Fashion is a staple of most modern societies and is a true reflection of the times. Each era has its clothing style synonymous with life in those days. Moreover, fashion is a powerful tool each person possesses to express their individuality and stand out from the crowd.

Challenges

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Digital fashion: Is it a fad or here to stay?

Fashion is a staple of most modern societies and is a true reflection of the times. Each era has its clothing style synonymous with life in those days. Moreover, fashion is a powerful tool to express individuality and stand out from the crowd. 

Evolution

We live in a world that revolves around trends, and influencer culture is becoming increasingly important. With constant pressure to be “in”, social media personalities cannot manage the demand. Some people think the digital fashion industry has emerged. You may think this refers to an online marketplace or retail platform for selling and showing clothing. 

Digital fashion has evolved to solve the problem that is the constant demand to keep up appearances—enabling influencers to portray an image of themselves on social media that is “on trend” without having to hunt for and dress in the newest clothing constantly. 

As wild as this sounds, the concept is gaining traction, partly aided by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing lack of footfall in retail outlets. 

The existing movement toward an e-commerce-based market has intensified, and consequently, more attention gets directed toward this digital fashion idea. 

So what exactly is digital fashion?

It is essentially creating an image that doesn’t exist. Using computer technologies and 3D modelling, companies can create a digital representation of clothing on an existing image without purchasing physical garments. 

It’s proving popular with influencers who are reluctant to continue purchasing clothing to update their image as trends and fads evolve. On the other hand, some online retailers use this technology to enable customers to try on items digitally without the need to complete any in-person transactions, an advantage during the times of Covid. 

Gucci and Snapchat

For example, Gucci partnered with Snapchat in June of 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic, to develop a filter which enables customers to try items of footwear.

That is an excellent illustration of this technology in practice. It shows how the fashion industry has adapted to meet the demands of the new world. The requirement to change has meant that it is highly likely that less of the traditional industry model will return, and we will see more of a continually evolving digital commerce. 

Fashion was always a symbol of socioeconomic class and social hierarchy. The rich and famous had access to the ever-expensive market, and high fashion was not accessible to the lower classes. That was the case until very recently and still is to a certain extent; however, the migration to the digital environment has dramatically improved accessibility. 

Education

Fashion shows are being live-streamed to the masses, and the swing towards digital fashion has exposed the industry to many more people and has helped tackle the decades-old elitism. Furthermore, it is a more realistic and attainable career choice, with more educational institutions offering qualifications relevant to the industry. 

In recent years, several Bachelor’s and Master’s programs have integrated digital fashion courses as the requirement for expert knowledge of the subject.

As the first significant arts university in the UK to offer a post-graduate higher education degree digitally, the University of the Creative Arts started offering it in 2021. Ravensbourne University in London launched a new pathway for BA fashion students to specialise. These examples demonstrate the change within the industry. It also marks the evolution of education, signalling the market’s future direction. 

The future of the fashion industry

Overall, the fashion business has and will continue to change. It is mainly attributable to new technology and this increasingly digital age. This evolution is long overdue in an industry that has seen little core shift in decades and is becoming more broadly accessible and leaving the old notion of high fashion behind. Seeing how clothing looks on a person without having to purchase or physically try it on is a considerable advantage that saves time and resources. 

In addition, manufacturers can save material costs during the design phase by using 3D modelling technology.

Covid-19 

The pandemic has accelerated the change and has proven that this version of the industry is here to stay and will continue to evolve and improve. It’s an excellent example of how digital technologies and e-commerce are used to better the world in various ways and is truly a sign of the times. 

Want to find out more about digital fashion? 

Have a look at these articles:

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22893254/digital-fashion-metaverse-real-clothes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookerobertsislam/2020/08/21/how-digital-fashion-could-replace-fast-fashion-and-the-startup-paving-the-way/?sh=67a1312970d8
https://www.uca.ac.uk/study/courses/ma-digital-fashion/

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Digital fashion: Is it a fad or here to stay?

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