The metaverse, social media and now, digital fashion. What is digital fashion, how does it work and what makes it unique?
Imagine yourself as player one in your favorite video game. You’re swiping through wardrobe selections, thumbing around with your controller’s analogs, or clacking keys until you find a look you're satisfied with, bringing your self-expression to the digital realm, to your avatar. Unlike the lapel coat hanging in your closet, the one you lint roll, check for stains, and fiddle with the buttons when running late for that interview, your avatar’s clothes simply materialize, unblemished.
Enter DRESSX, the app that allows you to become the avatar. Much like the in-game stores that allow players to purchase digital wear for their avatars, DRESSX allows you to purchase digital wear for yourself. DRESSX is both a company, and an app that may be downloaded on the Apple app store.
How does DRESSX work?
The app allows users to try on looks using a Snapchat-like filter where you swipe through an inventory of dresses, tops, jackets, accessories, costumes, and NFTs. If you find a piece or two that you like, you may snap a picture of it with the filter on, which is automatically saved to your in-app “closet” and if you so desire, you may then share it to social media. However, if you want to take your digital dressing a step further, you can purchase the item, and send along a picture of yourself as per DRESSX’s “how to wear” instructions. The picture will then be edited to where you are “wearing” a 3D model of the digital piece and that image will be sent to you via email in 1-2 days, and what you do with that final product is up to you. An Instagram post, a photo to send to your mom, or a picture for whatever you choose.
Why purchase digital fashion?
According to DRESSX’s “about” section, the company believes that “the amount of clothing produced today is way greater than humanity’s needs” and that DRESSX’s current goal is to show that there are ways to produce “less,” “sustainably” and “not to produce at all.” This then highlights that one reason DRESSX believes in the merit of digital fashion is environmentalism. The proposition that DRESSX’s digital clothes are eco-friendly hinges on both the sustainability of the company’s undertakings/practices and the comparative environmental harm of the traditional fashion industry. To this point, DRESSX’s site dedicates a section to sustainability that compares the impacts of traditional and digital fashion, deducting that the latter is more sustainable.
One aim that DRESSX wishes to achieve is to demonstrate that “some clothes can only exist in their digital versions.” An example of this is the “video looks” DRESSX provides where a piece may be edited with a color fluctuation effect or with movement that a garment or accessory in a still photo would not have. Added effects aside, many of the pieces would be hard to replicate in real life, and if possible, would be extremely costly due to the fantastical nature of several designs. Look no further than the Discoglobe Dress for an idea of the difficulty, costliness, and technical skill required to replicate a similar design in the real world. And if the dress were to be replicated professionally with the assumed high cost, then the pricing on the consumer’s end would be lofty. Far greater than the cost of purchasing the digital version. The extreme difficulty, and in some cases, near impossibility of recreating the items makes many pieces within the DRESSX inventory unique.
This uniqueness is furthered when you account for the NFTs offered by DRESSX. An NFT is a non-fungible token that serves as a certificate of digital ownership of an asset. The asset in this case would be an item such as the “Atari Pluriform Robe” which can be purchased using Ethereum and Atari cryptocurrencies. Thus, the “uniqueness of DRESSX’s items are two-fold. A). Their fantastical nature and difficulty to or the inability to recreate them in the real world, and B). the exclusive nature of NFTs that they offer. The distinctive nature of digital garments is an allurement in of itself and in some senses, the garments chart new territory.