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The future of Metaverse Fashion Week is unclear

Dolce&Gabbana, Coach and Diesel among the main protagonists of the new edition

The future of Metaverse Fashion Week is unclear  Dolce&Gabbana, Coach and Diesel among the main protagonists of the new edition

Last year, more than 108,000 participants logged onto Decentraland's debut Metaverse Fashion Week to take part in URL concerts, openings, exhibitions, fashion shows and after-parties in the company of AUROBOROS, Grimes, and Guo Pei. However, as Daniel Rodgers points out in a Dazed article, twelve months can change a lot. This year's event will face new obstacles, including declining public attention and investments in the metaverse and NFTs and the resulting cryptocurrency crisis, cultural changes that could greatly impact the event's actual attendance, and the disruption of future editions. For the organizers, this may be the last chance to regain public approval. The curators have chosen "Future Heritage" as the theme of the next MVFW to connect digital designers with historical fashion institutions. This week Decentraland will host more than 60 active designers and artists, including Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Diesel, as well as DressX, The Fabricant, and the Institute of Digital Fashion. Dolce&Gabbana will also be an active participant this year, with its "Future Rewind" project inaugurating a competition in collaboration with UNXD aimed at supporting emerging digital designers. The jury will be composed of designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, as well as members of the NFT DG Family community.

The art collective Vueltta has devised a tribute to Vivienne Westwood in the form of an immersive installation, which will take place during the four days of MVFW at Genesis Plaza with the aim of linking the designer's rebellious spirit to the countercultural creativity of artists working in the digital landscape. Inspired by the creations of Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lorenzo Riva, RLTY, Art Consulting and Animal Concerts have instead transformed some of the couturier's best-known creations into a series of wearables. Glenn Martens has already opened his IRL shows to the online public as well as occupying the D-CAVE space for an interactive party together with HAPE. The Institute of Digital Fashion questions the meaning and purpose of clothes at the end of the world, launching a series of wearable NFTs in collaboration with rising designer Bradley Sharp, while AUROBOROS will host a giveaway at Fashion Street Estate on Decentraland, where guests will have the chance to win a look from the upcoming collection in partnership with Mesmer. A decidedly softer initiative than last year's Grimes performance, but one that carries the same message: the Metaverse as a place of maximum self-expression.

Attention to digital worlds has dropped dramatically over the past year, so much so that Decentraland, the $1.3 billion metaverse has only 38 active users per day, while The Sandbox has less than 1,000 (522, to be precise), despite also being valued at more than $1 billion. So why did brands invest time and money in the technology needed to participate in an event that could be a flop? Partly because making the necessary graphics is time-consuming and brands may have noticed the market downturn when it was too late to back out, and partly because fashion companies' relationship with new technology has always been strictly dependent on their FOMO. It remains to be seen whether the MVFW will really be the flop that everyone expects or a moment of rebirth for an industry that seems to have run out of steam before it even gets off the ground.