The second annual Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) hit the virtual runway this year from March 28–31 via a collaboration between Spatial — a 3D social network platform — and Over, a blockchain-based augmented reality (AR) platform.
This year’s event saw over 60 brands, including legacy names such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Gucci. Like last year, the event combined digital runways, panels with industry thought leaders and designers, and afterparties.
However, one of the main attractions occurred on the event’s last day, March 31, when a hybrid AR runway from Over was cast across the Piazza of Duomo di Milano — one of Milan’s most iconic locations.
Diego Di Tommaso, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Over, told Cointelegraph that core components of the fashion industry include projecting identities and creating narratives around brands.
“AR, specifically, is regarded as the new and exciting medium that allows brands to tell their stories and showcase their creations more compellingly and intuitively.”
Tommaso said the “impression, understanding and emotion” that consumers get from an item presented in AR vs. 2D is incomparable. According to the co-founder, AR catwalks, augmented shop windows and AR virtual try-on are only scratching the surface of what’s to come for the fashion industry.
“As soon as consumer-ready smart glasses hit the market, there will be no brand without an AR strategy.”
This AR runway featured large-scale virtual models who paraded across the plaza in cutting-edge digital designs from the participating brands, including Balmain x Space Runners and Pet Liger, part of the Gucci “VAULT” project. Even some notable Bored Ape Yacht Club personalities walked the runway.
Over shared with Cointelegraph that guests called the event a “new level of experience,” bringing digital fashion to a “whole new stage.”
Dave Carr, the head of creative strategy and partnership at Over, told Cointelegraph that AR differs from the metaverse because viewers don’t have to sit in front of a computer or strap on an “unwieldy VR headset” to have the experience.
“With AR, the metaverse comes to you. You can be present among real people while enhancing your surroundings with amazing immersive digital content.”
Carr hinted that future developments from Over would even allow engagement with the AR models through speaking and deciding on outfits, indicating “huge implications for brands and retailers.”