Blockchain-enabled digital fashion creates new business models for brands

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may be disrupting the multi-trillion-dollar fashion industry, but NFTs are just one piece of a larger puzzle that is revolutionizing the space. Instead, blockchain technology as a whole continues to be a game-changer for the fashion industry.

While blockchain-based supply chains are some of the earliest use cases for how the technology can be used Can help detect fraudulent items, digital wearables built on blockchain networks are now coming into play. Megan Kaspar, co-founder and managing director of privately held crypto and blockchain investment and incubation firm Magnetic, told Cointelegraph that digital fashion is a very powerful use case for blockchain technology. However, she noted that many brands are still unaware of the value blockchain can provide in creating new business models.

The rise of digital fashion and its impact

To explain the huge opportunities blockchain can bring to the fashion world today, Kaspar noted that all brands will initially move to a “digital-first” model in the near future:

“This is where collections are created digitally in the first place, either in-house or outsourced to a company. The digital-first process reduces time, effort and money, all without the need to preview collections before production. The collection can then be digitally tailored Digital collections superimposed on photos.”

To put that in perspective, Casper recently graced the cover of the January issue. senior livingIt’s unique because it’s the first fashion magazine cover in the US to feature digital luxury designer clothing on the human body. also, senior living The cover is equipped with a QR code that generates an augmented reality try-on feature, allowing readers to scan the barcode to see how each digital item will look. The designs were created by Fendi and digitized by DressX, and can then be purchased directly on the Fendi website.

Megan Kaspar on the cover of Haute Living January 2022 in a digital Fendi dress.Source: Senior Living

While innovative from a marketing standpoint, digital-first fashion has other benefits.For example, Adrienne Faurote, Fashion Director senior living, mentioned in her feature story Gone are the “days of shipping 20+ boxes of clothes around the world”. This is an important point to consider, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic causing many supply chain issues, such as global container delays.

It is also important to note that for a digital-first model, a blockchain network is not required. DressX co-founder Daria Shapovalova told Cointelegraph that while Kaspar is wearing a Fendi outfit on the cover senior living Fully digital, they are not NFTs:

“By launching the first digital cover in the US, we aim to promote digital fashion to a mainstream audience, making the Fendi AR try-on feature free for everyone. On the other hand, releasing these items as NFTs means that digital assets and AR will be Belonging only to NFT holders, this will greatly limit the ability of viewers to interact with digital clothing.”

According to Shapovalova, while NFTs can bring many opportunities to the digital fashion industry, such as providing a sense of belonging and scarcity effects, this is not what DressX intends to achieve with this particular campaign. Kamal Hotchandani, COO of Advanced Media Group, added, senior living The cover shows how mainstream publishing capabilities are moving to the digital realm with the rise of shoppable editorials and augmented reality (AR) try-on features.

However, when blockchain capabilities are applied to this combination, the benefits become even greater. For example, blockchain technology is enabling Web3 e-commerce between digital and physical goods.

Justin Banon, co-founder of decentralized commerce platform Boson Protocol, told Cointelegraph that the company has developed a base layer for Web3 that enables smart contracts to execute e-commerce transactions in a virtual metaverse environment. Due to the functionality provided by smart contracts on the Boson blockchain network, Banon said it can solve the trust issues that can arise in a Metaverse setup:

“For example, if one enters a virtual world and encounters another avatar who is selling a car, one might wonder how the transaction is safe. The Boson Protocol works by allowing the sale of NFTs with coded game theory, which can then be redeemed for reality Items of the world, acting as a layer of trust between the Metaverse and the universe.”

Blockchain is crucial here as a trusted layer between Web3 commerce transactions, especially for major brands like Nike and Adidas Open a store in Metaverse. Digitizing items as NFTs becomes the next step required to sell items in a virtual environment, which brings additional functionality.

For example, Kaspar explained that digital-first collections can be sold individually as NFTs, and then if buyers want to own the physical item, they can then be manufactured: “Using blockchain technology and NFTs can provide production quantities, visibility of each garment, and First globally accessible historical time. Limited-edition products and on-demand production could easily be a by-product of Web3.”

Banon added that while 2021 will be largely focused on brands selling NFT fashion, this year will see a greater push for “digital physical” or “physical.” According to Banon, this is when brands sell physical fashion items related to their NFT counterparts in the Web3 ecosystem. “Think of a physical sneaker with a wearable version of an NFT,” Banon said.this is recently Shows 10,000 NFT sneakers created by crypto fashion brand RTFKT in collaboration with “CryptoPunks”. Create a pair of custom sneakers for each released “CryptoPunk” and give it to its rightful owner to wear.

The transparency provided by the blockchain network is also beneficial. For example, Casper noted that limited-edition fashion droplets appeal to certain consumers. Therefore, when they are sold as digital NFTs, it is possible to understand how many projects really exist in the blockchain network. This was recently at Dolce & Gabbana Introducing the nine-piece “Collezione Genesi” NFT collection.

Although the Fendi series is senior livingThe issue in January 2022 is not NFTs, with DressX co-founder Natalia Modenova telling Cointelegraph that non-fungible tokens will provide the next layer of utility in the fashion industry:

“NFTs maximize opportunities and open up new frontiers for self-expression and creativity. We compare NFTs to high-end fashion or haute couture because it provides a sense of belonging, scarcity and luxury, which is not the case in the digital world. is impossible to achieve.”

How soon will digital-first fashion be adopted?

While a digital-first model can offer the fashion industry many advantages, there are also challenges that can hinder adoption. For example, while the authenticity of the digital Fendi collection on Kaspar is noteworthy, the amount of work required to create this effect is enormous.

In this regard, Modenova said that the process of clothing digitalization has always relied on the materials provided by the brand. “All nine Fendi garments were digitized from photographs, recreating the fabrics, patterns and silhouettes of luxury garments in 3D from scratch,” Kaspar said, adding that all elements of fashion design – such as shape, colour , space, form, texture, etc. – play a fundamental role in digitizing clothing to create the perfect visual design. As such, the process requires professionalism, which can be difficult to obtain given that the field is still emerging.

related: Unlocking utilities key to fashion brands launching NFTs in 2022

This challenge does not appear to have affected the role that blockchain may continue to play in fashion. Moving forward, Hotchandani said, senior living It is planned to convert all magazine covers to NFTs. “Our covers are artwork and content that is relevant to that moment, so I feel that creating NFTs for our covers provides another way to express our art and have a permanent home on the blockchain.”

Modenova points out that the rise of the metaverse has led to “meta-fashion,” noting that digital assets that were once only used for gaming are now being designed to wear digital versions of humans:

“People from tech and gaming backgrounds quickly understand this, but now, the mainstream is actively following. This is a common pattern that emerges when launching innovative products. Wearables are the most natural extension of Metaverse and the Metaverse economy. the most important pillar.”