To stay relevant, businesses in the fashion industry must be aware of any potential changes affecting consumer habits and purchasing motivations. By explaining the fundamental market drivers and consumer motivations, this report intends to help foresee changes that will fundamentally change the market. We aim to provide innovative businesses with the required insights to take advantage of the Metaverse Fashion opportunity and build a lasting competitive advantage.
This report is for fashion brands, executives, marketers and innovators interested in understanding the metaverse fashion industry, the current ecosystem, market trends and predictions for the future.
Using real-world examples, we will showcase how companies leverage the latest tools to reach new markets and examine the ever-evolving relationship between fashion, technology, and culture. We explore how brands are adapting and thriving in the metaverse by leveraging creative partnerships between companies and artists, high-end NFT collections, phygital clothing with integrated NFC technology, augmented reality fashion as try-ons both in their own app and third-party filters, interactive experiences in virtual worlds, branded mini mobile games and competitions.
Be inspired by stories of innovation, learn how technology is growing rapidly, get actionable insights for your business and most of all, have fun with fashion as you experience the wonders of the digital age. So come with us on this journey, and let's unlock the potential of metaverse fashion.
Note: The report created does not claim to be complete and does not make you an experienced expert, but it is a first step to getting an overview of relevant information in order to start a conversation with your team and executives to make the best possible decisions and effective use of resources.
Introduction to Metaverse Fashion
Although still at an early stage of development, the metaverse presents fashion brands with the opportunity to experiment with new technologies and establish meaningful connections with their customers beyond the realms of current possibilities.
In this section, we will not only define Metaverse Fashion and showcases the business benefits of this exciting new market but also give an in-depth understanding of the drivers and motivations that cause a shift in consumer behavior towards buying virtual fashion.
A Definition of Metaverse Fashion
Metaverse Fashion describes the use of digital technologies in the fashion industry, such as computer-aided design, 3D software such as Blender and CLO3D, augmented reality, and virtual reality in an immersive experience, instead of relying on traditional textiles to create and market physical fashion products. Metaverse fashion is designed for humans and their avatars.
Metaverse fashion has been a growing part of the gaming industry and recently has expanded to include metaverse fashion shows, digital-only brands, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
With metaverse experiences becoming an increasingly popular opportunity, digital avatars and digital-only fashion brands are expanding, giving rise to exciting new possibilities in the world of fashion.
Why Your Business Should Care
Disruptive business opportunities arise when new technology crosses into mainstream awareness and changes customer behavior.
Metaverse fashion offers innovative businesses the opportunity to break into a rapidly growing market with a new and innovative way to promote new products and services while also providing customers with increased accessibility and convenience. With its continuously growing potential, in this part, we will examine the advantages of metaverse fashion, exploring how its features can create a convenient, sustainable, and revenue-generating opportunity.
Access to a new, growing community of different subcultures and demographics
The metaverse gives creatives unprecedented access to a growing community of different subcultures and demographics, enabling them to tailor their brands to target specific audiences that were previously inaccessible offline.
Engage, reach and inspire your customer base in new and innovative ways
The metaverse opens up a world of untapped opportunities for fashion brands, allowing them to engage, reach and inspire their customer base in new and innovative ways e.g. creating augmented reality fashion for unique customer experiences and connecting with them in a personal and more interactive way.
Businesses can provide a platform for creative expression beyond the constraints of the physical world when designing and when it comes to production limitations that are not impacting the business or creative process. Do you want to sell a crown of flames with a hovering gingerbread man? That is totally possible.
Take advantage of viral trends within the metaverse
By understanding and taking advantage of the latest and most popular trends in the metaverse, businesses can increase brand awareness and gain greater exposure.
Expand production and revenue channels
Metaverse fashion can provide new revenue streams with additional products and services.
More efficient marketing tactics
People can, for example, change the skin or clothes of their avatar within a metaverse experience without the need for traditional advertising methods such as product placement or advertisement by fashion brands for a more integrative approach.
Explore new business models
Like freemium models, metaverse fashion opens up the door for innovative business models. For example, companies can create an experience that is free to join. Charging a fee to tailor their avatar for $10 could generate a revenue stream over time without adding unit production costs.
Because no physical raw material is needed and instead, fashion is being created using a computer, there are fewer resources required to create fashion. Brands collaborating with influencers to promote and sell metaverse fashion can reach wider audiences without having to physically distribute physical products.
Fast time to market & iterations
Your brand can quickly create and iterate designs of garments based on the feedback of your community and serve customers worldwide without the need to manage a supply chain.
Accessibility for new market players
Metaverse fashion is a new opportunity for independent designers and people from minority backgrounds to make their mark in the fashion industry, which is often very difficult to get into.
While not all of these benefits apply to all companies, exploring metaverse fashion offers a wide range of benefits that make it worth considering Metaverse Fashion as a commercial opportunity.
Why People Buy Metaverse Fashion
It is impossible for businesses to successfully expand their footprint into the metaverse without a good understanding of what drives this new consumer behavior. In this section, we want to explain what motivates people to pay real money for virtual items.
