This year, as everyone started saying the word “metaverse” back and forth to each other, fashion took a nosedive into the ether, compiling digital collections, AR wearables, virtual stores, and video game skins. But isn’t the metaverse just… the internet? Haven’t we already become accustomed to seeing, fantasising, and writing about the vast majority of art as it appears in 2D on screen? The rise of fashion NFTs would certainly suggest otherwise – people who buy those are very passionate about screenshots.
What has got the industry so excited, however, is that the metaverse makes physical and digital hybridity a real likelihood. In light of this, Roblox, the behemoth gaming platform, has partnered with the Fashion Awards to create an “immersive red carpet” for those of us following the ceremony at home. The experience will blend TV and gaming, transporting users to a digitally rendered Royal Albert Hall, where they can walk the red carpet together with friends, explore nominees’ displays, and try on their virtual fashions – as well as watching video footage from the ceremony.
As part of the game, Gucci has created a range of pieces for users to purchase, proceeds from which will be donated to the British Fashion Council’s foundation. The BFC has also announced a new awards category, the first ever fashion award for Metaverse design, which will see cSapphire crowned as winner – selected by a panel of judges including Dazed’s fashion features director, Emma Davidson. Fellow award recipient Alessandro Michele, who is set to take home the evening’s Innovator prize, will present the award in avatar form. “The next generation of designers are dressing avatars, and they are doing it on Roblox where anyone can be a creator, starting with their own online identity. Fashion is about what’s next and finding new voices with clear visions, and this talent is emerging in the metaverse,” said Roblox VP Christina Wooton.
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council added, “by awarding the platform’s creators we are recognising the powerful global impact of digital fashion on communities around the world, its ability to create new trends in fashion, as well as the incredible opportunities it provides for talented young creators.” The Fashion Awards on Roblox will be available from tomorrow (November 29) up until December 7.