The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recently announced that it will celebrate its 60th anniversarye anniversary by “looking into the future” with a metaverse, Web3 and NFT exhibition in December. While the event’s topics may be unknown to many, organizers hope to use it to show fashion players the opportunities that are becoming available in the digital world.
“Our vision at 5Crypto and with this partnership is to empower and educate Web2 brands about the limitless opportunities Web3 presents, and create special moments that bridge the gap between consumer and crypto,” said Akbar Hamid , founder and CEO of 5e Column and 5Crypto, a communication agency for cryptocurrency, metaverse, NFTs and consumer brands. More on Web2 versus Web3 in a moment.
The CFDA event will include a metaverse exhibition (metaverse can mean augmented or virtual reality, or avatar/gaming reality, among others) of 60 looks from across six decades of the CFDA, as well as exclusive NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that will go up for auction .
Valentino Vettori, founder of Arcadia Earth, a platform that aims to raise awareness of sustainability and circular design, says fashion companies can start creating value and relationships with their customers through Web3, NFTs and crypto -change. During a presentation at the recent Coterie New York trade show, Vettori described Web2 as a website where the brand sells to others. He then explained Web3 almost like crowdsourcing – where a brand would be owned by anyone who buys part of the business through non-fungible tokens or crypto. It could be owned by 100 people or a million people, depending on how much value someone creates for their business. Ownership is then distributed through digital assets such as NFTs, ownership of which can be tracked through blockchain smart contracts.
“NFTs can remain a simple loyalty program where if you own my NFT, you can participate in my fashion show, or if you own my cryptocurrency, you can own part of my brand,” Vettori explained. “Let’s say I pulled out some shoes and put some nice pictures on the digital contract that says if you own the shoes in the physical space, you also own them in the digital space. Once you own the shoes, you can also resell them. If it was a limited collection, it has value and now you can make money from it. Also, if you are someone with no money but have lots of friends and want to start a fashion business, you can create a brand and break it up into small pieces. And then you create crypto (Vettori says it’s not hard to do), and you fundraise technically very quickly. Before you know it, you have raised funds from your investors who are also your consumer and your community – and all transactions are tracked through their blockchain with this smart contract.
It may seem dizzying. But it also looks like it could be profitable for both retailers and brands, especially if it’s run by well-known names that already offer consumers some level of convenience. Currently, shoppers buy most of their clothes from mass merchants like Walmart and Target (22%), according to Cotton Incorporated’s 2022 report. lifestyle monitorInvestigation. This is followed by Amazon (13%), chain stores like Kohl’s (12%), department stores like Macy’s and Dillard’s (11%), discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx (10%), specialty stores like Gap and American Eagle (9%) and fast fashion specialty stores like Zara and Uniqlo (6.6%).
Currently, most consumers prefer to buy their clothes in a physical store (58%) rather than online (42%), according to the Monitor™ search. It’s still quite traditional. But GWI, a UK-based market research firm, says more than a fifth of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers want retailers to offer AR (augmented reality) so they can digitally try on products. The company says there has been a 29% increase in the number of VR (virtual reality) headset owners since 2020. shoppers turn to retailer and brand websites the most (35%) when researching clothing shopping ideas online, according to Monitor™ search. This is followed by social media sites (30%), e-commerce only sites such as Amazon and Net-A-Porter (28%), e-commerce only apps (27%), retailer email and brands (24%), retailers and branded apps (22%), fashion or fashion trend sites (20%), and email from e-commerce sites only.
GWI adds that brands are also expected to enter the gaming world, as it predicts gamers will be early adopters of the metaverse. To wit, GWI reports, 22% of consumers interested in participating in the Metaverse are already playing Minecraft.
Although some aspects of fashion’s digital future may seem too futurists, retailers and brands should note that most consumers (58%) say the past few years have changed the way they will shop for clothes in years to come, according to the Monitor™research. Almost half of these shoppers (47%) say they will buy more clothes online. And 41% say they will be more determined with the clothes they buy.
For its part, the CFDA is taking advantage of its 60th anniversary to advance the industry.
“The CFDA has always been at the forefront of creative and innovative thinking,” said CFDA CEO Steven Kolb. “And with our first metaverse exhibition and NFTs, we are entering this new era of digital transformation.”
The Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ is an ongoing research program that measures consumer attitudes and behaviors around clothing, shopping, fashion, sustainability, and more.
For more information on the Lifestyle Monitor™ survey, please visit https://lifestylemonitor.cottoninc.com/.
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