Fashion has always been a way for people to express themselves and make a statement about who they are. In the metaverse, this is no different. Metaverse fashion has been an innovative and daring way for people to express themselves and make a statement about who they are. To understand this new behavior, we will explore the various motives behind why fashion in the metaverse has become so popular. People spend money on metaverse fashion because it:
Metaverse fashion allows for self-expression in digital spaces, games, and profile pictures on social media to have the most accurate representation of themselves or the character they want to embody. Metaverse fashion enables users to differentiate themselves from or associate with others for a sense of belonging. By wearing a specific outfit or accessory, they can express their unique identity and showcase their individuality.
Metaverse fashion also grants ownership to those who wish to collect unique, limited edition pieces. These items are sometimes neither for an avatar to be worn nor able to be superimposed on images of people. As memorabilia, collectibles or for everyday use, some people buy unique, metaverse fashion from specific designers they enjoy, sometimes with information stored on the blockchain as proof that they can collect or trade.
Provides utility/value add for the consumer
Metaverse fashion can offer utility/value add for the consumer. For example, wearing a particular item of metaverse fashion can unlock a unique capability that the user receives. This exclusive access to products and services of the fashion brand provides the user with a sense of status and belonging. Furthermore, sometimes users receive a limited, one-of-a-kind physical product they can claim when owning a digital product, often an NFT.
Like in the physical world, people want to look good, show off their digital clothes and brag about their (expensive or limited) virtual garments or accessory. Metaverse fashion is an excellent way to show off a unique sense of style and creativity. Users can set trends by wearing cutting-edge and futuristic digital clothes that would be impossible to create in the physical world.
Offers limitless designs
The metaverse offers limitless designs that can be created and worn by users. In contrast to the physical world, where fashion is limited by the earth's physical attributes and boundaries, every conceivable style, texture, and color can be created in the metaverse. The metaverse offers the ultimate in creative freedom, enabling users to experiment with new styles and designs without any limitations.
Can be more affordable
While some exclusive and limited-edition fashion NFT drops can be expensive, generally speaking, digital wearables, even from high-end designers, are more affordable compared to some physical clothes. This accessibility allows more people to participate in the world of metaverse fashion and express themselves in new and exciting ways.
Facilitates control and co-creation
Some fashion brands enable customers to create and customize their own items, giving them more control and autonomy over their fashion choices, allowing for ultimate customisation and participation in the creator economy.
Can be virtually tried on
Using AR technology and smart mirrors, users can try on a physical item digitally before committing to buy it. This gives them a realistic perspective on their pieces without having to leave the home. It also helps them visualise how an item will look on them, allowing them to make better-informed decisions when it comes to purchasing metaverse fashion.
One of the major advantages of metaverse fashion is the convenience it offers. Customers can try on items and see how they look on them in augmented reality, which eliminates the need to go in-store. Additionally, shoppers can find what they are looking for at any given moment no matter where they are, doing away with the need for going in-store. Furthermore, digital products can be purchased directly from metaverse fashion stores, eliminating the need to wait for shipped items.
Once you understand the motivations of consumer behaviour, you and your business can decide how to create experiences that people enjoy and are willing to pay for.
Market Size & Stats
Apart from general business benefits and understanding purchasing behaviors, it is essential to contextualise the market in terms of size and growth. The following analysis and stats provide clear insights into the current market size, its key drivers and main challenges.
The metaverse fashion industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, especially with the increasing popularity of gaming. People have spent billions of dollars dressing their avatars in the most fashionable skins and accessories.
According to Technavio, the metaverse fashion market share is projected to reach USD 6.61 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 36.47%, thus propelling the market's growth momentum significantly.
Metaverse fashion is still closely intertwined with the "gaming" sector and the market is driven by the increasing popularity of games such as Roblox and The Sandbox, as well as the rising popularity of virtual influencers such as Lil Miquela and Shudu. Moreover, the expansion of online fashion retailers such as Nike, Gucci and Bobby Hundreds into the metaverse space has further driven awareness and uptake.
Even though many current experiments in the metaverse are mainly promotional endeavours, in the coming years, as the metaverse grows in popularity, pioneering large fashion brands could expect to make up to 5% of their revenue from activities in the metaverse, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.
According to a survey by Obsess, over four in ten Gen Zers believe companies should sell their products and services in the metaverse as it provides a convenient way to purchase both digital items, like NFTs, and physical products.
According to a survey by Roblox, one in five Gen Z gamers are changing their avatar's clothes on a daily basis or even several times a day. Furthermore, for 2 out of 5 people, expressing themselves through clothing and accessories in the digital world has become more important than expressing themselves in the physical world. According to their survey, 31% of those who buy digital fashion usually spend up to $5 per month and an additional 30% spend up to $10-$20 per month. Around 12% spend $50-$100 monthly and over one-fourth have spent anywhere from $20 to over $100 on a single virtual item.
The current numbers suggest a healthy market with significant upside potential. 59% of consumers McKinsey surveyed are excited about transitioning their everyday activities to the metaverse and 30% of consumers are excited about apparel, fashion, and luxury brands entering the metaverse.
This indicates a demand surplus and therefore high likelihood of rapid market expansion driven by several factors in the metaverse space.
