There are many ways we have integrated technology into our lives, and virtual fashion is only one out of many. As we all have personally experienced, the pandemic has radically shifted our relationship with the internet. People are more inclined to lounge at home and online shop rather than going out and risk contracting Covid. The phenomena obviously got the whole fashion industry thinking of a way to revamp their business model. And exactly because of that, the term virtual fashion was born.
The idea of virtual fashion is not at all new. In fact, Sephora has been a player in this game for a long time. The makeup retailer launched Sephora Virtual Artist, an app slated to be the “future” of beauty back in 2016. In addition to a virtual makeover, the app also allows you to star in your own tutorials, and share them with friends more easily.
Happening closer and more recent, just September last year, Vogue Singapore launched the first digital Vogue Studio. It is a 360° digital activation to celebrate the launch of Vogue Singapore. In their press release, Vogue Singapore explains that the project is a symbiotic relationship of new technology and storytelling experience. Audiences can expect links from print to digital, scannable QR codes and AR-led styling videos.
With the arrival of AR technology, digital fashion is no longer a pipe dream. In many ways, digital fashion can be the solution to many social problems. For instance, AR technology allows designers to explore fashion without having to actually make it. This could save lots of resources and energy, as opposed to gruesome fast fashion. On top of that, it also sets for a much lower price point, making “fashion” more accessible for more and more people.
Secondly, it naturally promotes sustainable fashion. If you buy a luxurious piece of clothing only to wear it once or twice, then isn’t it better to have digital fashion come in as a more environmentally friendly option? Anyhow, they will all look the same in the photographs.
Surely, by forsaking the offline, “real life” experience of shopping, we are missing out on a few things. First and foremost, fashion experience is multi-sensory. It does not simply rely on our eyes and ears. More often than not, we also use our tactile sensory to fully immerse ourselves in the moment. And for some products like perfume, it is impossible not to have ourselves there and have the experience in person.
Most importantly with fashion, it is rarely the products itself that will hold the value over time. Rather, it is the memories we made with these fashion items that make them irreplaceable. Part of the joy of offline shopping is going out with friends and family, bickering in the fitting room and going out for lunch after.
Hopefully, technology can soon catch up with our lifestyle as we know that the world is getting more and more contactless each day. People even celebrate Halloween remotely these days, something we cannot imagine happening two years ago!
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