Metaverse Fashion Week - Decentraland

September 2022

From March 24 to 27, the first "Metaverse Fashion Week" (MVFW) was held in the virtual space Decentraland. The event featured many well-known brands and designers who came to present virtual products for sale, some of which can then be worn in this universe. Point of view (critical) of a student, fan of fashion and video games.

"I must confess that I had never heard of Decentraland before and yet one would think that, as a 22 year old who loves fashion and is very (too?) active on social networks and video games, I would be the main target for this kind of operation. But after trying to follow this event I only have one question in my mind: "Am I already too old for the web3?"

" It's not worth a good painting your 3D, there"

The sale of virtual objects is not recent, it has existed for more than a decade in the video game world with the "skins" that allow to customize one's avatar. Although it may seem old-fashioned, this practice makes sense because the aesthetic aspect of the skin guarantees its popularity with the community, based on the principle of "yeah, stylish" from other players, it works well. But you have to keep in mind that a skin remains complementary to the game it is linked to, nobody is going to buy a skin (even if it is really stylish) in a game that doesn't interest him.
We could see skins coming from partnerships between Jordan and the game Fortnite, Louis Vuitton and League of Legends or even in the automotive world between the game Rocket League and different car brands like Lamborghini or Aston Martin.

Then comes my first doubt about the interest of Decentraland: it is neither very beautiful nor very playful. Which leaves me doubtful as to the relevance of hosting a Fashion Week during which visual creation is the center of attention.

Etro MVFW fashion show / Etro fashionweek 2022 fashion show

" Do you have any boyfriends on your internet right now? "

Second doubt about the interest of Decentraland: there is no crowd.

According to the display presented on Decentraland, there were only a few thousand people connected on the biggest MVFW events, where League of Legends has a monthly attendance of 180 million players in 2022. So, skins on free video games seem to me much more effective to promote brands because they rejuvenate their image while capturing new large communities. And if the brand is desperate to be in a metaverse, then it makes more sense, I think, to integrate with the already popular ones, like the Roblox game. So the game welcomed Nike by creating its own open and playful world: Nikeland.

Roblox Nikeland

"How much is that in francs?"

As often, when a service seems useless, the interest of Decentraland, and other metaverse, lies mainly in its economic system: any virtual object is presented there to be sold in the form of NFTs via crypto currencies.

The site's target then becomes clear to me: the "cryptobros". These almost exclusively male followers of crypto currencies are nicknamed so on Twitter because of their frat-boy attitude who are more than happy to explain to you why you should invest in crypto at all costs (when you just tweeted that the yoghurts you bought the day before made you exceed your student budget for the month).

For them, the doubts that I could express are superfluous: the site does not need to have a very advanced social aspect since it is a Marketplace, the objects which are presented there do not need to be aesthetically pleasing because they are springboards towards sites of sale or auctions of NFTs, like UNXD (Dolce Gabanna) or DRESSX (MTA), from which the "cryptobros" will be able to speculate at leisure.

Thus, despite a facade communication promising to make the world of luxury accessible to all, the price of NFTs of the brands sold already start at several hundred dollars and can exceed the equivalent of half a million dollars in crypto.

Auction of the little known digital brand MTA on DressX

"I was young too, you know?"

As I have no other interest than speculation, and the mining of crypto-currencies being very energy consuming, I have reservations about the relevance of NFTs and metaverses based on this technology. I must not be the only one of my generation to have doubts when we see gamers boycotting their integration in video games and the "play to earn".

As an example of critical responses to GSC Game World's tweet announcing the introduction of NFTs in "S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2", the game will abandon the project a few days later.

Maybe my generation has already been overtaken by the interest of the web3 or maybe for the first time the leaders of the internet (often in their thirties!) don't know how to deal with the expectations of the "Gen Z". Young people too old or presbyopic visionaries, I surprisingly find comfort in the idea that, no matter how fast our world evolves, one constant remains: we all end up being old-fashioned... maybe just sooner than before.  

Crush on ...

While metaverses and NFTs seem to struggle to convince and popularize, here are some initiatives of the insertion of brands in the digital world that I liked (or at least have the merit in my opinion to better serve the fashion). I really liked the video presentations of collections during the confinements that allowed to dive into the universe worn by the brand, the one of Casablanca for their collection Grand Prix 2021 is really to see.

We can also highlight the virtual reality fashion show of Balenciaga for their fall 2021 line but unfortunately only reserved for 300 guests. And I can not ignore the "lenses" of Snapchat that allow to try products in augmented reality ("AR") and thus get a clear idea of how the clothing or makeup associated with our favorite outfits. The application has already collaborated with several luxury brands such as Prada or Gucci, and is launching in 2022 a system of " shopping lens" allowing to buy directly via the application the products tested in AR, very practical especially for makeup.


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