The key factors driving the growth of the metaverse fashion market include:
Advances in technology. Novel technologies have enabled designers to create metaverse apparel more easily than ever, with 3D design software, augmented reality, blockchain, and other innovations offering them more flexibility and creativity.
Brand adoption. The increasing number of fashion brands entering the metaverse has a direct impact on the growth of the market. By offering metaverse clothes, accessories, and experiences, these brands reached a wider audience and help create a vibrant metaverse fashion ecosystem.
Quality of experiences. There has been a growing demand for 3D designs, online gaming and virtual spaces that offer immersive user experiences. High-quality experiences that attract a large number of users will create a social environment that fosters the need for self-expression.
Streaming and social media. The rising popularity of influencers and streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube have enabled fashion to become more accessible to the public. Streamers and content creators have been able to showcase their own styles, encourage others to experiment with fashion in the metaverse, and engage with fashion-focused communities. As their followers have grown, their influence in the metaverse fashion industry has increased.
While metaverse technologies can open up myriad opportunities in the fashion industry, they also come with a range of potential challenges for market growth and risks for companies entering the space. Industry leaders must apply a customer-centric mindset and focus on careful planning and preparation to meet these challenges and successfully navigate the turbulent waters of today’s early-stage metaverse fashion industry.
Interoperability. The lack of interoperability of avatars or individual fashion items between different platforms hinders adoption. Allowing transitions from one experience to another requires immense manual effort until standard protocols are established.
Privacy and security concerns. Examples of these risks have already been seen in other existing technologies including unauthorized data acquisition such as body language, heart rate and facial expression to infringe upon users' right to privacy
User experience. The entry barriers posed to consumers by having to understand digital wallets to purchase NFT fashion for blockchain-based fashion are still high and require a high level of technical acumen. Once the user experience becomes more seamless and intuitive, accelerated market growth is expected.
Consumer awareness. While a sizeable market already exists, to deliver on the promise of exponential market growth, consumers need to be made aware of the metaverse. Based on the diffusion of innovations theory, with advancements in user experience and more robust use cases, the mass market will get access to this new space.
Business risks. Given that the industry is still in its infancy and that Metaverse Fashion is highly interlinked with blockchain technology, there is significant uncertainty about the impact on the business based on a lack of regulatory certainty and unchartered territory in terms of customer engagement.
Missing know-how and expertise. Talent with a deep understanding of the market and experience in the space through practical experience with planning or delivering Metaverse Fashion projects is scarce. However, with more companies entering the space and experimenting, the supply of talent will increase and become accessible to a more extensive range of fashion businesses.
The concept of the metaverse continues to expand and evolve around a wide range of activities, from gaming and working to socializing and shopping.
This section will showcase the Metaverse Fashion Ecosystem Landscape and its components, including media, metaverse fashion use cases, creators, metaverse user interface, and technology. We will look at how these elements are essential for users to explore, shop, and express themselves in the metaverse.
The metaverse landscape is complex and ever-evolving. Therefore, we are not claiming completeness, and while we are aware that the metaverse landscape consists of many more segments, we have been focusing mainly on fashion-related components, knowing that some industry players are active in more than one segment.
Thanks to their virtual nature, fashion items can carry additional information about interests and causes that a person cares about, which allows for an extra layer of self-expression to connect with like-minded people.
Avatars are creating opportunities for this new type of self-expression and community building, as users can tailor their avatars to reflect their personalities and preferences.
Metahuman is an AI-driven platform for creating digital human characters with lifelike facial animations and realistic body movement, allowing users to create high-quality 3D content quickly and efficiently.
Ready Player Me is a cross-game avatar platform for the Metaverse.
Genies is a tool to create avatars, fashion and collectibles.
Tafi is a solution for developers to create, monetize, and manage 3D avatars across a variety of platforms with access to an artistic community.
Union Avatars provides a platform to create lifelike avatars that can be used in marketing, product development, and customer engagement.
Metaverse Fashion Use Cases
Beyond simply customizing virtual avatars, fashion also has practical uses within the metaverse such as Metaverse fashion marketplaces, fashion events, virtual try-on, fashion showrooms, fashion NFT projects and many more. Fashion elements can create a sense of community within experiences, as well as provide a platform for users to explore and experience new things.
Through fashion that can elevate self-express beyond physical limitations, users can connect with one another and discover new communities within the metaverse. At the same time, these communities open up opportunities for businesses to be creative, reach new audiences and create brand loyalty.
UNXD is a curated marketplace for high-end fashion.
DressX is a digital fashion start-up that offers garments from more than 100 designers and over 1,000 curated items.
Replicant is a digital fashion marketplace for designers to showcase their metaverse fashion
The Fabricant is a marketplace and fashion house that creates virtual luxury fashion clothing and accessories.
XR Couture is a digital wearables platform for web2 and web3.
10KTF is an NFT community event platform and NFT shop, where owners of exclusive NFT collections can mint 1:1 digital gear featuring their avatar.
RTFKT designs exclusive sneakers and digital items using game engines, non-fungible tokens, blockchain verification, and augmented reality technologies.
