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Brief Published: 29 Nov 2019

A Hot Second: Digital Fashion’s First Flagship?

Hot Second

Gunning to progress the conversation regarding the applications and benefits of digital fashion was three-day London pop-up Hot Second (November 19-21). Echoing ideas explored in our report Retail’s Unreal Opportunities, Stylus spotlights its relevance.

Plugging into the near fever-pitch levels of buzz surrounding digital fashion (see Fashion’s Digital Future and Fashion x Gaming Builds Momentum in E-Commerce Partnerships), last week saw the unveiling of a physical pop-up dedicated to digital style, engineered by British tech expert and lecturer Karinna Nobbs.

Visitors stepped into booths featuring ‘magic mirrors’ to virtually try on one of four digital garments. Norwegian streetwear brand Carlings created a metallic tracksuit in collaboration with Danish creative agency Virtue; Dutch ‘digital fashion house’ The Fabricant offered a statement silk jumpsuit from its own exclusively digital collection called Deep; and Canadian 3D guru Emily Switzer recreated British designer Christopher Raeburn’s Union Jack ‘safety’ parka. There was also a virtual replication of David Bowie’s famous ‘Tokyo Pop’ PVC kabuki jumpsuit, created by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto.

Visitors received an image of themselves wearing the garment – in print or by email (there was no capacity to buy items or transfer them into another online space, such as video games). 

While the virtual overlays were cardboard cut-out style, rather than form-fitting, Nobbs revealed that visitors largely forgave their naivety for the chance to ‘access’ a garment that would be out of reach in real life – presenting a key opportunity for luxury brands. “I had people asking about things like being able to try on Princess Diana’s wedding dress,” she said. “People loved the idea of visiting an exhibition or show and getting to try on the looks.”

Commercialising the concept, the second edition of the store will pop up in Berlin in January 2020, in partnership with German blockchain specialists Lukso. This will add a monetary, tradeable value to the garments, making them clothing as well as a form of cryptocurrency.

See also Fashion Retail’s Avatar Opportunity.