The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar business where every year collector’s items are sold for hallucinatory amounts. Fashion is primarily about the aesthetic aspect, whereby we invest in items that we find beautiful.
But more and more it is also becoming a way to express your status. As a wealthy person, you may like to be noticed for your more expensive clothing style. Think of expensive watches that are only too happy to be shown on social media.
But what about the development of the Metaverse? After all, we also want to shine in the Metaverse with our excellent clothing that reflects our financial status.
And even more: by means of these digital wearables, we can generate an income ourselves by trading with this collector’s item. Are digital wearables and wear-to-earn the latest fashion trend? Find out in this article!
What is the Metaverse?
Before we see what digital wearables are, you should first know what the Metaverse is, if you didn’t already know that. The Metaverse is the digital environment that hopes to become a perfect reflection of today’s society. In these virtual 3D spaces you can create your own economy by means of your unique avatar and thus earn money in different ways.
Facebook’s parent company announced a name change in 2021, namely Meta. This is a direct indication that big names, such as Zuckerberg, have full confidence in this new development in the Metaverse.
What is Wear-To-Earn?
The Metaverse consists of several unique avatars, each of which can be personalized with a set of predetermined items. By integrating clothing as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), avatars take on a whole new dimension and you have the opportunity to completely differentiate yourself from other avatars. At the moment you already have several options for buying clothes as NFT. Think of ICE Poker in Decentraland (MANA). In addition to status, this NFT Wearable also gives you a higher rank, and in this way you earn more tokens during the game. Until now, clothing has mainly been an in-game application.
Wear-to-earn is the principle whereby you can generate an income with your unique clothing by trading these digital wearables, in the form of NFTs, in the Metaverse. Users can shop for their favorite items in digital stores and then wear them. Just like any NFT, they can then trade these items of clothing again and earn money from them. With these realized profits you can then buy more expensive items, showing your environment and your financial status.
The importance of clothing
We often don’t think about it, but clothing says much more about a person than we think. The expression ‘the clothes make the man‘ is therefore regularly used. Every person is unique, whereby he or she also consciously chooses a certain clothing style. Think of subcultures that adhere to a certain dress code to express their emotions and preferences. But also school uniforms and youth associations make use of this. But besides expression, clothing is also a way to show your (financial) status.
People with well-filled bank accounts are only too happy to impress with expensive watches and glittering accessories, which the average person would have to work for a year. Clothing is a way to show your status to your fellow man. It is therefore not surprising that especially young children want designer clothes in order to get a sense of belonging and not to be inferior.
Clothing is therefore a distinguishing factor. These can determine whether or not people are hired for a certain position, but this is also an indirect signal to the environment. But does this aspect disappear with the arrival of the Metaverse? Let’s look at the importance of wear-to-earn.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality is a reflection of reality, to which other factors can be added by computer-controlled programs. Think of a furniture store, where you can take a picture of your living room and then effortlessly upload certain accessories to your photo from their website. This way you can see at a glance whether the new work of art, or your new sofa, looks good in your living room.
But this technology also applies when we talk about clothing. Currently, avatars are still used in the Metaverse, but the future is evolving in such a way that your avatar is a perfect copy of you as a person. This means the same physical characteristics such as hair color, eye color, and the like. And clothing is also increasingly becoming an important factor. At the moment you can choose between a limited number of items of clothing, which are anything but unique. It is therefore not surprising that, in addition to separate physical characteristics, a large part of the Metaverse wears the same clothing. This is due to a lack of supply and a lack of current technology.
Yet we are on the eve of a very important development that can take the Metaverse to a higher level, namely the wear-to-earn principle. This will make it possible to buy and trade unique clothing, as it is possible in reality. Each item of clothing is a non-fungible token that sets you apart from the rest.
Red DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous organization focused on the world of fashion. Megan Kaspar, a member of Red DAO and director of Magnetic Capital, even told Cointelegraph that she believes fashion NFTs will become Web 3.0‘s largest NFT category in the future.
Currently, we already see various aspects of clothing as NFTs, but they are mainly used in the gaming industry. These have a certain function in the game and are not so much an aesthetic accessory. For example, at ICE Poker, the poker tournament in Decentraland, we see that users must have NFT Wearables before they can participate. The more unique the choice, the more they earn. This is completely independent of the aesthetic choice and only has an in-game application.
Developers are therefore talking about digital cabinets where you can go shopping in the future, as you do now at your favorite clothing store. Kaspar also says that several companies are already creating these digital wardrobes.