Deadfellaz is a 10K PFP NFT project with a zombie and pop culture theme.
Cult & Rain creates phygital NFT collections focused on luxury.
World of Women works to promote and support the work of female-identifying artists, providing them with gallery spaces, marketing materials and interactive platforms.
Joor is connecting brands, retailers and showrooms to create seamless wholesale processes.
Brandlab360 offers a platform designed to render realistic and interactive virtual stores in web browsers.
Pixelpool creates high-quality 3D content for e-commerce, fashion and real-estate.
Obsess creates virtual stores that offer fast and interactive experiential e-commerce experiences for large retailers.
ByondXR creates immersive, interactive and personalised showrooms and ordering systems through augmented and virtual reality products.
iStaging allows users to create an interactive virtual showroom for businesses using templates and customisation features.
Emperia is a fashion-tech platform that offers virtual store software for buying and selling for retailers and brands.
The Sandbox (blockchain) is a community-driven platform where creators can monetize voxel assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain
Decentraland (blockchain) is a platform which allows users to create and explore 3D environments using blockchain-based technology.
Some.place (blockchain) is a world that is connecting brands and fans
Roblox (off-chain) is an online game platform and game creation system
Zepeto (off-chain) allows users to create and interact as 3D avatars in different public or private chat-based and game-based worlds.
Minecraft (off-chain) is a creative and adventurous game where players can build constructions, craft items, and create mechanical devices out of various blocks.
Fortnite (off-chain) is a collaborative survival game that allows players to fight to be the last one standing.
Second Life (off-chain) is a world for users to create avatars and engage in activities such as communication, exploration, and creation.
Spatial (hybrid) is a platform that enables users to create and experience their own virtual avatar and engaging spaces to host events and interact with others in the metaverse.
Zero10 Ais an interactive platform that provides design tools to help creators turn their designs into augmented reality, while leveraging feedback from the community.
Wearfits utilises Augmented Reality to enable users to easily convert 3D objects into AR experiences on iOS and Android devices.
Instagram is a social media platform where users can share photos and videos with their followers and utilise AR functionalities
Snapchat Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to send temporary photos, videos, and text messages as well as to use filters, lenses, and stories.
Zakeke offers customisable products in real-time 2D, 3D & AR with various options, such as texts, images, materials, and colours.
WANNA is an AR platform and iOS augmented reality application to virtually “try on” fashion.
Auglio is an online virtual try-on tool that offers integrations, a product database, and compatibility with major e-commerce platforms.
Virtual Fashion Influencers
Metaverse Fashion Week is an annual virtual fashion show that features digital designs and avatars.
Paris Fashion Week is an event held twice yearly where the world's top designers showcase their latest creations.
New York Fashion Week is an event commonly regarded as the pinnacle of fashion, where the fashion industry descends to present its newest collections and trends.
Metaverse Fashion Summit is a virtual gathering focused on exploring innovation, technology and creativity within the fashion industry.
NFT NYC is a summit that celebrates the world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their potential to revolutionise the fashion industry.
At the core of the metaverse ecosystem lies the powerful technology that it is built upon. From 3D modeling software to gaming engines and blockchains, the technology behind the metaverse is vast and complex. In addition, powerful hardware is needed to support the software and create an even more immersive virtual experience.
Unreal Engine is a 3D game engine used to develop sophisticated games and VR experiences.
Unity is a multi-platform game development platform used to create 3D, 2D games and simulations.
Cryengine is a 3D game engine used to create games with advanced graphics and physics.
Clo 3D is a 3D and AR experience tool for creating and distributing 3D designs.
Threedium is a tool to create and distribute 3D and AR experiences.
Browzwear is a 3D fashion design software used to create virtual garments, fabric simulations, and realistic animations.
Tukatech is a software that helps apparel manufacturers to prototype, grade, and develop patterns rapidly.
Style3D is a 3D clothing software with numerous features, including fabric simulations and accessory creation.
Marvelous Designer is a clothing design program that allows users to simulate fabrics in 3D.
Cinema 4D is a 3D animation, modelling and rendering program including soft-body simulations, physical camera controls and support for animated textures.
Maya is a comprehensive 3D computer graphics application for modelling.
Blender is an open source 3D animation suite for creating movies, visual effects, motion graphics, and video games.
Metaverse Standards Forum is a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing interoperability standards for virtual worlds and immersive computing technologies.
OMA3 is an ecosystem for the development, deployment, and operation of decentralized applications that are interoperable between metaverse platforms.
Metav.rs provides a decentralised identity and asset management infrastructure for the metaverse.
Metalinq is a platform that enables secure tokenisation of digital assets across multiple digital worlds.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based platform that enables developers to create decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts using its own programming language, Solidity.
Solana is a blockchain that uses Proof-of-Stake consensus to provide fast and secure settlement of digital assets.
Flow is a blockchain platform designed for developing scalable, reliable, and secure video game experiences, powered by the FLOW token.
Polygon is an Ethereum scaling solution that allows developers to expand the capabilities of Ethereum, creating a better user experience with lower fees and faster transactions.
