Written by Lokesh Rao, CEO and Co-Founder of Trace network laboratories
The world of technology is constantly changing. For some, the metaverse is seen as the next evolution in the way we use the internet and how we interact, work and play online.
The term metaverse has made several turns in the video game world as more and more video game platforms adopt virtual reality environments that allow simultaneous interactions between multiple users. In some ways, this is seen as the next step in how we interact on various platforms.
What is the metaverse?
Recent advancements in the Metaverse talks include Facebook’s groundbreaking announcement to change the company’s name to Meta in what is expected to be a major rebranding that will direct the company’s attention to the Metaverse.
By unveiling the new company name, Mark Zuckerberg said that “the existing brand might not represent everything we do today, let alone in the future.”
He further added that the company aims to continue to be seen as a “metaverse company”.
Already, plans are underway for hire 10,000 in the EU to work on developing a metaverse for Facebook.
Despite the growing interest of giant tech companies like Facebook in the metaverse, the origins of the term go back further than the social media giant.
Neal Stephenson’s techno-thriller novel “Snow Crash” first mentioned the term metaverse. The book, which has attracted a cult following since its release, introduced the idea of a metaverse as a type of virtual reality website where people can connect with each other and with their virtual surroundings using avatars.
Given that we are currently in a Web 2.0 generation of the Internet, the Metaverse is seen as an upgrade to a Web 3.0 Internet experience where decentralized but interoperable applications are the norm and users can switch between platforms. form to each other using universal digital identities. The metaverse should be a world where users have real ownership of the digital assets, reputations and tools they bring together online with registered ownership with immutable decentralized ledger technologies.
As it stands, Facebook isn’t the only player to rub shoulders with the idea of a metaverse. Several large companies from various sectors are looking to become key players in this growing market with continued developments in virtual reality platforms.
The metaverse in the fashion industry
In the fashion industry, the metaverse has become an expensive playground, with the world’s largest and most profitable luxury brands rushing to take over the metaverse quickly. This is seen in the increased adoption of VR films by fashion designers such as Denis Francisco.
Francisco’s use of a digital medium to display his collection (originally a workaround for travel bans and bans) is increasingly becoming a global trend. Bigger players such as Toni Maticevski take a more pragmatic approach using augmented and virtual reality, letting fashion enthusiasts try out different models in virtual reality.
Along with individual artists embracing virtual reality to show off their talent, huge luxury conglomerates such as Balenciaga, Kering, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton are embracing technologies that enable a metaverse-like experience.
What else, Balenciaga is working with Epic Games (makers of Fortnite) to create virtual handheld props and weapons that players could purchase in the Fortnite metaverse.
Simply put, the implications of the metaverse for independent brands and fashion designers in an Internet Web 3.0 are enormous. In addition to the metaverse, the NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in a Web 3.0 metaverse experience are able to allow people to fully immerse themselves in the artistic culture embraced by the fashion industry while having true ownership of the items. of fashion and luxury that they buy.
Independent brands and fashion designers will also have more accessible monetization methods and greater control over their products.
For those reasons, and for multiple reasons, here’s a breakdown of why traditional fashion brands should consider the benefits that come with the metaverse and NFTs as the internet moves towards a Web 3.0 experience.
True ownership of physical and digital fashion items
If you are already familiar with blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens, you know how revolutionary NFTs can be for the fashion industry. So far, NFTs have been all the rage in the digital art scene, with auction prices skyrocketing in NFT auction markets such as OpenSea.
In a metaverse situation, however, NFTs can completely change the way people interact with fashion brands and bring true ownership of digital fashion items.
Using NFTs, fashion brands will be able to display clothing in a metaverse that can be purchased inside the metaverse or traded with other users in a decentralized virtual marketplace. Since NFTs are traceable and unique on the blockchain, the problem of fake fashion items will be a thing of the past as every digital wearable item will be verifiable on the blockchain.
A new source of income for fashion brands
By using NFT in a metaverse, fashion brands will have access to a new source of revenue. Instead of selling only physical products and charging people for each visit to the virtual showroom, fashion brands will be able to make money by selling their virtual items and clothing in a decentralized marketplace. They will also be able to reach a larger pool of fashion enthusiasts who will be able to participate without being in physical proximity to the brand. For example, a fashion enthusiast in a remote part of the world will still be able to enjoy the showrooms and virtual wearable items produced by the fashion brand. Distinguished brands will also be able to stand out even more with unique editions of fashion and luxury products in the virtual world as well as in the real world. Fashion brands and fashion designers will also receive royalties for secondary trading of their products through an Internet Web 3.0.
An environmentally friendly industry
As Generation Z becomes more environmentally conscious, the inherent traceability of NFTs will enable fashion brands to give their conscious customers the confirmation of environmentally friendly products.
NFTs are therefore becoming an easy way for brands to show their customers that they are striving to achieve sustainable goals and practices. More importantly, consumers will be able to verify whether a product is truly sustainable or not by verifying the authenticity and origin of the NFT on the blockchain.
A personalized touch
Fashion brands and independent designers in a Web 3.0 world will be able to better connect with their customers by providing them with a more personalized and immersive experience. Digital native customers, as well as millennials and Gen Zers, prefer to partner with brands that deliver unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.
In a virtual world driven by NFT, brands and designers will be able to offer personalized experiences and special editions on an individual basis. Established fashion brands will be able to offer personalized clothing to their customers, while smaller brands and independent designers will always stand out by offering limited edition models. The metaverse through NFTs will continually push the fashion industry into what is called the ‘experience economy’, where the key value proposition is based on delivering experiences to customers as opposed to physical products.
NFTs and the metaverse world of Web 3.0 allow fashion brands to market their products in less expensive and creative ways, as they won’t have to worry about shipping physical inventory and setting up physical stores or showrooms. Fashion brands will be able to create truly unique shopping and entertainment experiences for their customers.
How fashion brands can prepare for the metaverse
Given the above benefits that NFTs and a Web 3.0 metaverse will bring to fashion brands, companies in the fashion industry need to start preparing now before risking losing their competitive edge as the virtual world becomes. reality.
In the gaming world as well as the digital art space, NFTs are all the rage, with a wave of excitement that the metaverse is becoming the topic of conversation in both industries. The fashion industry is no stranger to embracing new frontiers, and the metaverse is set to become the next big thing for fashion brands who are now going to get their feet wet with NFTs. and other Web 3.0 infrastructures.
About the Author:
Lokesh Rao is the CEO and co-founder of Trace network laboratories and has been working in the field of enterprise technology for over 12 years helping fashion companies acquire and implement technology. He has been actively developing solutions for businesses using DLT and Blockchain technology since 2017. With Trace network Labs, the vision is to create a technology platform that will allow luxury brands to launch multi-channel and multiverse products for the ‘digital twin. Aka Avatars in the Metaverse.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.