Digital versions of luxury clothing are appearing in apps and video games as brands test consumer appetite for virtual fashion. Drest, a gaming app unveiled by former Porter editor Lucy Yeomans on Monday, invites users to dress photo-realistic avatars in styling challenges, then buy physical versions of those garments on Farfetch. The 75-person startup recruited 100 brands, including Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Burberry. Six Italian luxury brands signed up within half an hour of her pitching them, Yeomans says. A waitlist for early access to Drest opens today; the full launch is slated for 2020. Louis Vuitton is also dipping its toes into digital fashion waters.
In the fall of 2012, Belgian designer Diane Von Furstenberg made headlines when she sent models down the runway at her spring 2013 show wearing Google Glass. The glasses, which wouldn't become available to the public until almost a year later, seemed to compliment the shimmery and silver-lined aesthetic of the collection. At the end of the show, Furstenberg took her final bow not with a model, as is customary, but with Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The show marked a moment in history when wearable technology crept onto not only the catwalk but also into our collective consciousness. We've come a long way since then.
If you happened to be in Milan on October 11 or 12 you would have felt the atmosphere of the fashionable future thanks to PI Apparel 2018 – the most innovative gathering of the fashion industry. Taking part in this event, I was given the opportunity to meet incredible people and explore strategies and ideas from the most advanced companies. Having met and spoken to various companies at the event, here is a list of the startups to watch, if you want to keep up with front-rank technologies in the apparel industry. Founded in 2017, Swatchbook creates cross-platform cloud software that changes the way brands work with materials. The application connects brands with suppliers and allows secure communication between the design team, material person and librarian.
The fashion industry did $3 trillion in business, 2% of global GDP in 2018; e-commerce fashion amounted to $520 billion in 2019. AI is poised to revolutionize the fashion industry by providing insights into fashion trends, purchase patterns, and enabling better inventory management. The global brand H&M has been applying AI solutions to boost business operations. One example is a system to organize and allocate masses of unsold stock to retail stories with highest demand, reducing the need for discounted sales. This is achieved by optimizing the supply chain and inventory management, reducing the amount of wasted clothing.
Nintendo's Animal Crossing, the best-selling game of the coronavirus pandemic, has become an unlikely outlet for fashion fans in lockdown. Avatars have been wearing bootleg creations inspired by Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Thierry Mugler catwalk looks or created specifically for the virtual world by designers including Marc Jacobs, who has created a six-strong collection for the game, and Valentino. There are various ways to attain new clothes in this soothing cyber society in which players can pick fruit and make friends with anthropomorphised animals. The Able Sisters, a tailor shop in the game that is run by two hedgehogs, has become as talked about in some quarters as Harvey Nichols. Here players can "buy" anything from pleather masks to neon tights using the game's currency of bells.