Metaverse User Interface
Intuitive user interfaces provide users with an easy way to interact with different environments, whether they are exploring solo or with other users. While many users still utilise their phones and computers, many interfaces provide a more intuitive engagement within the metaverse.
Augmented and virtual reality-enabled phones and headsets are one of the primary components of the metaverse, allowing users to experience the space in an immersive way. In addition, smart mirrors allow for a more interactive experience within the metaverse.
AR, VR, Smart Glasses
Meta quest is a virtual and augmented reality device that provides users with an immersive 3D visual experience.
Playstation VR is a virtual reality system developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the Playstation 4 video game console.
Nreal is an AR headset designed for an immersive entertainment experience.
Vsight is an AR platform and device for collaboration, education and interactive learning.
Vive is a virtual reality system developed by HTC and Valve Corporation for use with a PC.
HoloLens is an Augmented Reality headset designed by Microsoft that enables users to interact with digital content in the physical world.
Magic Leap is an AR headset designed to provide an interactive experience that combines digital content with the physical environment.
Smart Mirrors & Virtual Fitting
3D Look uses 3D body scanning technology to create an accurate virtual model of a person's body and enables them to virtually try on clothes.
FX Mirror creates augmented reality mirrors that allow users to virtually try on products in high-resolution 3D.
Reactive Reality offers interactive virtual retail experiences where customers can view and select products in real-time.
Magic Mirror designs AI-operated digital signage to provide personalized customer experience in stores.
MySize develops a proprietary image recognition technology that accurately measures body dimensions for online shopping.
Metaverse Fashion Creators
The metaverse would not exist without its creators, designers and brands. These professionals are at the forefront of the metaverse landscape, constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Without their vision and dedication, the possibilities within the metaverse would not exist.
Designers, Studios & Houses
Traditional fashion brand
Nike designs, manufactures, and sells athletic apparel, shoes, and accessories.
Adidas creates sportswear and lifestyle products, such as shoes, clothing, and accessories.
Tiffany offers jewellery and other luxury items, as well as watches, fragrances, and home accessories.
Luis Vuitton makes leather goods and accessories, including handbags, small leather goods, and shoes.
Gucci produces high-end fashion, including ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, and accessories.
Lacoste is a French brand that specialises in casual clothing and accessories
Dolce & Gabbana is an Italian luxury fashion house that designs, manufactures, and sells apparel and accessories.
Wrangler is an apparel brand known for its quality western and workwear products.
Metaverse Fashion Media
Metaverse media like fashion news outlets are helping to communicate fashion brands, creators and innovators engage in the metaverse and thought leaders conceptualise new opportunities so the industry and consumers can stay abreast of the ever-evolving fashion landscape.
Vogue Business provides cutting-edge insights, data and analysis for fashion industry professionals.
Hypebeast curates content about fashion, art, music, culture, technology and lifestyle.
The Business of Fashion is a digital media platform that provides insights, analysis and news on the global fashion industry.
The Verge is an international technology news site focusing on product reviews, industry analysis, and culture stories.
VRscout is a media platform dedicated to exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technology.
Hypebae is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle site for women who are trendsetters.
Hypemoon is a web3 news site for fashion, NFTs, cryptocurrencies and more.
Thought Leaders & Influencers
The metaverse fashion industry is exploding with thought leaders, creators, and influencers. From bloggers to journalists to social media celebrities, countless people bravely push the boundaries of fashion, technology, and creativity.
They stand out amongst the crowd by taking risks, experimenting with new ideas, and pushing traditional fashion norms to create something truly unique and inspiring. As the industry continues to grow, it's becoming increasingly crucial for fashion professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in order to help foster a vibrant and forward-thinking culture. Here is a list of a few of those people:
Case Studies and Common Tactics
In this section, we identify a set of common tactics that Metaverse Fashion companies currently use and feature a small selection of case studies to showcase opportunities for brand awareness, co-creation, customer loyalty and revenue streams.
Brands use a set of tactics to adapt and thrive in the metaverse. The following list is a sample of current tactics used by the companies who have successfully entered the metaverse fashion space and aim to inspire any business planning to expand their footprint into the metaverse.
Create a metaverse fashion brand, house or collection
Create branded metaverse fashion in partnership with an avatar platform or NFT fashion shop
Create an NFT-enabled fashion for holders of specific NFT projects
Create an interactive story in partnership with an NFT project and offer prizes to win co-branded NFC fashion
Create fashion in collaboration with an artist including NFCs and augmented reality, token-gated via NFTs
Create augmented reality fashion as try-ons in own app and as third-party filters
Create an engaging, branded mini mobile game for users to learn about your brand and win prizes, including NFTs & raffles
Create synergies by partnering with NFT communities to demonstrate appreciation and recognition for this growing ecosystem while also gaining visibility
Create physical fashion inspired by the style of a metaverse and digital in-game wearables
Create a pop-up virtual experience including virtual fashion in collaboration with creators
Interactive storytelling and NFC fashion
Deadfellaz x Wrangler
The Deadfellaz x Wrangler partnership was a collaboration of Web2 and Web3 that brought together art, tech and NFTs with a timeless historical brand. The campaign included a single comic slide illustrated by Deadfellaz concept artist, and invited the community to help direct the storyline by voting in multi-choice polls on social media.
