Richard Ma is a San Francisco businessman who spent $10,000 earlier this year on a digital dress that was created by The Fabricant. The Fabricant is the world’s first digital-only fashion house. Why is that such a big thing? Well, this $10,000 dress doesn’t exist outside of the digital world.
Digital-only clothes are a new concept, and not many people have heard about them. However, some experts do believe that they are bound to become a thriving industry soon enough. One might question that who would be interested in purchasing garments that don’t really exist in the physical world. But the fact is that our lives have been starkly changed by social media, and it is in this field that the applications of digital dresses exist.
Ronny Mikalsen is the CEO of Scandinavian fashion brand Carlings, and said, ‘Once the world got introduced to social media, clothing production increased massively. It’s all about ‘the fake reality’ – we have to understand that people are buying things to wear once and be pictured in; they never wear these clothes again.’
Social media has become the driving force of today’s world and has caused a sustainability crisis in the fashion industry. We are already seeing brands such as Zara taking only a few weeks to get their new designs expedited into the production phase for the sake of keeping up with the demand from young customers. That is precisely where digital fashion comes in with its myriad of applications.
When you are aiming to show off some amazing new clothing, you need to pay the digital-only fashion houses to create something for your brand. These digital-only fashion houses will layer the new design on of your photos, and this will make it appear as if you are really wearing those clothes. The Fabricant created Iridescence – a $10,000 dress – for Richard Ma’s wife. It was silver and silky in its composition and twinkled when it caught the light.
Carlings, on the other hand, launched its digital collection in October 2018 with dresses priced as low as $11. The whole collection was sold within a single week. The interesting aspect of digital clothing is that the cost you pay is for the cost of having it fitted onto a single picture only. If you want to wear that dress in another picture, you will have to pay an extra fee. Ronny Mikalsen said, ‘This will never replace physical clothing. We will always need those items, but they’re not the items you want to express yourself, they don’t show the other side of your personality, which the younger generation are all keen to do.’
Matthew Drinkwater, who is the head of the Fashion Innovative Agency at the London College of Fashion, said, ‘Digital fashion will become an important part of every fashion business’ future business model. It’s not going to replace everything, but it will be an important part of that.’