Designing fashion in a digital age
April 12, 2022
When you peruse clothing stores, what do you think of? Perhaps an image of rows of clothing, each one with different colors and materials for every occasion, comes to mind. However, a fresh take on fashion has revitalized this scene.
Digital clothing, created in 2018 by Carlings, a Scandinavian retailer, isn’t made of fabric. Instead, it’s made of pixels. The process of buying it is simple; users choose a piece of digital clothing through an online display. The buyer can then send a picture of themselves to the company to be manipulated by the software or edit the clothing directly onto their own body. Essentially, the user buys the software that edits that specific image onto their picture, not an actual piece of clothing.
Through this digitized process, users are provided a clean option of fashion which can make high-end fashion more accessible. In the United States alone, 16 million tons of textile waste are generated annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Digital fashion has a carbon footprint that is 95% lower than that of a physical garment.
With a culture of “fast fashion,” digital clothing allows users to make a quick, trendy purchase that provides a one-time wear and doesn’t take up the space that physical clothing does. Digital clothing has been pivotal in shaping the culture of runway fashion. Platforms like Digital Runway use artificial intelligence to create avatars and 3D clothing.
Most recently, metaverse platform Decentraland hosted their “Metaverse Fashion Week”, featuring collections from brands such as Dolce and Gabbana. The five-day inaugural virtual fashion week event included runways walked by virtual avatars, virtual pop-up shops, and more.
While style constantly evolves and shapes current trends, digital clothing has provided a glimpse into the future of fashion.