Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) wrapped March 28, after four days of virtual reality events hosted in the browser-based platform Decentraland. Alongside large-scale brands and big name designers, the event also was host to emerging creators and retailers who hadn’t yet made their foray into the metaverse. To help in a number of the digital debuts, web3 venture studio Kollectiff used its already established skills and presence to develop an appropriate venue for runway shows and afterparties by brands and artists looking to collide fashion with the digital world.
The innovation lab, which is focused on the intersection of media and blockchain technology, builds tools and solutions to aid brands in their adoption of web3 and the metaverse. It hopes to allow those interested to create in the virtual world “in a way that is complementary to their brand identity and core offering”.
In an interview with FashionUnited, the company’s CEO Tino Vivo said: “What makes Kollectiff unique is that, for our non-big brand clients, we fund projects that we believe in.”
As part of its MVFW activation, Kollectiff developed and launched the MetaLoop, an event venue located on its own block of land within Decentraland. For the long weekend, the MetaLoop became the home of a series of runway show collaborations, the only location to do so next to the main event, with a selection of labels and retailers, some of which were making their first steps into this new digital terrain.
Fast fashion e-tailer Cider and semi-couture brand Christine Massarany, as well as digital fashion platform DressX and non-fungible token (NFT) artists The Rebels and 8sian, were among those presenting throughout the weekend.
When asked why MVFW appealed to these brands, Vivo said: “The idea of having international IRL [in-real-life] events like these having a presence or correlation in the metaverse is exciting and forward-thinking. Suppose we believe the metaverse is the default shared virtual experience or environment in which we come together to play, learn, build or grow — in that case, it makes sense for brands to look for ways to establish an early presence in these types of activations.”
Vivo continued: “We are still at the nascent stage of the metaverse, and events like these aim to increase the adoption from both brands (content creators) and international audiences.”
“We are still at the nascent stage of the metaverse…”
And it seems as though the event paid off. “We’ve received amazing feedback from the brands and the general public,” Vivo said, adding that “thousands of people” had shown up to the MetaLoop venue.
Alongside the cohort of runway shows, Kollectiff also hosted afterparties by its partners, artists and sponsors, one of which was presented by Argentinian rapper Nicki Nicole. On the afterparty activations, Vivo said: “We thought it would add another layer to the experience we were developing and aimed to mimic real-world activities that surround international events like these: satellite events.”
Kollectiff also made its debut into fashion during the event, with the unveiling of its first collection of Metahelmets next to a limited edition clothing line. The NFTs and digital wearables, produced in collaboration with DressX, are part of a project the company had developed to both bring together the virtual and real world while avoiding the negative output often produced through the tangible fashion creation process.
It is this reason that Vivo believes the metaverse is fundamental to fashion’s long-term lifespan. “The metaverse is important to the future of the fashion industry because there is so much fashion waste,” he said. “With FashionTech and artificial intelligence, people are able to create and try on garments without waste, unless an NFT is minted on the blockchain.”
It is this clear sustainable advantage that has been one of the prominent causes of fashion’s recent growth through online platforms, as more and more designers take to the metaverse as a sustainable creative outlet.
“We have plans to expand the concept of the MetaLoop, but more importantly, to expand what digital fashion could mean in the coming years,” Vivo said, stating that fashion was in fact one of the company’s focus industries. He added: “We’ve been quietly developing the infrastructure for the fashion side of Kollectiff. We cannot reveal much more about this right now, but soon.”
While its growth in the fashion arena remains under wraps, the web3 lab will be continuing its metaverse input with the opening of a NFT Crypto/Art Gallery and Members Club in California. The location will feature exhibitions consisting of work by talents from the Creative Artists Agency, an expansion of Kollectiff’s reach over the digital world.