Updated: Mar 26, 2021
Held at the Lone Design Club concept store in Covent Garden, those from the fashion and gaming world merged to discuss the fashion-tech industry. The panel featured Kristina Dimitrova, Roberta Lucca, Jonathan Chippindale, Sabinna Rachimova and Morten Grubak, who all work within the fashion, gaming or technology sector.
The panel conversed about the emerging role of virtual influencers. They discussed the role of these influencers being used by brands as a way of adding narrative and humanising a character who people are passionate about. Furthermore, with companies already using AI and big data to personalise content, the likes of Alexa highlights how brands are humanising technology. Hence in a world where virtual and reality are becoming fully integrated, a virtual influencer may not seem like such a strange concept to consumers.
With millions gaming every day and events like Comic Con proving the passion that people have for gaming characters, gaming platforms are a huge opportunity for fashion brands to capitalise on new markets. Some collaborations that the panel discussed included the Moschino X The Sims collection, which made luxury accessible to millions; as well as the Marshmello X Fortnite collaboration, which was a ten-minute virtual concert with ten million attendees. There seems to be lots of opportunity for brands with few examples, and the panel debated whether it is because brands are concerned about potentially alienating their current brand loyal consumers, or if It is due to a lack of communication between the two industries. The panel also went on to deliberate the need for authenticity when proposing a fashion-gaming collaboration, as people often use gaming for escapism and fantasy. Therefore, bringing the real work into the virtual one needs to be carried out in an aspirational way to keep the fantasy element of the gaming world. Because of this, the panel emphasised that the lack of communication and understanding between the industries could be the downfall of future collaborations, if research is not done properly.
Finally, the panel talked about how fashion tech can help make fashion more sustainable. Technology can help to reduce waste in the fashion industry by using virtual sampling and 3D modelling, and it would allow designers to be more experimental if they designed for virtual purposes. Subsequently, this would be a more sustainable way of production in a world which is driven by fast fashion consumption.
Overall, this insightful information conferred by the panel suggests that the fashion-tech world is definitely something that brands need to be educated about to work towards a more sustainable future. This knowledge will also benefit future fashion-gaming collaborations to ensure that they are executed successfully.