Winners of the poll were rewarded with limited edition vintage jeans by the fashion brand chipped with NFC technology linking the final comic strip as an NFT. This creative partnership emphasized storytelling, tangible items and the collaborative nature of Web3.
Fashion in collaboration with an artist with NFCs and augmented reality, token-gated via NFTs
RTFKT / Nike
Clone X is an NFT collection created by Nike's RTFKT and artist Takashi Murakami, featuring limited 3D characters designed to interact in the Metaverse. Based on the characteristics (traits) of the Clone X NFT, the owner is allowed (allows fans to “forge” physical products from NFTs) to unlock and buy premium wearables e.g. limited physical hoodie for a short time period which includes an NFC chip as a proof of authenticity and a QR code that enables augmented reality wings.
NFT owners can gain early access to future NFT releases and physical products, thus creating a kind of loyalty program. Additionally, they are organising token-gated access to in-person events with the community.
Popup shops with limited skins in virtual worlds redeemable for physical products
Tommy Hilfiger x Decentraland
Tommy Hilfiger created a pop-up shop in the virtual world Decentraland where store visitors could buy limited, unique NFTs related to the label, with the option to redeem them for physical products such as the madras shirt for women and unisex hoodie bearing the Hilfiger logo.
During the Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 in Decentraland, designer Tommy Hilfiger held a fireside chat to discuss metaverse fashion with other industry leaders. For the 2023 event, the brand plans daily product drops, a community competition and to feature AI-generated fashion.
Martijn Hagman, CEO, of Tommy Hilfiger said: “It is becoming clear digital-only products and revenues from physical products in virtual worlds, will become significant in the mid to long-term.”
Rare, luxury digital and physical fashion
UNXD x Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana sold a nine-piece collection of NFTs and physical luxury fashion amongst others three richly embroidered men’s jackets, and a digital tiara for 1,885 ETH ($5.7 million in 2021) via the curated marketplace for digital luxury and culture, UNXD. Prices for digital assets were high at that time due to their novelty, rarity and craftsmanship. Each NFT included an invitation to D&Gs Alta Moda fashion event.
Augmented reality fashion as try-ons in own app and as third-party filters
Snap x DressX
DRESSX allows users to try on items in real-time with its Camera Kit integration by Snap. This integrates the physical and digital realms in a way that is immersive and engaging, as evidenced by the 75% of all app users who engage with their AR functionality and the average of 22 times per day that users try on AR looks.
Featuring their AR fashion as lenses in their Public Profile within Snapchat, DressX additionally increased their Snapchat subscriptions by 120%. On average more than 250 million Snapchat users engage with augmented reality every day.
Pop-up experience including virtual fashion in collaboration with creators
Gucci x Roblox
Gucci celebrated its 100th anniversary by creating a virtual experience on Roblox, which simulated their real-life Garden Archetypes exhibition in Florence, Italy. The experience featured themed rooms, with each visitor’s avatar taking on the appearance of a genderless blank mannequin.
Gucci partnered with a creator from the Roblox community to create limited edition virtual fashion inspired by the exhibition in Florence such as hats and bags for roughly US$5 each. This initiative saw over 19 million visits and 1.2 million hours of engagement in under 14 days.
Physical footwear inspired by the style of game characters and digital in-game wearables
Minecraft x Crocs
Crocs created a line of digital and physical footwear inspired by the Minecraft game's characters, along with customizable accessories. Minecraft users can download a free pair of Minecraft x Crocs in the ‘Dressing Room’ for use in the Character Creator.
Alo yoga x Obsess
Alo Yoga has partnered with Obsess to launch an immersive virtual shopping experience featuring a virtual store tour, fashion, customization of combinations of Alo tops and bottoms and workout videos, allowing users to browse, learn, and shop Alo’s collections via desktop, mobile, or the Meta Quest 2 VR headset.
Bespoke mobile game with branded NFTs, raffles and NFT of popular NFT artists
To celebrate its 200th birthday, Louis Vuitton released the game Louis: The Game. The game follows the protagonist, Vivienne, through six different worlds, where she attempts to collect 200 candles to celebrate Louis Vuitton's birthday. Players can customize their characters with different LV monograms and colorways, and collect postcards and memorabilia while learning about the brand's history.
Updates to the game include celebrity NFTs, two new expansion levels and ten new NFTs from some of the most popular artists in the NFT space, including Beeple and an NFT raffle featuring an anthropomorphism of the company's monogram. This game has been achieving over 2 million downloads.
Competitions for creatives to design brand-inspired metaverse fashion
UNXD x Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana and UNXD are teaming up to create a competition supporting creative talent. Participants will have the opportunity to be mentored by the Italian luxury fashion brand and have the chance to showcase their designs at Metaverse Fashion Week 2023. Contestants must submit 5-20 full digital looks incorporating iconic Dolce & Gabbana prints such as Leopard, Blue Mediterranean and DG logos.
A jury with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, alongside DGFamily holders, will pick out the winner who will have their design co-branded with Dolce&Gabbana in a digital wearable collection exclusively for DGFamily holders.
