Fashion Week goes from real world to virtual world this week, as IRL shows across New York, London, Milan, Paris and Tokyo this month lead into the metaverse’s first major industry-backed version, which starts Thursday
Decentraland mapped out a line-up for WWD, with events, talks, runway shows, after-parties and shopping opportunities from some of the world’s leading brands – both established maisons and metaverse-first innovators – or Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW).
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“I think people will be amazed, because our team has been working so much to really achieve unique spaces in 3D and unique shops for the stores,” Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, head of Metaverse Fashion Week, told WWD.
The team wanted to create a broad range of activities, with multiple simultaneous events. “But they will be planned in a way that people have a chance to see all of them,” she said.
MVFW will feature catwalks, virtual retail storefronts, immersive experiences, artsy spaces with fashion and music, panel talks and other events. “There will be plenty of after-parties. The idea is that we bring people to see the events, but they can stay inside the platform and see a great performer and DJs. It’s going to be really fun,” Casimiro added.
Anticipating plenty of new visitors coming for the first time, Decentraland plans to offer instructions on the web site to help people enter as guests. They can also choose to set up a digital wallet, which is necessary to shop, but not required to visit and tour the venues.
Although MVFW is new type of virtual event, it takes cues from its IRL predecessors. “New York, Milan and Paris will be present in the architecture of the spaces we’re creating,” explained Casimiro. “We’re going with a discourse: Paris, New York, Milano, Decentraland. We’re trying to not just be in one place, but be everywhere, so Decentraland would represent the convergence of all those events in one.”
Visitors will be able to take in shows across three virtual catwalks — including a special “Metaloop” runway created by Web3 creative agency Kollectiff and its Metaverse Travel Agency (MTA) — and check out other several destinations for shopping, panel talks, after-parties and other events.
More than 50 brands are on deck to participate in Metaverse Fashion Week, including Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Nicholas Kirkwood, Perry Ellis, Imitation of Christ, Estee Lauder, Etro and many more, with several setting up shop in digital stores that visitors can teleport to and browse.
Decentraland shared its agenda with WWD, so visitors should plan accordingly. The time zones are in UTC.
The organization didn’t have a schedule of runway shows available at presstime, so scheduling virtual visits to catch specific shows might be tricky. But it offers this tip: Decentraland worked with virtual property marketplace Parcel to create a special pair of free virtual sunglasses that show which catwalks, panels and experiences are happening and can teleport the user straight to the desired event with a click.
The sunglasses will be available for free at vending machines in the Genesis Plaza, the starting point in Decentraland, starting Thursday.
For a lay of the land, note the following major zones, updated as of Tuesday:
Luxury Fashion District
Runway shows and luxury fashion shopping anchor Decentraland’s newest district, which will launch within its Fashion District by Metaverse Group. The Luxury Fashion District, presented by UNXD and Vogue Arabia, will see numerous brands make their Web3 debuts, including Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab, Imitation of Christ, Dundas, Nicholas Kirkwood x White Rabbit, Faith Tribe, Chufy, Jacob & Co, Monnier, Franck Muller, Gary James McQueen, Mert Otsamo and Guo Pei.
Rarible will host a temporary space with pop-up shops including Placebo Digital Fashion House, The Fabricant, Fred Segal, Perry Ellis, Artisant in collaboration with Puma, Miss J Collection by Crypto Couture, NFT artist Marcomatic, Girls Gang Label, digital Vault Swiss watches and more.
Presented by Metaparty and virtual real estate marketplace Parcel, the Community Precinct offers a multi-level experience with mini-games, parkour, a chill-out floor and fashion show to put a spotlight on Decentraland’s wearables designer community.
A spotlight for designers and brands from Asia, as well as Parcel and Metaparty’s Community Precinct, Dragon City will fix its eye on boundary-pushing wearables creators.
The MetaTokyo community will launch the museum Space by MetaTokyo, plus its own wearable collection through the Decentraland marketplace. Amiaya x Street Fashion will also launch its NFT collection of photos through OpenSea.
Boson Protocol’s metaverse marketplace, Boson Portal, will host more than a dozen brands selling NFTs tied to exclusive, real-world luxury products. Modeled after Paris’ Avenue Montaigne, this boulevard of metaverse stores will span brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Hogan to Gen Z faves and Web3-first brands like Cider, IKKS, Deadfellaz, 8sian, The Rebels by House of Kalinkin, Christine Massarany, Anrealage, Wildfangz by Fang Gang, Chubbies at Santa Monica Place x Macerich, Wonder and more. The company also plans to hold its “The Age of Metaverse Commerce” conference within the Portal.
Metaloop by Kollectiff
“In terms of design, it’s a circular, transparent donut, very futuristic. It will have neon. Very meta,” described Roberto Valentin Vivo, Kollectiff’s founder. “The idea is that we’re breaking up a little bit of the traditional, straight runway. And we decided to go with a circular shape: The avatars go through a portal, stop three times to do a pose — they basically do a full circle — and then they exit.” A range of brands will show on the Metaloop, from established names like Perry Ellis to newer names like DressX, Kid Super, Cider, 8sian, The Rebels, Christine Massarany, Anrealage, Phygicode, Wyld Flwr, The Immersive Kind and Placebo.
DKNY, Charles & Keith, Privé Porter and Phygicode by Wyldflwr will showcase their 3D products in the plaza. But the shops will also go beyond fashion with a range of 3D wearables and experiences that run the gamut — from General Motors’ latest electric vehicles to new projects from the food and beverage world, including projects by Diageo and Nestlé.
A mixed-media art gallery from Web3 agency Cash Labs, the virtual venue’s three floors will spotlight more than 20 artists and designers in its exhibition, “At the intersection of Art and Fashion” — including Antoni Tudisco, Krista Kim x The Fabricant, Karl Lagerfeld x The Dematerialised, Jason Ebeyer, Botter Paris, Auroboros and more. Images and videos will line the walls, as well as fashion in the form of sculptures. The rooftop terrace on the fourth floor will host a four-day Fashion Film Festival in conjunction with Nick Knight and Show Studio, and a micro-gallery presented by Brytehall.
Other Notable Events
The organization developed a “paparazzi”-like experience to give guests the feel of a step-and-repeat, though it’s more for fun than an actual media opportunity.
A string of after-parties will complete the experience. The finalized calendar was not available at presstime, but events will include a #FashionFridays pre-party show to get Fashion Week off to a festive start on TwitterSpaces. The first after-show party will be hosted by Dolce & Gabbana on opening night, with KnownOrigin’s afterparty on Friday featuring its bespoke digital fashion collection and live streaming DJ sets. Hogan + Exclusible will hold its soiree on Saturday.
Others are planned by Faith Connexion, Faith Tribe + Blondish and Tribute Brand, which is planning special Decentraland Wearable drops during its party with ICYKOF. Kollectiff plans to bring a few after-parties sponsored by brands like Acura or in conjunction with artist Nicki Nicole.
Other intriguing projects: Imitation of Christ’s installation and performance, a metaverse Salon Innovation Hub by Thrivo and a luxury eyewear store by Garrett Leight, with exclusive frames and wearables to adorn avatar’s faces.
Several brands offered WWD exclusive access to their metaversal plans. Click here for a peek behind the curtain.