Digital fashion’s support system is growing. Are brands ready?

    Syky drops new digital fashion collections, Michael Kors introduces AI-powered assistants, and Vogue reveals the world’s first digital supermodel.
    Syky is bringing emerging designers into the spotlight with its monthly drop initiative. Image: Syky/Xtended Identity

    During the early days of digital fashion, support systems and resources were in short supply. Today, however, things are looking up for the industry.

    Digital fashion house Syky has established itself as an incubator aimed at amplifying the work of fledgling designers. Alongside its Syky Collective accelerator program, the platform’s new monthly initiative, Syky Presents, brings more budding visionaries into the fashion fold.

    The series kicked off on June 17 with a 13-piece capsule drop from five artists: fashion collective Sblmtn Studio; Web3 and 3D surreal animation artist Renderfruit; Athens-based artist Craves; 3D surreal art and character designer Oguz Yaron Dogru; and digital artist Tiago Marinho. The collectibles are available for purchase via Syky’s official website.

    The emerging designers join a growing roster of artists flourishing under Syky’s guidance, including digital accessories label Xtended Identity, British-Chinese designer Stephy Fung, Berlin-based conceptual artist Taskin Goec, and Nigerian phygital fashion house Nextberries.

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    Virtual showroom developer Emperia is also building on digital fashion’s early-stage infrastructure to equip more creators with the necessary tools for growth in Web3.

    This week, the company opened up its proprietary creator platform to the Web3 community, allowing artists, designers, and businesses to render and publish their own fully-functional virtual environments.

    The toolkit, powered by Unreal Engine, features comprehensive commerce modules designed to support e-commerce integration for sales and marketing experiences. Users can also build their own customizable interactions, including gamified activities and token-gated rooms.

    Emperia has helped brands such as Tommy Hilfiger enter the e-commerce metaverse. Image: Emperia
    Emperia has helped brands such as Tommy Hilfiger enter the e-commerce metaverse. Image: Emperia

    It will be interesting to see how builders across the digital fashion space will approach the open-source platform, as well as what impact it will have on the virtual e-commerce market.

    With more resources now openly available to the community, barriers to entry are significantly lower, thus increasing the chances of digital fashion becoming more widely accessible and accepted.

    Emperia and Syky aren’t alone in their endeavors. Their announcements arrive at a time when more globally influential players are allocating funds and resources to support the digital fashion economy.

    Roblox, for example, is busy improving its Creator Hub, while fashion house Rabanne announced the launch of its new digital artist program just last week. Farfetch’s Dream Assembly accelerator has also helped propel startups like Spin by Lablaco to the forefront, as has Mastercard’s Web3-native music accelerator, a program that aims to help fledgling music artists forge careers in the digital economy.

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    • Shudu Gram, the world’s first digital supermodel, has been brought to life by Vogue in partnership with digital model lab The Diigitals and tech-meets-art agency XLAB Realtime. Unveiled during the Vogue Live AI Summit last week, the virtual human can interact with and answer questions from audience members. To mark the occasion, the supermodel was featured on the front cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia’s Leaders edition, wearing digital designs created by Katarína Mydliarová.
    • Rimowa has released a new virtual universe video campaign to celebrate the launch of its renowned luggage’s new forest green colorway. The setting, created by artist Jean-Jacques Balzac, is full of imagination, merging greenery and futuristic architecture to “hide the boundary between reality and virtuality.”
    • Michael Kors has introduced a new AI-powered assistant to its official US website to help shoppers select products. Created by tech provider and Mastercard-owned Dynamic Yield, the “Shopping Muse” aims to enhance the consumer shopping experience by offering recommendations and interacting with customers.
    • Metaverse destination The Sandbox has raised over $20 million to help empower creators in the open metaverse. The strategic round was led by Kingsway Capital and Animoca Brands, with participation from LG Tech Ventures and True Global Ventures. The funding will be used to improve editor tools, enhance the creator earning experience, expand gameplay possibilities, and introduce a new decentralized metaverse for mobile.
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