Major Brands that Entered the Space
Fashion conglomerates such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci have been pushing the boundaries of the Metaverse Fashion world in recent years. In 2019, Louis Vuitton teamed up with game developer Riot Games for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship and created a unique travel case for the Summoner's Cup trophy and high-end skins alongside other digital assets.
Moreover, sportswear giant Nike has also begun to make its presence known in the Metaverse Fashion world. Acquiring the metaverse fashion brand RTFKT has allowed the company to launch collections of virtual sneakers and apparel using technology such as blockchain, AR and NFC and is working towards building a strong base within the Metaverse Fashion space. In the six months following the RTFKT acquisition, Nike made over $150 million from metaverse fashion and avatar sales.
The businesses listed are just a few examples of the major fashion companies that have all started to dip their toes into the Metaverse Fashion space. The industry is moving fast, so this is not a complete list but a demonstration of how curious and eager brands are to explore the space in many different ways. Some take a fully immersive approach, while others opt for a more subtle integration of technology and design.
As technology continues to evolve and immersive experiences gain more popularity, it is expected that many more of these companies will begin to explore this new field. With the right initiatives and partnerships in place, Metaverse Fashion has the potential to become a major force in the fashion industry.
The Future of Metaverse Fashion
Acknowledging the challenges discussed earlier, the future of metaverse fashion looks incredibly promising. There are plenty of opportunities for fashion makers and innovators to take advantage of.
We developed eight hypotheses regarding the future of metaverse fashion based on our research into the current trends and developments in the industry.
Our findings suggest that metaverse fashion will be characterized by an ever-evolving combination of virtual, augmented and physical elements: As virtual and augmented reality technology advances, it’s becoming easier and more affordable for designers to create metaverse clothing and metaverse accessories. This new innovation will further drive a wave of creativity and possibility that few ever dreamed would be possible.
More and more brands will embrace this new digital world and reimagine their strategies for a more interactive and immersive experience.
Being actively immersed in the metaverse industry themselves, we will see a growing number of digital natives creating their own successful metaverse fashion brands due to their deep understanding of the target group and industry.
The metaverse will become a significant revenue addition to the traditional e-commerce market for fashion businesses.
Jobs will evolve and new jobs will be created such as virtual fashion designer, NFT partnership manager, metaverse strategist, avatar designer, virtual influencer, metaverse event manager, and metaverse marketer.
In the near future, it is likely that the real and virtual worlds will become more entwined in some way. We can expect virtual clothes and accessories to blend seamlessly with physical garments, giving them a whole new dimension.
The appreciation and recognition of the value of digital items including metaverse fashion will increase. As digital items become more integral to daily life, businesses must learn how to leverage their digital presence to remain competitive and relevant. We have already seen this taking place in the realms of gaming.
At the heart of the metaverse fashion industry are the emergence of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. For example, using artificial intelligence will further enable creators to quickly create high-fidelity 2D and 3D models of garments and jewellery from sketches and other forms of inspiration. This, coupled with algorithms capable of understanding natural language, will change how designers and innovators conceptualise, customise products at scale and assemble large collections of products.
We believe that metaverse fashion provides a great opportunity and is still in its infancy compared to its future market potential.
People buy Metaverse Fashion to express themselves, gain ownership, receive utility, set trends, explore limitless designs, experience affordability, virtually try on items, gain convenience, and facilitate control and co-creation.
Businesses enter the metaverse fashion industry for access to a new, growing community of different subcultures and demographics, engaging, reaching, and inspiring customer bases, unleashing creativity, taking advantage of viral trends, using new marketing tactics, expanding production and revenue, exploring new business models, and synergies from partnerships.
The metaverse fashion market size is projected to reach USD 6.61 billion in 2026 with a CAGR of 36.47%.
Key market drivers include advances in technology, increasing fashion brands entering the metaverse, rising demand for 3D designs and virtual spaces, and the popularity of influencers and streaming platforms.
Market challenges include lack of interoperability of avatars, privacy and security concerns, high entry barriers, limited consumer awareness, uncertain impact on business, lack of proven business cases, missing know-how and expertise, and potential environmental impacts.
The metaverse fashion ecosystem landscape includes media, use cases, creators, user interfaces, technology and identity.
Appreciation and recognition of the value of digital items, including metaverse fashion, is expected to increase.
Experiences in the metaverse provide an interactive and engaging way for fashion brands to connect with a greater number of individuals.
Major fashion brands and companies, such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Nike, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas, have started to explore the metaverse fashion space.
Exciting metaverse fashion tactics and case studies include creating a metaverse fashion brand/house/collection, creating fashion in collaboration with an artist with NFCs and augmented reality, creating augmented reality fashion as try-ons in own app and as third-party filters, creating a pop-up virtual experience including virtual fashion in collaboration with creators and creating fashion inspired by the style of game characters and digital in-game wearables.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language and recognising images. AI can be used to create virtual models, generate personalised fashion recommendations, and automate design processes.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays digital information or images onto the real world, typically viewed through a device such as a smartphone or tablet. AR can be used to overlay virtual clothing or accessories onto a user's physical appearance, allowing them to experience different fashion styles and designs without physically trying them on.
