Imagine: in an online store you liked a dress, you decided to order it. Send your avatar to the boutique – and in a few hours you will receive a photo in which you are already in a new dress.
Post a shot on social media and / or appear in a digital “outfit” at a meeting in Zoom. After collecting compliments, you decide on the final step: fill out an application – and the dress, printed on a 3D printer, is delivered to your home by a drone. About why such a future awaits fashion – in the material of RIA Novosti.
All this, by the way, is already a reality. Well, except for drone delivery (this is possible, but still illegal). For example, digital clothing. At first, the idea of ”dressing up” yourself in a photo on Instagram seemed crazy.
Mostly fashion bloggers dabbled in this. However, when, during the quarantine, almost all business and cultural life moved online, it became clear that such clothes have prospects.
Firstly, for relatively little money, you can afford a bright designer thing, which in reality would cost a fortune. A dress made of pink crystals or leggings made of latex with a leopard pattern – even in the center of Moscow, not everyone decides to go for a walk in this form. And on Instagram – why not?
Secondly, it will sit perfectly. Such an outfit will allow not to obey the usual laws of gravity and physics: designers will fit exactly to the figure.
Of course, it is not easy to come to terms with the fact that you cannot hold or touch a new thing, and, in fact, you are not wearing it, but your avatar. However, generation Z, who grew up on the Internet, usually does not see this as a problem: there is no fundamental boundary between the real and virtual “I” for them.
Thirdly, do not harm the environment either: in the production of ordinary jeans, they spend about eight thousand liters of water, and for pixel ones – maybe a couple of glasses of tea or coffee, which the designer will drink while he “tries” them on you.
Finally, in some cases it is also a good investment – in the literal sense of the word, although it all depends on the market. Dolce & Gabbana grossed $ 5.6 million for digital dresses in October.
But here, as with stocks, not everything is successful. “I bought Jimmy Choo virtual shoes here. It would be better if I took the real ones – there would be more sense, probably. While the market, it seems, does not see such potential in them,” admits Sofya Yartseva, founder of the Make Your Style telegram channel.
Cat Taylor (Cattytay) is considered the pioneer of modern digital fashion – by the way, one of the speakers at the Culture 2.0 open lecture hall (discussion “Modern technologies that are changing the fashion industry” on the website). In 2015, she began to create three-dimensional design images – though not independent. These were virtual copies of clothes for advertising campaigns of leading fashion houses (they look better in the photo).
“Over the past two years, there has been a seismic shift in technology and consumer habits,” says Cattytay.
But it all started even earlier – with gamers who bought virtual outfits and accessories for their characters in the game. For example, in January 2021, a sticker for an AK-47 was sold in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for $ 150,000.
“All the most promising and innovative things are happening now in gaming. Even conspicuous consumption goes into the world of games,” notes designer and fashion visionary Lyudmila Norsoyan.
The peculiarity of skins (from the English skin – “skin”) is that they do not help to play better. In fact, they simply perform a status function, making the owner more visible in the crowd and cooler. Isn’t it the same with casual clothes from fashion designers?
Fitting on a smartphone
During the pandemic and the recent November lockdown, when all non-grocery stores were closed in some cities, shoppers were forced to go online. When asked when Internet boutiques will finally displace real ones, designer Lyudmila Norsoyan replies: “There will be both sales channels. Online retail is super comfortable, but it does not have the main trump card of physical sales – the anticipation of a purchase. And the aftertaste when you go with packages to the nearest cafe. “.
Besides the lack of emotions, according to Norsoyan, there is another reason. In the world, shoppers send back up to 25-30 percent of goods ordered on the Internet (in ordinary stores this figure does not exceed nine percent).
The point is the impossibility of trying on before delivery. It is also to blame for different dimensional grids, and the inability of buyers to measure themselves, and disappointed expectations (a thing usually always sits better on a model). Online retailers are trying to compensate for this with technology in order to recreate at least a similar experience for the customer.
Many brands are actively experimenting with AR fitting. In 2019, such an option with shoes in augmented reality appeared at Gucci, later at Lamoda, in February 2021 at Massimo Dutti. Download the application, point the smartphone camera at your foot – and choose the model you like from the options. It is clear that you will not appreciate the convenience of the last or the size, but it is clear how it will look on the leg.
“It seems to me that the problem of the lack of fitting rooms is becoming lesse acute. You can collect half of your wardrobe online. We have more and more things that do not require fitting and a clear fit: all kinds of sweatshirts, sportswear, leggings, oversized “, – says Sofya Yartseva.
It is still difficult with clothes. “It’s still in its infancy. The shoe is a solid 3D model and doesn’t need to be wrapped around the body like clothing,” explains Cattytay.
So far, they offer an algorithm: a person who stands on a rotating platform is scanned by several sensors. This helps to create a digital volumetric model of the body. In the future, such an avatar may appear in each of us.
In Russia, they keep up with trends: Replicant.fashion is ready to create a digital twin in three minutes (though you need an iPhone X or higher) and dress it up. “We believe that this will become commonplace in the future,” emphasizes the project’s founder, designer Regina Turbina.
Regular shops are for the rich
But what about ordinary shops? Many brands, in an attempt to lure customers, create cutting-edge showrooms. Since 2018, in Zara, you can, by pointing the smartphone camera at an item in the store, see it come to life on the screen already on the model.
Fashion journalist Natalya Yancheva, author of the Make Your Style telegram channel, recalls the new London boutique Gucci, which has both a music room and a pop-up book.
In the future, every fitting room will probably have artificial intelligence mirrors that will show the outfit on your digital twin and advise on what to choose. “I’m not sure if this is better than an ordinary consultant: it will not replace the emotional side anyway,” warns Norsoyan.
Andrey Golub, founder of ELSE Corp and author of the book “Artificial Intelligence for Fashion”, believes that in the future, physical boutiques will be visited by “maniacs who like to walk and stare at things in shopping centers.” That is, those who do not feel sorry for the time – the most valuable resource today – for shopping.
Some iconic fashion houses don’t sell their items online in principle: for example, you will have to go to a boutique to buy Chanel or Hermès bags, even if you are willing to give thousands of dollars. Manufacturers of heavy luxury maintain personal contact with the buyer. Because that is what will become a luxury in the future.
RIA Novosti is an information partner of the open lecture hall “Culture 2.0”, which takes place within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum from 11 to 13 November.