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Nearly six months have passed since Facebook declared it would change its name to Meta and concentrate on the approaching "metaverse" for its future.
The term "metaverse" is used frequently to refer to the hyper-interactive, artistic digital spaces where people work, play, socialise, and shop. There is a lot of curiosity in the metaverse's potential, despite the fact that it is still in its infancy. It may present new opportunities for brands and a huge fashion sector to connect with Gen Z and other tech-savvy, young audiences.
It's more like the internet of life than the internet of stuff, to be honest.
The "Meta Avatars Store," a designer apparel shop for virtual avatars, has officially opened, according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Inc. (previously Facebook). The store, according to Zuckerberg, would sell digital clothing from companies like Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne. The cost of the digital apparel has not yet been disclosed. However, free virtual avatar attire will always be accessible.
Due to the standards that designer brands set in real life, they are frequently in high demand. It is undeniable evidence of a person's affluence to be able to afford such luxury to flaunt the huge names on your body for all to see. However, it appears that the virtual world will soon follow suit, as Meta also plans to open a virtual clothes store and host digital fashion. However, the financial stakes in all of this are very, very real. The digital industry did have these brands up until recently, but they were more of a fake-play thing where players would merely name buildings and stores using these well-known trademarks, but it was understood that it was all made up and just a part of playing a certain game. It wasn't necessary for someone to have a store called "Chanel" to sell legitimate Chanel products, and there was undoubtedly no money exchanged.
However, with metaverse coming into full play, we’ll soon be able to buy our favourite luxury brand’s meta fashion products.
Just like Facebook, a number of metaverse platforms are enabling consumers to express interest in or make purchases from traditional and internet fashion brands. On these channels, a variety of services are feasible, from digitising fashion to storing it as NFTs on blockchain and don it on their internet avatar. On these sites, customers can have their own meta closets where they can keep the digital clothing, accessories, and other goods they purchase there. Fashion is expanding exponentially thanks to the limitless metaverse.
One of the few nations where metaverse and meta fashion can experience rapid popularity is India. Indian designers are effectively carving out their own niche by utilising the fashion-meets-technology concept to engage customers in a new-age voguing experience, continuing the fashion metaverse takeover.
Recently Manish Malhotra entered the cryptocurrency space with his first ever line of meta fashion. The 54-year-old Bollywood designer introduced five limited-edition NFTs with a fashion theme last year in September. Five couture items worn by well-known models and actors, including Lisa Ray, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Alia Bhatt, were sketched up and animated in Malhotra's NFT collection. The auction was conducted using the WazirX native token, WRX, which runs on the Binance network.
These days, not a single week passes without an Indian designer or a top clothing company announcing their entry into the metaverse. Meta fashion is truly reshaping culture and creating a stir in the fashion industry. Many Indian designers have dropped NFTs since the middle of 2021 in an effort to get a foot in the virtual world.
Below: Meta Fashion Collection by Papa Don’t Preach
Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika, an urban fashion house is the newest entry into the metaverse. The label's Instagram account excitedly shared a sneak peek at their new digital collection. The virtual assortment features an amazing selection of embroidered lehengas, tulle dresses, and a variety of multi-cut-out patterns while adhering to its characteristic maximalist aesthetic that emulates a real Indian design sensibility.
Papa Don't Preach is all set to compete with major players in the market, such Anamika Khanna, who recently released an NFT, and Manish Malhotra, who sold NFTs of his well-known digital designs last year, by joining the band of Indian designers foraying into the meta realm.
Another designer to join the metaverse is Masaba Gupta who will produce designs with India's top fashion brand, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited. The designer posted about the development on Instagram. The collaboration between House of Masaba Lifestyle and ABFRL, according to the designer’s statement, intends to develop a young, ambitious, and digitally driven collection that plays across the affordable luxury segment in the fashion, beauty, and accessory categories.
Virtual influencers from all over the world are reigning supreme on social media platforms. These fictional computer-generated "people" resemble humans and have realistic traits and features.
The graphic representation of a real person can be created using virtual influencers. Now that we have slowly gotten acquainted with the metaverse, India has joined the bandwagon as well, and Kyra is now our country's own virtual influencer. Based in Mumbai, Kyra is the country's first meta-influencer. She currently has more than one million Instagram followers and has her official birthday on January 28, 2022. Kyra is India’s one of the many steps into the meta fashion industry and it is only going to get bigger and bigger.
The virtual influencer was created by TopSocial India, an influencer marketing company. Himanshu Goel, the platform's business director and a 26-year-old engineer, built her. Since the project's inception in 2020, Himanshu, who has an MBA from Ahmedabad, has been in charge of its direction. In January 2022, the engineer launched Kyra. She describes herself on Instagram as a "dream chaser, model, and traveller." She can be seen on her Instagram account practising yoga, relaxing, and even making reels.
Internet users have expressed interest in Kyra's reels of her lounging at the pool, beach, or in front of Jaipur's iconic Hawa Mahal. While some people find it difficult to accept that Kyra isn't genuine, others have made fun of the virtual influencer and even mentioned the need to enhance the quality of Kyra's computer-generated appearance (CGI). She’ll soon be seen modelling for Meta collections of clothing and might as well give real-life influencers a run for their money. Watch out, guys!
You can follow Kyra on Instagram here.
When the COVID pandemic ravaged the globe and brought down economies, the internet and the subsequent Work from Home (WFH) technology methods were what kept businesses afloat—and perhaps even helped them grow quickly. Following the pandemic, a number of industries, including education, underwent drastic upheaval and increased reliance on technology.
As per a report on Economic Times, the introduction of wearable virtual reality (VR) devices has the potential to further transform several industries. From the comfort of their homes, these wearables will introduce the users to a different virtual world. Without having to travel, breathe contaminated air, or even dress up for various occasions, people will be able to interact. In addition to broadening their horizons beyond what is now available with the standard curriculum, children will be able to study various subjects and modules at their own pace.
Now this is just a glimpse of how the future will look like in the future. As per the same economic times report, by 2030, we will be fully immersed in the metaverse and will possibly shop for clothes for our meta avatars. Meta fashion, which has just begun, will be a huge part of the metaverse, just like the clothing industry is right now for the real world.
The metaverse currently has a feeling of both everything and nothing. It's exciting and new for the majority of folks. However, some people, particularly those who have spent decades developing new technologies, think that the metaverse has already existed in some form in the past.
Despite this, just dropping sketches or designs is not enough. The marketing plan must incorporate approaches for interacting with younger customers who are willing to spend money on avatar clothing and are excited about it. But even designers who have made NFTs don't seem to have given brand development in the online space much care.
"It's too early to say anything," is a common reaction. Or consider what the most recent design team, Pankaj and Nidhi, who recently collaborated with the FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India) and Lakme Fashion Week to produce three NFTs on WazirX, said:
“We would like to integrate the idea of NFTs with future new collection launches. Each season we tell a new story and the accompanying visuals—the colours, graphics, artworks and inspiration boards—all could be used to communicate the mood of the collection. A customer may buy a new dress from Fall 22 and also have the option of buying an original artwork from the line as an NFT.”
However, there are endless possibilities…
According to research, the metaverse business would be worth $800 billion globally by 2024. One of the few nations where metaverse and meta fashion can experience rapid popularity is India. The environment required for embracing the meta fashion would be made possible by the quick uptake of smartphones, the internet, and its young population. One of the most technologically adept populations in the world is young urban Indians. They are increasingly looking into ways to interact with others, express themselves on digital platforms, work with artists, and develop new ideas. They have the ideal opportunity thanks to meta fashion.
So, what are you wearing in the metaverse?
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