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Fashion for Your Virtual Self: How the Digital Clothing Industry is Growing amid Covid-19 Lockdown

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

As if our reality is not already virtual enough, a market for virtual or digital clothes is growing where people buy arts of clothes to be edited on their photo for real money.

As if our reality is not already virtual enough, a market for virtual or digital clothes is growing where people buy arts of clothes to be edited on their photo for real money. Recently, a digital Gucci handbag was sold on a gaming platform for a price - about Rs 2.9 lakh - more than that of a real physical Gucci bag, which the owner could use in the real world. The incident of buying a digital cloth was not something bizarre or new. According to UX Planet, a website that keeps track of trends in technology, digital clothing is one of the most exciting tech trends in 2021.

[hq]What is digital fashion?[/hq]

Digital fashion or virtual clothing can be understood by drawing from two areas and merging them into one. Do you remember the last time you played a video game on your computer and the game asked you to purchase a special hat or outfit for your digital avatar, through which you play the game? Digital fashion is something like that, companies can sell you digital clothing, you can buy it and get it to fit your digital version - a photo or video of you, which you can share.

[hq]How is it “buying”?[/hq]

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Apparently, too many people, clothes are not just about getting to wear them on your physical body and going out in the physical world. For them, being edited in a nice digital dress should also display ownership and affluence.

NFTs are certificates of ownership of digital assets - any digital piece of information that contains something unique and valuable - that is securely stored on the blockchain network, the same technology that is used by cryptocurrencies. NFTs for digital clothing provide the buyers with the ownership of the digital clothing - pieces of digital information.

While some people may think that spending that amount of money for a blended picture, and its ownership, is too much, the industry is already catching the trend.

It all started in 2018, way before the pandemic, when a Scandinavian retailer company named Carlings launched a digital collection of clothing. Purchasing clothes from the collection, starting from Rs 900, meant providing the retailer with a photo after which the company’s 3d designers would edit the digital cloth - or art of the cloth - on the customer’s photo.

In July 2019, a buyer spent about Rs 7 lakh on a digital couture dress that was sold on the Ethereum blockchain. According to L’Atelier BNP Paribas, a company that keeps an eye on the tech business, the market for digital clothing and in-game character upgrades will grow from $109b in 2019 to $129b in 2021.

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