With interest in the metaverse growing day by day, it was only a matter of time for a platform like Decentraland to host a Fashion Week in the virtual blockchain reality. Dubbed MVGW22, Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week boasts a combination of popular vendors showcasing non-fungible token (NFT) collections in the blockchain-based virtual world.
This four-day event was entirely blockchain-based, with over 70 world-renowned brands joining in on the virtual experience, including Estée Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, and Forever 2.
Without further ado, let’s dive into everything the Metaverse Fashion Week had to offer, along with the final verdict on whether it was a hit or a miss.
The Metaverse Fashion Week kicks off strong
Decentraland kicked off MVFW2022 with a bang. The digital space was rife with attendees showing off their customised avatars, cats (in place of models) walking the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk, and musical performances from popular artists performed amidst vast venues reminiscent of Olympic stadiums.
The display was also appreciated by metaverse big-names: “You don’t just want to recreate real life in the metaverse; you want to be pushing boundaries and going really crazy with your designs, show spectacles and the actual experience,” commented Max Vedel, co-founder and creative director at Swipe Back, a metaverse creative agency that has worked with Gucci, Nike and Swarovski.
What is the Metaverse Fashion Week?
All of this begs the question, what exactly is the Metaverse Fashion Week? Well, who better to introduce us to the event than Decentraland Foundation’s Creative Director, Sam Hamilton.
“Decentraland is a virtual social world for everyone, anywhere. Metaverse Fashion Week serves as the perfect, monumental event to introduce to the world the philosophy behind everything we build. A space built by and run for by its community. Through MVFW22, we endeavour to broaden the horizon of what ‘metaverse’ means. We just levelled up the playing field for the world of fashion and decreased the limitations. Even in the metaverse, you’ll be needing a ‘fit’. People will see a really great use case for NFTs as a result of the event.”
People were able to enter the Fashion Week in fully customisable avatars, and could explore different neighbourhoods and venues, complete with breathtaking fashion galleries and shows. By simply owning a crypto wallet, users were able to fully interact with and access all the presented features.
Essentially, MVFW22 seeks to provide a digital space for legacy luxury fashion and digital-native brands to showcase their highly anticipated wearable collections and breakthrough activations. Simultaneously, it transforms blockchain and NFT technology into a tool that will allow people to experience the products and services that these brands have curated – from the comfort of their own home.
Highlights of the Fashion Week event
Over the course of the four-day event, over 70 brands jumped in to participate. One of the main draws of Metaverse Fashion Week were all the various neighbourhoods within the virtual space. Brands set up shop in varying neighbourhoods, each with a distinct theme. Users would navigate through each neighbourhood, enjoying a fresh variety of galleries, catwalks, panels and more in each area. Here were some of the highlights:
The Luxury Fashion District
The Luxury Fashion District hosts a tour-de-force of fashion houses, brands, designers and fashion devotees. The space was inspired by Avenue Montaigne in Paris and features MVFW’s main luxury catwalk. Making their Web3 debut in this district are some of the industry’s most iconic brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab, Frank Muller, DUNDAS, Monnier Frères, Guo Pei and more.
Rarible Street Fresh Drip Zone
Rarible Street bears inspiration from the streets of New York, with concrete and urban vibes. Its centrepiece is its unique dome-shaped store, where users were able to view specially curated unique pieces and NFT and partake in giveaways. Rarible Street was populated with 12 pop-up shops, comprised of famous and hip brands that fit under Rarible Street’s vision of “everything fresh and new”.
The Parcel-MetaParty Community Precinct
The Parcel-MetaParty Community Precinct presents a dedicated area to celebrating Decentraland’s creator community. The multi-level Precinct features mini-games, competitions, DJs, fashion shows and talks, along with a parkour feature to spice things up for attendees.
Web3 Agency Cash Labs launched a mixed-media art gallery, showcasing works from over 20 artists and designers. The three-floor gallery was packed to the brim of imagery, video works, and fashion presented as sculptures. It also included a roof garden where people were able to enjoy a four-day fashion film festival, where five films would be presented per day and would culminate in guiding the audience on a journey through the history and future of fashion.
Flagship Stores and Expert Panels
Outside of the entertaining neighbourhoods, there were also a number of brands set to become permanent residents of Decentraland, who debuted their flagship stores during MFW2022 complete with limited-time events to commemorate their premiere, including Forever 2021, Philipp Plein, Estée Lauder, NTR1-META and more.
In addition to the fun and fashion, the Fashion Week also featured a number of panel talks led by experts in digital fashion, NFTs, Web3, and the metaverse.
So, what’s the verdict?
In terms of excitement and hype, Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 was a resounding success. But among users, the verdict is slightly mixed. Many critiqued the experience for its technical setbacks, from glitches and massive delays to devices overheating or crashing from the volume of the graphics. Others were dissatisfied with the overall feeling of the experience, explaining that most fashion shows during the event weren’t able to capture the magic of a physical show, or that the gamified aesthetic of Decentraland detracted from the craftsmanship of luxury fashion.
Despite these criticisms, the outlook for opportunities in the metaverse remains bright. MFW was a huge foray for many brands into the space, and on a macro level, will be a defining milestone for consumerism in the metaverse. This also aligns with the rise of the digitally-savvy consumer along with the prevalence of digital shopping in a post-COVID landscape.
Furthermore, Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, the head of Metaverse Fashion Week, said in an interview that organisers are already planning to take what they learnt from this iteration of the Fashion Week, and apply it to the next Metaverse Fashion Week, slated to take place a year from now.
“It is just the beginning. We need to take one step at a time,” says Casimiro.