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Digital Fashion Week NYC and London Recap
The rise in fashion tech events shows that digital fashion, web3, and the metaverse are on the map and not going anywhere.
In spite of all the proclamations of a “metaverse winter,” the world of web3 and digital immersive experiences are not dead for fashion and luxury. At least they weren’t at Digital Fashion Week NYC and its sister event in London.
Two weeks ago, leaders in web3, metaverse, and digital fashion gathered at the Virgin Hotel NYC for a three-day summit as part of Digital Fashion Week NYC. The event, which was the brainchild of Clare Tattersall, included expert speaker sessions, panel discussions, live runway shows, AR/VR digital fashion demos, and parallel metaverse fashion exhibitions.
Day 1 of Digital Fashion Week NYC brought together expert speakers across the fashion and tech industries who explored a variety of topics across web3, the metaverse, and social commerce.
Sasha Tityanko, deputy CEO of metaverse company Sensorium, kicked off the day, talking about the brand’s vision for a more holistic digital fashion future. Our own Jessica Quillin, co-founder and principal of It’s A Working Title LLC, discussed the role of brand storytelling and content strategy in web3 and the metaverse. Aditya Mani, CEO of YOLOgram, explored playable commerce, immersive storytelling, and phygital strategies. Jasmine Bacchus presented the results of her master’s thesis on NFTs and micro-community building within luxury. Tech leader Argentina Moise, CEO of Bleexy, discussed sustainable layer 1 blockchain as critical infrastructure for metaverse experiences. Then, fashion and luxury expert Sonia Preta discussed initial findings of her book, providing a practical introduction to the basics of the metaverse for fashion. In the penultimate presentation, influencer Olga Safronova gave a live workshop with tactics to build engagement and get clients on TikTok. Giancarlo Pazzanese rounded out the day, talking about key issues of representation, diversity, and inclusion in the metaverse.
Day 2 of the NYC event included a series of panels with moderators and panelists across the gamut of fashion and luxury innovators and a simultaneous metaverse exhibition.
Panel topics explored: “Connecting IRL fashion to URL assets,” “How do we create mass adoption of digital assets from a consumer standpoint,” “Fashion Show in the Metaverse. What does it mean for the future of models, beauty and body image,” “AI: What is it and what do we need to know,” and “Virtual personalities. What is the future of social engagement, data and our wallets?” Panelists included Coy Griffin, Director of Operations for the Council for International African Fashion Education; David Giordano of Brand New Vision; Maxim Raykhrud, CPO of Zero10, Olivier Moingeon, CEO of Exclusible; Pavan Bahl of UNRVLD; Jessica Quillin, Co-Founder and Principal, It’s A Working Title; Dale Parr of MetaverseMe; Nova Lorraine, Creative Director, Fashion Designer, and Creator of Raine Magazine; Nicole Reader, CEO of Modern Mirror; Ruxandra Duhamet of Farfetch; Dale Noelle of TRUE Model Management; David Cash of Cash Labs; James Joseph, CYBR Magazine; David Stamatis, FTR World & DeepObjects; Megan Kaspar, FirstLight and RED DAO; Allie Burger from ETTA; Blake Lezenski from Outlier Ventures.
The metaverse fashion exhibition on day 2 of Digital Fashion Week NYC allowed you to dress your Ready Player Me avatar in a unique drop from designers Metaneon, Lorena Bello, Edvard Nielsen, Shiu Studio, and Ilona Song. You also were able to see animations from a variety of digital designers and to explore digital fashion exhibits from Modern Mirror, Sensorium, It’s A Working Title, Beaute in Tech, ZeroSixOne, and Zero10 App.
Day 3 of the NYC event constituted an immersive fashion show. This included a fashion runway show, a live collab between Modern Mirror x ELAM, a digital fashion animation screening, virtual showrooms and experiences from Zero10 and ShopLODE, and a metaverse screening.
Buzzing from the NYC event, the It’s A Working Title team jetted over to London to catch the tail end of Digital Fashion Week London, presented by Digital Fashion Week and MAD Global and hosted by Epic Games. We were sad to miss the first day of panel presentations. But, we caught the replay on YouTube and it did not disappoint.
The first day of Digital Fashion Week London began with a fireside chat on the future of modeling in the metaverse with Nicole Reader of Modern Mirror and Ashumi Sangvi, CEO of MAD Global. Next, there was a panel discussion on digital designers as the future of couture with James Joseph of Cyber Magazine, designer Gary James McQueen, Isabella Sainty, head of brand for DRAUP, and creative Kadine James of The Immersive Kind. The third panel explored how established fashion brands can expand into digital collections, including moderator Dr. Federica Carlotto of Sotheby's Institute of Art, Costas Kazantis of Fashion Innovation Agency, Leslie Holden of The Digital Fashion Group, Louise Laing, Founder, PhygitalTwin, and Leanne Elliott Young of the Institute of Digital Fashion, and Ward De Kruiff of EPAM. The final panel explored AI and design and the future of fashion, moderated by James Joseph of Cyber Magazine and Alex Estorick of Right Click Save with panelists Enara Nazarova of Armoar, Franki Tabor of Move.AI, Ziqi Xing of XTENDED iDENTiTY, and Blake Lezenski of Outlier Ventures.
Day 2 of Digital Fashion Week London was an immersive experience and live fashion show, with combined digital and physical experiences from digital designers and immersive studios. Events included a live fashion show, a presentation from Sensorium exploring the metaverse as a sensory experience, a digital fashion animation screening, a presentation from Modern Mirror x Elam featuring game design for streetwear fashion, exhibits on fashion in VR and metahumans, virtual showrooms and experiences from Zero10 and ShopLODE, and a metaverse screening.
All in all, the Digital Fashion Week NYC and London events were an incredibly interesting, thought-provoking experience, full of incredible expressions of the human creative imagination as well as many practical discussions on scaling web3 and the metaverse and how to build immersive experiences that truly add value. While we are sad that we did not get to round out our European experience with NFT.Paris, which took place the following weekend, we are certain that Digital Fashion Week NYC and London are must-do events on the bi-annual fashion calendar that underscore the growing role of digital fashion, web3, and the metaverse for the fashion and luxury industries.