An Avatar is a digital representation of a person or a character in the metaverse. It can be customised to look and act like its user or designed to fulfill a specific role or function. Avatars can be customised with various clothing, accessories, and other items to create a unique virtual identity.
Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions and provides transparency and security. In the context of metaverse fashion, blockchain can be used to verify the authenticity of metaverse clothing items and enable secure buying and selling within experiences.
Collectibles refer to unique and valuable digital items, such as metaverse clothing, accessories, or avatars, that can be bought, sold, and traded within immersive worlds and online marketplaces. These items are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, and can sometimes appreciate in value over time.
Drop refers to a limited-time event where a new metaverse fashion item or collection is released for purchase or free distribution. These drops often create hype and excitement within the metaverse fashion community, similar to real-world fashion drops.
Forging is a process that allows users to use their Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to receive a physical twin of the NFT or any other merchandise. Through forging, users can turn their digital assets such as artwork and collectibles into physical products like clothing, jewellery, and other items.
Freemium refers to a business model where basic features of a product or service are offered for free, but more advanced features require payment. This could mean offering a basic selection of metaverse clothing and accessories for free, but charging for premium items or customisation options.
Gen Z refers to the generation born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, who are currently in their teens and early twenties. They are considered a key demographic as they are digital natives who are comfortable navigating virtual spaces and are driving the demand for innovative and expressive fashion in these spaces.
Interactive storytelling involves creating a narrative that allows users to participate actively in the story through their avatars or NFTs. It is a way to engage users and create a more immersive and personalised experience within the metaverse.
Interoperability in metaverse fashion refers to the ability of different worlds or platforms to communicate and interact seamlessly with each other, allowing users to access and use fashion items across various virtual environments. This means that a user could wear the same metaverse outfit or accessory in multiple worlds without needing to purchase it again for each world.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology used to wirelessly transfer data between two devices in close proximity. It is used to enable digital payments, authentication, and smart clothing features.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain, making them impossible to replicate or replace. NFTs can represent virtual fashion items that can be bought, sold, and traded like physical fashion items, providing a new way for people to express themselves and own unique pieces of metaverse fashion.
Phygital fashion refers to the integration of physical and digital elements in fashion which could involve creating metaverse garments that can be worn in the digital world and replicated as physical garments in the real world.
A PFP or profile picture NFT is a unique digital asset that can represent an individual's online identity in the metaverse and social media. It is often used in the context of metaverse fashion as a way for individuals to showcase their personal style and express their virtual identity. Unlike a regular profile picture, a PFP is a NFT, which means it is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. This makes it possible to prove ownership and authenticity of the PFP.
Royalties refer to a percentage of the revenue earned by the original creator of a non-fungible token (NFT) every time it is resold on a secondary market. Royalties would enable fashion designers to earn a percentage of the revenue every time their digital fashion items are sold or traded within the metaverse.
Skin refers to the outermost layer of an avatar in the metaverse, which can be customised to alter its appearance and texture. Skins play a crucial role in creating a unique and personalised avatar look.
Smart mirrors are essentially mirrors that are equipped with technology such as cameras and sensors, enabling them to provide interactive and personalised experiences to users. Smart mirrors can be used to virtually try on and customise clothing and accessories, allowing users to experiment with different styles and looks.
Token-gated fashion refers to a business model in the metaverse where access to virtual fashion items is restricted to users who hold certain tokens. These tokens act as a form of key and give users exclusive access to metaverse fashion items, creating a sense of exclusivity and rarity.
Try-ons refer to the use of augmented reality technology to allow users to virtually try on and visualise clothing and accessories in a digital environment. It enables users to experience and evaluate different fashion items without the need for physical presence, making online shopping more interactive and personalized.
Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with using specialized equipment such as a headset. It allows individuals to create and customize their avatars' appearance and clothing, enabling them to express their personal style in immersive worlds.
Virtual showrooms are digital spaces where people can view and interact with virtual representations of fashion products in a metaverse environment, without needing physical stores. They allow for immersive and personalized shopping experiences, often using advanced technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
Virtual worlds are digital spaces where users can interact with each other and their surroundings using avatars.
Web3 refers to the decentralized web where users have more control over their data and interactions, enabled by blockchain technology. In the context of metaverse fashion, Web3 can allow for unique digital fashion items owned and controlled by the user rather than the platform and can be easily transferred.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this report constitutes or contains financial advice. Purchasing and selling metaverse fashion and NFTs has inherent financial risks. Please do your own research and seek professional financial advice for your own personal circumstances.
Patricia Haueiss | Metaverse, NFT & web3 consultant
Patricia is a metaverse, NFT, and web3 consultant and one of Australia's Top 100 Innovators. She assists brands in becoming metaverse-ready and enables businesses to enter the web3 technology, NFTs, DAOs and metaverse space. Patricia is the creator of the NFT Marketing Canvas and the AR/VR ecosystem report. Patricia is co-founder of Power Women, a community to empower women in business and web3 and host and organiser of the Metaverse Meetup Sydney.