From wearing virtual belts or pairs of shoes to storing things in bags that don’t actually exist, digital fashion is taking the internet by storm. Rolling with the theme, Gucci has recently released a USD$12 (GBP8.75) pair of virtual sneakers. Taking advantage of the recent switch to digital media as a way of connecting with others during the pandemic, Gucci is just one of the brands giving the fashion-conscious a chance to dress their online double in luxury garb.
Designed by an Italian fashion designer and the creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, and a Belarusian design studio, Wanna, the sneakers can be purchased on Gucci’s and Wanna’s apps. And if you are not sure if the sneakers are the right fit, Gucci’s app even lets shoppers try the footwear out for size in a virtual fitting room.
So what’s the point, you may find yourself asking. Firstly, you can take photos and videos of yourself wearing your new kicks and share them with your family and friends. The sneakers can also be used in several digital spaces and fitted on aviators in games such as Roblox.
This is not the first time Gucci has offered their clothing virtually. The Italian brand has already made attire for players of games such as Drest, Sims 4 and Pokémon Go, targeting digitally-minded Gen Z consumers. And with their low prices and unlimited stocks, the luxury products are a hit with shoppers who can’t quite afford the real thing.
Gucci is not the only brand that is dabbling in digital fashion. Online marketplaces, such as Dress-X and XR Couture, are connecting digital fashion designers and customers looking for that special online outfit. And it’s all very simple. Shoppers pick their 3D design and submit a photo, while the digital tailors do the rest. The shopper ends up with an image of themselves wearing their new outfit, which often mixes reality and fantasy.
With a low price range and a high coolness factor, digital clothing is targeted at younger generations and luxury fashion enthusiasts looking for something a little different. “Our customer is the luxury customer who wants to try something new — they are already wearing Celine bags in the images … and half of our customers are between 25 and 35,” says the co-founder of Dress-X, Daria Shapovalova.
While digital clothing is still not usually being sold as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are collectables that may be potentially used as investments, this may not be such a far-out idea. RTFKT Studios already sells virtual sneakers as tradeable collectables. Recently, RFKT has collaborated with a digital artist, Fewocious, releasing three pairs of limited-edition sneakers. The pairs were priced at $3,000 (GBP2,186), $5,000 (GBP3,643) and $10,000 (GBP7,287), and 621 pairs were sold in a seven-minute period.