Highlights of Metaverse Fashion Week: From store openings to exclusive NFT drops

The highly anticipated Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW), held in Decentraland, has ended. With it, the fashion industry has seen the future of the industry through a digital experience. Over 60 brands, designers and retailers were able to participate in the virtual action. The MVFW was held over four days from March 24 through 27.

The events were free and open to all. There were also many afterparties, store openings, and digital collections that could be viewed on the digital platform. The 3D world also featured special areas for brand partners and the entire fashion industry, which could be a nod to Decentraland’s desire to keep fashion relevant in the virtual world.

Openings of stores, digital retail and meta-malls

In addition to the long list of runways and afterparties brands used the event as an opportunity to launch digital stores and pop-ups in different districts of Decentraland. Each store featured a variety of brands’ phygital collection, non-fungible token drops, and brand activations that took the user into their world. These stores offered the possibility to buy both digital and physical products and NFTs through their offerings, as well as linking to their own cryptocurrency via digital wallets.

Selfridges, a luxury retailer, was among those who attended the event and unveiled a flagship store with an immersive experience by Paco Rabanne and Victor Vasarely. The building itself was reminiscent of Selfridges’ Birmingham location. It contained an art gallery with exclusive NFTs, which visitors can view during a guided tour.

Boson Protocol and Threedium also teamed up for a digital mall that was opened during MVFW. Here, users could browse stores from a variety of established and new brands like DKNY or Casablanca. Tommy Hilfiger was on the opening list for the location. He offered a digital version of his spring 2022 collection and a selection of NFTs to purchase. In Decentraland, there is a Luxury Fashion District that was created in partnership with UNXD and Dolce &Gabbana, Franck Muller, and Etro also participated in the store opening frenzy. Each location was featured along the digital street that took inspiration from Paris’ Avenue Montaigne.

Rarible’s Fresh Drip Zone was another district with big-name brands. Here, on New York-like streets visitors could find pop-ups of 12 brands including Perry Ellis, Fred Segal, and Puma. Placebo and The Fabricant, digital fashion houses, were also present. They offered virtual wearables as well as NFTs to sportswear fans. The temporary location featured a Rarible store in a dome shape, where users could buy one-off NFTs as well as curated collections of digital garments.

Panels, parties, and presentations from the industry

Throughout the event, special panel discussions were held that covered everything from the history of virtual fashion to the world of NFTs. David Cash, curator of MVFW, and CEO of Cash Labs (the web3 strategy agency that helped in the development of the event’s creation), stated that over 30 people were present. Cash Labs presented speakers on MVFW’s MainStage. They included Nick Knight, a fashion photographer, and Alexandre de Betak, a fashion/furniture designer.

Tommy Hilfiger was also present at a ‘fireside conversation’ hosted by Justin Banon, Victoria May, and Cathy Hackl. Hilfiger spoke out about metaverse fashion and its implications for designers.

In a series of runway shows, a few luxury brands displayed looks often inspired by their physical collections. Dolce & Gabbana, an Italian luxury brand, was one of them. It launched a digital collection featuring logo-heavy looks displayed on feline-like models. Many fast fashion brands got involved, hosting pop-ups or opening permanent stores. Cider, an e-commerce brand, was one of the first to launch an immersive retail space. It also presented a fashion show where visitors could purchase digital wearables.

Dundas ended the event’s runway with a display of digital dresses at its pop-up in the Luxury Fashion District. The event featured bespoke items made specifically for MVFW. These items were pre-ordered via UNXD’s Marketplace and displayed in a branded store with Dundas’ black panther emblem. Visitors could also see the real-life models in the store via a screen.

Although catwalks were the highlight of the event’s program, afterparties and virtual performances played an important part in bringing real-world experiences to the metaverse. There were many parties hosted by Nicki Nicole and Tribute Band throughout MVFW’s evening program. Each party was hosted by Kollectiff or another Decentraland partner. The event’s finale saw Claire Boucher, a singer and songwriter, take to the virtual stage, complete with a DJ. You could view the performance on a spiral staircase. The finale featured an avatar of Claire Boucher, dressed in an Auroboros bodysuit and dancing on a suspended platform.

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