Opinion: Why co-creation is the future of digital fashion

    In this Jing Meta op-ed, David Giordano, Head of Global Business Development at Brand New Vision, outlines how co-creation is driving fashion forward by putting consumers in the front seat.
    ME:ID held a styling competition with commerce-centered metaverse platform Highstreet in December 2023. Photo: ME:ID
    David GiordanoHead of Global Business Development, Brand New Vision
      Published   in Jing Meta

    In my 20-plus years as a New York-based fashion insider, where I've worked with major fashion houses and founded four footwear brands — two of which I've successfully sold — I've witnessed firsthand the industry's evolving narrative. Today, it's becoming increasingly clear that co-creation is charting the future course of fashion.

    A transformative journey that began in the exclusive ateliers of haute couture has now expanded into the boundless potential of digital and virtual garment design, marking a significant shift in the fashion landscape. No longer are consumers merely onlookers in the world of fashion; they have become active participants, collaborators, and creators.

    A natural progression#

    Being a father to a 10-year-old boy has opened my eyes to the reality of gaming, an industry that is always a few steps ahead in consumer interaction. It’s in these environments that we see a clear precursor to the fashion world's embrace of co-creation.

    Platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft have long empowered players to modify and personalize their experiences, turning passive users into active creators. The interactive model, where players shape the game's environment and narrative, mirrors a similar emerging dynamic in fashion. It also defines the types of experiences that younger generations will come to expect.

    In 2022, Tommy Hilfiger expanded its presence on Roblox with a "Tommy Play" space. Photo: Screenshot, Tommy Hilfiger
    In 2022, Tommy Hilfiger expanded its presence on Roblox with a "Tommy Play" space. Photo: Screenshot, Tommy Hilfiger

    The last decade's influencer marketing boom laid the groundwork for this shift. Influencers, harnessing platforms like Instagram and TikTok, have blurred the lines between consumer and creator, offering their own personal feedback and insights that directly influence brand strategies. Their role is a testament to the power of user engagement — they are not just marketing conduits but co-creators, shaping both product and presentation.

    This democratization of creation, vivid in gaming and influencer culture, is now finding its stride in fashion, signaling a future where consumers are integral to the creative process and echoing a broader societal shift towards participatory experiences.

    Taking the reins#

    My natural inclination is to always be looking ahead. As Head of Business Development for the Hong Kong-based firm Brand New Vision (a fashion tech company that lives at the intersection of fashion, gaming, and blockchain), I’m lucky to be at the forefront of tech and fashion. Even throughout the relentless hype cycles of Web3, our commitment to this co-creation paradigm has been unwavering.

    For the past two years, we've dedicated our efforts to developing the ME:ID platform — a digital meeting ground for fashion brands and creative minds. What makes ME:ID different from what we have seen thus far simply boils down to its accessibility; it's designed for everyone, regardless of their familiarity with Web3 or blockchain technologies. The platform is user-friendly, with a complex technology cocktail of AI, crypto, NFTs, and blockchain operating seamlessly behind the scenes.

    ME:ID is a tool where users can use an avatar to style and customize all manner of wearables. Photo: Brand New Vision
    ME:ID is a tool where users can use an avatar to style and customize all manner of wearables. Photo: Brand New Vision

    This intuitive, “hide all the wires” design is what we are finding crucial for the next phase of Web3 towards mass adoption. It’s allowing us to bring the next wave of digital fashionistas and progressive brands together without resorting to overwhelming — and often ostracizing — jargon and/or empty promises of future benefits. Our activations are centered around connecting, engaging, and rewarding our platform users for their creative product and content collaborations with top fashion talent, brands, schools, and communities.

    Adapting to change#

    Since its beta launch last month, we have signed up over 25,000 users and will soon be rolling out 2024 Q1 campaigns across the globe with the likes of Threeasfour, Avavav, No More Mondays, Digital Fashion Week, and artist and illustrator Steven Bliss.

    By Q2, the platform will be underpinned by our Fa$h coin, which will enable the creation of a new economy where spending, earning, and receiving bonus prizes will digitally emulate the current fashion industry ecosystem.

    As we look to the future, the fashion industry is on the brink of a monumental shift. A shift where co-creation isn’t just a concept but a thriving ecosystem driven by technological innovation and a complex understanding of consumer desires.

    Platforms like ME:ID are a testament to this evolving landscape, where the fusion of fashion with advanced technologies like AI and blockchain is not just reshaping how we design and consume fashion but also redefining the boundaries of creativity and collaboration.

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