April 13, 2024


Technology and Age

Digital Fashion Brand DRESSX Joins Balenciaga, Prada And Friends At Meta’s Avatar Store

The metaverse is the 3D evolution of social media,” says DRESSX co-founder Daria Shapovalova.

Digital Metacloset DRESSX — world’s largest digital fashion retailer is partnering with social media giant, Meta to launch its own digital-only fashion collection at the platform’s Avatar Store.

The first DRESSX x Meta collection drops 19 July at 10 a.m. PT and further collections will be launched on a regular basis. While Meta’s Avatar Store is currently only available in certain territories (U.S., Canada, Thailand and Mexico), some of the DRESSX looks will also be available on the brand’s marketplace.

The Meta avatar store launched in June with physical luxury brands Balenciaga, Thom Browne and Prada who have created digital looks which can be purchased to wardrobe one’s Meta avatar across its Instagram, Facebook and Messenger platforms.

The pieces are digital interpretations of both show looks and brand signatures such as a Fall ’20 moto combo from Balenciaga, Prada’s hot ticket Fall ’22 white tank top and classic four-stripe suits from Thom Browne.

However, what’s different about the new DRESSX partnership with Meta’s Avatar Store is that it’s Meta’s first with a digital native fashion retailer. It’s a neat segue —although LVMH Innovation Award 2022 finalist DRESSX launched in 2020, it was Meta that proved the real game-changer for the brand in terms of driving retail partnerships.

“When we started we reached out to every single brand and retailer but although they listened to us they said they needed to think about it,” DRESSX co-founder Natalia Modenova told me. “But when Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook as Meta in October last year, people realized that digital experiences also fall under the definition of the metaverse. That was the big push for them to come back to us.”

DRESSX has just partnered with U.S. luxury brand Jason Wu on a digital wearable NFT of the gown former First Lady, Michelle Obama wore for the 2009 Inaugural Ball. The dress’ precise digital twin is currently under auction on the DRESSX marketplace. The ultimate owner will also receive tickets to Wu’s New York Fashion Week show in September.

The physical dress — ivory silk chiffon, organza flowers and crystals — is currently displayed in the First Ladies exhibit at The National Museum of American History.

Other recent DRESSX retail digital fashion partnerships include Bershka, Printemps, American Eagle, Iris van Herpen and Dundas. Earlier this year DressX partnered with social gaming platform Roblox on outfits for avatars, created wearables for Decentraland.

While DRESSX has the advantage of being early to the market, new digital fashion platforms are launching offering different spins.

Most recent is Draup, which WWD reports has just secured $1.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Ledger’s Ian Rodgers. The company is working on a model which includes resale, rental and wear-to-earn options for digital fashion.

Meanwhile, according to NFT Culture, metaverse entrepreneur G Money is launching a crypto-native luxury fashion and lifestyle label called 9dcc. What this means in reality is still somewhat opaque, save the fact that the first drop appears to be a physical one — a T-shirt for members of a particular community — but it’s likely that multifaceted components — both digital and physical — will be involved as the platform builds out.