Online identity aestheticization – what is fashion in the digital world

man holding iPhone

Chinouk Filique de Miranda presented “Digital Dimensions” at the UK’s Responsible Fashion Series conference.

Filique de Miranda is an independent researcher who has spent her time analyzing how digitization affects fashion. She also studies how consumers interact with this new technology prism. She presented at the conference on this alternative engagement of digital consumers, explaining how an online buyer interacts fashion.

Brands have to present potential customers with a realistic view of the benefits they can provide. This can lead to branding and messages that influence the online personas of consumers. However, this doesn’t always reflect who they are offline. Social dependency is a key factor in business models.

She said that when we try on clothes, we not only evaluate if they fit our bodies but also consider if the garment suits our personalities.

She said, “We evaluate if the fit reflects how we want to be presented to the outside world. A brand can create a narrative that allows the consumer to assess their own fit within a group.”

Filique de Miranda believes that the internet is a highly aestheticized world. This can be seen in webshops, advertisements, and social media. Everything becomes clickable and shoppable. Filique de Miranda noted that this system is plagued by business models that thrive on the social dependence of their users. This puts the user in the questionable position of being the decision-maker.

man holding iPhone

Filique de Miranda said that digital tools are used to express our thoughts and feelings. “Fashion is a communication tool that allows us to share less about ourselves as individuals and more about who we envision ourselves to be.”

She examines how brands use this narrative to communicate their fashion offerings to their audience. Fashion is more than a garment. It can also be used to influence billboards and magazines, as well as advertisements. Fashion can be a commodity that offers consumers a second existence.

Digital realms only create the illusion that you are there

Filique de Miranda hopes to ultimately disentangle the communication from fashion brands to inform consumers about purposeful and reflective actions that they can take when making digital purchase decisions.

She said that the digital realm “only helps with illusions of appearing.” “We can use interrelated images within a dense, fast network that gives us the feeling of being part of society.”

Her work encourages fashion shoppers to examine their digital footprint and pay attention to the messages that brands are sending. De Miranda will help fashion communication have more value by analyzing this topic.

She created the Digital Footprint Workshop as part of her ongoing research. Participants are asked to analyze and visualize their digital environment in order to test the algorithm. This programme is intended to raise awareness about online fashion media and encourage ongoing dialogue between participants.

The Responsible Fashion Series is live in Antwerp and aims to bring together different perspectives on the fashion industry. The international participation allows for deeper discussions and allows us to examine different cultures and perspectives that may influence positive changes in fashion.

This year’s edition asked contributors to answer the question “Can fashion save the planet?”. They were asked to give their opinions on which parts of the industry needed to change in order to create a more inclusive, diverse, and circular fashion system.

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