Top takeaways from Metaverse Fashion Week

Big tech’s withdrawal from the metaverse isn’t stopping the fashion world.
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Metaverse Fashion Week

· 3 min read

Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) 2023 wrapped up on Friday, after three jam-packed days featuring fashion shows, speaker panels, and opportunities to purchase out-of-this-world digital fashion.

The biggest excitement this year revolved around the added element of cross-platform interoperability: MVFW 2023 took place not only in Decentraland, but in a handful of other metaverses as well.

Brands approached the event theme of “Future Heritage” from different angles, including purchases for real-life wear, design competitions, and dance parties.

Now, enthusiasm for the metaverse has taken a hit in recent months: Disney announced plans to cut its metaverse department amid layoffs last week, Meta itself is walking back Mark Zuckerberg’s big promises of 2021, and public interest in the potential of the metaverse has steadily declined.

That’s a challenging landscape for the second rendition of MVFW to take place in, and the event wasn’t immune from lagging excitement—attendance was reportedly down from more than 100,000 attendees in 2022 to just 50,000 this year, and there was slightly smaller brand participation.

But the hype cycle downturn didn’t stop major names in streetwear and luxury fashion from attending, and attendees were treated to a virtual Adidas fashion show, a giant floating Tabby purse from Coach, and wearables inspired by Cristóbal Balenciaga.

So, for those of you that couldn’t make it, here’s a breakdown of what MVFW’s biggest players brought to the virtual runway this year:

Adidas: Back in December, Adidas gave holders of its “Into the Metaverse” NFTs access to the brand’s first collection of digital wearables. Last week, Adidas gave wearables holders a 3D twin that avatars could wear in Decentraland (previously they were only usable as profile pictures). The brand also hosted a gravity-defying runway show featuring those same wearables, which ranged from puffy jacket-adjacent to flaming angel wings.

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Coach: Inside Coach’s giant floating handbag (which avatars access by being beamed up like a spaceship) fashion week attendees could win digital wearables, pick up a custom dancing emote, and be immersed in a shockingly pink world representing a “tour of self expression,” the brand said.

Dundas: Dundas partnered with digital fashion platform DRESSX to bring 10 looks from Paris Fashion Week to the virtual runway for the opening show of MVFW. The Dundas activation featured giant black panthers surrounding models in floor-length gowns, and included an IRL element: looped videos of live models projected onto the walls of the virtual space.

Dolce & Gabbana: D&G took a different approach to MVFW, hosting a competition aimed at promoting emerging design talent. Participants submitted up to 20 digital looks inspired by iconic D&G design elements, and winners presented their looks during MVFW. Artist names and designs were displayed, museum-style, in a space whose walls, ceiling, and floors were patterned with the D&G logo.

Tommy Hilfiger: Tommy Hilfiger got the memo about interoperability, offering exclusive wearables in both digital and physical forms, including its iconic varsity jacket. More importantly, the brand debuted a multi-metaverse hub (designed by Emperia), from which MVFW attendees could access platforms including Spatial and Roblox.

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