somewhat in view — and this suggests that the theoretical potential of these virtual products could, finally, be on the cusp of becoming real.