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METAVERSE

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WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE FIRST METAVERSE FASHION WEEK

If you are into fashion, at some point in your life you've probably fantasized about attending fashion weeks and sitting front row at the most coveted shows. To your right, Anna Wintour. To your left, is a celebrity like Rihanna or Zendaya. Dreaming is free.

New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Four cities, four fashion capitals that, twice a year, are filled with spirited enthusiasts and insiders who deliver some of the best street style of the year and iconic moments that become part of pop culture's iconography.



Not even Anna Wintour herself would have imagined years ago that a new player would enter the league: a whole new (and very different) Fashion Week than the ones we already know. On March 24th, the world's first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) was held on Decentraland, the largest virtual reality platform on the planet. In its debut year, it managed to host top-tier designers such as Etro, Elie Saab, Dundas, and Tommy Hilfiger, all under the same digital space.

Although this first edition has clearly shown that, to have a seamless experience within the metaverse you need a device with (very) powerful hardware, it has left memorable highlights that are worth mentioning. Our grandparents lived the first moon landing – and our generation has the honor of witnessing the incursion of fashion into the metaverse.

MVFW: Highlights of the event

All the excitement took place in Decentraland's Luxury Fashion District. The experience was, to say the least, colorful, proving that anything is possible in this new dimension. From Etro's fashion show, with more realistic avatars and looks that we could easily find in their e-commerce, to Dolce & Gabbana's utopian display of kitsch feline models wrapped in animal print looks. The attendees, personalized avatars with the craziest and most extravagant skins, could attend the parade and move around the grounds as they pleased. In the end, there is no security nor are there any rules at this FW.

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Beyond the fashion shows, brands like Tommy Hilfiger or Selfridges built pop-up stores where attendees could buy their wearable collections (NFTs) to customize their avatars. These pop-ups also served as showcases for their real collections and a door to their e-commerce, just as it happened with our "Universe Maria Pascual" event.

What to expect from future editions

The Metaverse is a world filled with possibilities and we have only explored the tip of the iceberg. The most remarkable thing is the amount of creative freedom that virtual reality allows brands. It's true that recently we have seen memorable fashion week shows, such as Demna Gvasalia's latest show set in a blizzard for Balenciaga in Paris, but the digital world enables the creation of much more ambitious projects that could not be made tangible in the real world for obvious reasons. There is no gravity, we're not bounded by matter. You can make objects fly, hang from the ceiling, or suddenly have a flying UFO take the models off the catwalk. Anything is possible in this new reality.

For now, we wrap up the first MVFW with positive prospects and a positive response from the "fashion people", who are historically and culturally known as being gatekeepers when it comes to innovation. If not, we only have to take into account their long-lasting reluctance to invite influencers to fashion shows. Undoubtedly they are a tough nut to crack, but virtual fashion seems to have a higher acceptance rate than the possibility of seeing Emma Chamberlain or Charlie D'Amelio on a front row.

MVFW is still in its early stages. The event, although mediatic and broadcast by specialized media such as Vogue, faces technical limitations. As we mentioned at the beginning, it requires a computer with an excellent graphics card and, unfortunately, not everyone has access to one of those. Therefore, most of the attendees were already regulars in Decentraland. Although the event has aroused a lot of interest, it is still far from being multitudinous. We must give it time to learn and improve. We shall remember: Rome was not built in a day.

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Words and pictures by Maria Pascual Team

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