Dolce & Gabbana NFT Collection
It is no surprise to fashion connoisseurs that Dolce & Gabbana is a pioneer in innovation and always responds to the latest trends. Earlier this year in 2021, Dolce & Gabbana already launched their own NFT collection, to give a signal that they too are participating in the crypto revolution.
Via UNDX, an NFT marketplace for digital culture, the fashion house has launched its own collection called “Collezione Genesi”. The series, consisting of 9 uniquely different pieces, is designed exclusively for UNXD. In addition to physical items, the collection also contains digital items in the form of NFTs. These are also exclusively designed by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce themselves. The collection thus contains both digital and physical works, making it the first luxury NFT collection that bridges the gap between the physical world and the world of NFTs.
The above work is called “The Mosaic Impossible Jacket” and it stems from the idea that the only limitation in digital design is one’s imagination, according to Dolce & Gabbana. These unique items are thus sold in physical form as well as NFT. This collector’s item sold for a whopping 97,4359 wETH, which was the equivalent of $419,465.13 at the time.
Remarkable in the collection is this ‘Doge Crown’. This glittering crown is not only an eye-catcher but also an item that has been sold for a record amount via UNXD. The winning bid was a whopping 423.5 wETH, which is extremely valuable with a street value of $1.82 million. Are you a Dolce & Gabbana fan yourself and do you have some money to spend? View the entire collection here.
UNXD is itself busy designing its own marketplace, in which all high-fashion items can be bought and then traded. These unique pieces can then be carried through all portals in the Metaverse. In this way, you also show your digital fellow man that you come from a certain class and/or that you are very fashion-conscious. In this way, you also obtain a certain status in the Metaverse.
Besides the aesthetic function of these beautiful and unique items, it also has a certain utility function. Thus, each NFT gives you access to their exclusive events. This gives you priority over buying tickets for their fashion shows and you get more privileges when buying collector’s items.
We see more and more wearable NFTs appearing through OpenSea’s NFT trading platform. For example, we see the very successful collection of Gravity Footwear, made by JoeyKhamis. The collection consists of 25 unique 3D designs, each with its own style. The collection of just 25 items has an already traded volume of 53.9 Ethereum with a bottom price of 1.099 Ethereum.
The future of digital wearables
Fashion and innovation are two terms that often go hand-in-hand. Big brands make a big impression at every new fashion show and therefore want to be an unmistakable part of the future. Currently, the play-to-earn principle is very popular and blockchain technology is also seeing a significant increase in the number of gamers. In order to increase access to DeFi and blockchain, they hope to appeal to a whole new target group by means of the wear-to-earn principle.
The video below provides an introduction to these digital wearables:
Ethics and sustainability
When we think of fashion, we often think of fast fashion. This is the principle, whereby clothes are made in very bad conditions. In low-wage countries, children are called in to make clothes for a starvation wage, which are then exported to the West. Despite the fact that several measures have been taken in the past, this remains a pain point in the fashion industry. By digitizing these items, optimists hope that this will have an effect on the fast-fashion industry and therefore less clothing will be produced under appalling conditions.
However, sustainability is another important aspect. Clothing has a certain lifespan and every year we buy new clothing. Due to the principle of clothing such as NFTs, these have infinite durability. There is no wear or anything like that. And even better: are you ready for new items? Then you can trade your NFT and in the best case also earn a lot of money. So you earn, as it were, by trading clothing, in an ethical and sustainable way!
Pioneer in the development of Metaverse is Decentraland (MANA); the virtual platform where you can buy land and then build a whole new life. One of the latest developments in this regard is Decentral Games, which already use clothing as a utility. Until now, this was mainly an in-game application, where clothing offered you a certain privilege.
But Decentraland is much more than that. This way you can visit friends virtually and attend events. During these events, these digital wearables are indispensable, because you want to show those around you that you are a real fashionista. We like to show our status through clothing and this is no different in the Metaverse.
The past few years have taught us how much importance we attach to the internet and how much is possible online. This in combination with the development of Metaverse opens the way to a completely new, and above all digital, future. In addition to in-game applications, which exploded in 2021, we now also see the importance of fashion.
In reality, we like to spend money on collector’s items to distinguish ourselves through clothing. Think of expensive jewelry, limited-edition collections, and exclusive shoes. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, this is also increasingly becoming a status symbol. And with the development of the Metaverse, this is no different. We also want to distinguish ourselves through our digital avatar and how can we do this better than through clothing? Even big brands such as Dolce & Gabbana come up with their own digital wearable collection where you can shine in the Metaverse with your very expensive crown.