In this day in age, digital can mean so many things. How can fashion even be digital? Don't worry, The Daily Fit is here to help you make sense of it all.
Perhaps the biggest understatement is to say that digital fashion is synonymous to online shopping. Granted, while digital fashion does entail surfing the web for clothes instead of the traditional window shopping, it actually encompasses so much more than that.
Since the start of the pandemic, the entire ecosystem of fashion has changed dramatically, and not just because clothes became the last thing on everyone's mind. As society began to accept that social distancing and cities operating at 30% were to become our new normal, brands, designers, and industry leaders looked at each other and realized that their only chance at survival was digitization.
Digitization, if you can recall, is not a new concept here at The Daily Fit.
"Digitization in economic terms is the process of transforming a business or, in this case, industry to be more technologically driven, inevitably changing the way leaders operate and consumers behave. Many contemporary industries have actually made this change from physical to digital and have seen great success. Netflix is an example of how the television and movie industry have become digitized. By replacing physical products, DVDs, with digital technology, video streaming on demand, Netflix was able to digitize the entertainment industry. Movies and TV shows haven’t been eliminated, instead online streaming has become the most effective way to watch your favorite shows." - Everything you need to know about this year's Circular Fashion Report
Yet, even with this definition, it is still unclear to many just exactly how the fashion industry plans to head towards a digital future. Sure, we don't have to have a physical copy of our favorite shows and movies in order to watch them, but can the same really be said for clothes? I mean, clothes have to be tangible in order to be worn, right?
What if I told you that digital fashion entailed digital designers selling digital copies of their digital garments to digital customers on digital platforms?
Would you believe me?
Whether or not you do, this is actually happening. Designers are shifting their focus to creating digitized versions of their garments to sell to virtual consumers.
Maghan McDowell for Vogue Business writes that "rather than paying to own a physical garment, customers pay for digital versions they can overlay on images of themselves. Auroboros is the first digital-only clothing brand to sell on Drest," demonstrating that tangible clothes may become obsolete.
Now, you might be thinking, why would anyone pay for a digital version of a shirt they want to wear?
It's because our reality has shifted to rely so heavily on virtual communication and interaction that even personal aspects about ourselves, like our style, are becoming virtual as well.
The pandemic has caused a physical divide amongst everyone because it isn't safe to gather, but we still want people to talk to us and see us, just from the safety of our own homes.
The same goes for clothes. I don't have anywhere to go, but I still love to shop, and if the only way people are going to see my outfit is through an Instagram post, then I don't need to get the physical garment. I can make do with a digital version.
I can just snap a picture in my pajamas in front of my mirror and edit a digital version of a blouse that I like and upload it to my feed. Why even change when it's not safe to go out anywhere and I'm just going to spend the day in bed?
The truth is this is our future, and while some people may feel limited because of the fact that they can't physically shop, attend fashion shows, or walk the streets wearing their newest Michael Kors coat, the possibilities of a digitized fashion industry are actually endless.
Designers from around the world can virtually come together to create new sustainable and ethical practices that rely on technological developments to off-set the environmental damages caused by the industry. Brands can better connect with their consumers on an intimate level through livestreams, and now you can even attend a Digital Paris Fashion Week from the comfort of your own living room.
Digital fashion isn't as hard to understand as much as it is to accept. So, now the question is: are you ready?
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