As someone who has spent their career closely following fashion trends and making predictions about the next big thing, I believe we could be at the beginning of the biggest disruption of the fashion industry since social media began. The Metaverse, cryptocurrency, and NFTs are becoming more mainstream every day as more and more people begin to dabble in the space. We've already become comfortable presenting ourselves on various social platforms using forms of AR, filters, and retouching tools to alter our appearance. What if you could apply that same technology to your wardrobe and have a portion of the items you own in virtual form? DRESSX, founded by Natalia Modenova and Daria Shapovalova, is at the center of the digital wearable movement and has already partnered with Google, Farfetch, and H&M and created projects with Balenciaga, Fendi, and Miss Sohee with a slew of big launches planned for 2022. They've also assembled some of the most talented digital creators from around the world to create a shoppable platform with digital items starting at $20 per piece.
"Our big aim is to provide an endless digital closet to every person in the world for their digital presence with no boundaries to express themselves creatively. Same with the creators — 3D and fashion designers, we want to empower talents and provide them with a safe place to create and grow professionally," Modenova says.
We caught up with the founders of DRESSX to talk about all things digital fashion, sustainability impact, and the future of digital wearables.
POPSUGAR: What do you imagine the closet of the future will look like?
Daria Shapovalova: While some people use digital clothing simply to experiment with their looks or enhance their old pictures, others use it as an opportunity to be the people they have always dreamed to be — whether this would mean wearing brighter outfits, completely changing their style, expressing themselves through high fashion, etc. Digital fashion doesn't have any limits, which is why it is a great tool for exploring oneself and one's own personality in the safest and easy way. With the enhancement of technology, the number of digital fashion use cases will only continue to grow and the DRESSX metacloset will become a more versatile space to store your wardrobe of the Metaverse.
PS: Can you explain a bit how DRESSX works? What's the experience like for the user when purchasing digital clothing? How is the asset stored, shared, etc?
Natalia Modenova: The process of ordering DRESSX photo looks works like this: users choose the looks they want to be digitally dressed in, upload the photos of themselves in the dedicated field on the item page, check out, and receive their new metalook straight to their email or DRESSX digital closet in up to 24 hours. Photo looks are created using DRESSX proprietary digital dressing technology and are considered to be a more editorial version of the DRESSX offering.
PS: Do you have any big predictions for how metafashion will become more mainstream in 2022?
NM: We believe that in the future, every fashion brand — luxury, haute couture, streetwear, everyone — will own a digital fashion line. Same as high-fashion luxury brands have perfumes or accessories. With its different-from-the-physical-items price point yet high precision, digital fashion will become a new way for customers to enter the high fashion world, discovering the new way to shop luxury, reducing their environmental footprint, receiving the same sense of belonging and excitement from wearing designer pieces in digital.
PS: Are you planning any releases to coincide with Fashion Week or red carpet events?
DS: We always keep DRESSX relevant to the events and releases happening in the world. For example, in September 2021, we released the DRESSX METaverse collection — an in-house drop created to celebrate and honor one of the most important events for the fashion industry, Met Gala. Named "METaverse" as a collection merging the new digital world with the biggest traditional fashion extravaganza, Met Gala, the drop reimagines what it means to appear on the red carpet in the 21st century.
PS: As of now, the site is populated by mostly digital-only creators. Do you expect to onboard traditional designers as they become more involved in the space?
NM: We have worked with traditional fashion creatives since day one of the DRESSX platform, launching designers whose outfits usually cost around $700-$1,100 worn for less than $50 in the digital format, or even for free in AR on the DRESSX app. We are very lucky to have more and more interest from the traditional fashion industry with popular brands reaching out to us aiming to expand and grow through the digital fashion realm. With Farfetch, we created digital influencer campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Palm Angels, Balenciaga, Nanushka, and later for Burberry, digitizing the designer garments and promoting collections without any use of physical materials, unnecessary shipments, or damages for the environment. Recently, we also digitized and enabled AR try-on for the iconic Fendi collection, featured on the cover of Haute Living — the first 100 percent digital fashion cover in the US.
PS: What do you feel is the biggest upside/potential for digital fashion long term?
NM: The sustainability potential of digital fashion also cannot be stated enough; by substituting just one percent of physical clothing with digital garments, we will save five trillion liters of water and eliminate the annual carbon footprint of the fashion industry by 35 million tons, which is equal to the total carbon emission of Denmark in 2017. Just imagine, all of this can be done by switching one percent of our wardrobes to digital! That's a contribution to our planet that everyone can handle, while still keeping fashion fun and enjoying the thrill of buying new clothes and creating amazing fashion content.
PS: Are there any collaborations and launches that you can share for the next few weeks?
NM: DRESSX will start the new year 2022 with the launch of our NFT Marketplace, which we believe will make a big difference for the current digital fashion market. Having done multiple successful drops and partnerships in the NFT space, including ones with Crypto.com, Foundation, Engine, Binance, Counter Strike, Atari, The Fabricant, Balmain, and many others within 2021, we are now ready to open nft.dressx.com — an ultimate destination for discovering, buying, reselling, and, the most important, wearing the NFTs. Dressing feature for the photos and in AR will be available for every item, and more wearable use cases for the Metaverse and web3 will be announced soon.