HOW WILL VIRTUAL REALITY TRANSFORM THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
Virtual reality is playing a key role in shaping the future of the fashion industry, entering unexpected areas in extremely creative ways. Virtual reality is a technology that is developed in the digital world, where everything is possible, where we have access to a dimension that can change forever the way fashion is perceived.
According to a study by IDTechEx, the wearable technology market today amounts to 30 billion dollars and growth forecasts are very encouraging, reaching even more than 150 billion by 2026.
Virtual reality not only seeks to provide a more entertaining and innovative experience but also to reinforce the brand value and consumer relationships through more experimental and immersive contact.
Initiatives such as VR Fashion Week have already been taken, consisting of a weeklong opportunity for brands to interact with their core audience and consumers as a whole. The only requirement is that the designer's proposals have to involve somehow, a virtual or augmented reality resource.
Some brands such as Nike, Converse, Burberry, Dior, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger or Gucci, have already experimented with virtual reality. Not only for the customers but also for the designers, virtual reality is a technology that can develop in a completely new and unexplored way, elevating creativity to its maximum exponent.
Today we live in the age of technology and adaptation to change is synonymous with survival. One of the first applications that come to mind when we think about the combination of virtual reality and fashion - and that consumers tend to be interested in - is the virtual fitting room.
Whether at home or in a store, the idea is to select a garment virtually and looking at a mirror, without having to try the clothes on - since an avatar with our measurements or the spitting image of ourselves will do it for us - see how the garment fits.
In this case - in addition to being a completely new and engaging experience for the consumer - is a tool that would undoubtedly be very useful to provide a more efficient purchase process and more interactive shopping experience. It could even be combined with other features such as the virtual matching of different pieces.
Fashion has always been a social experience and technology cannot and should not ignore it. In the nearest future, we could be able to reproduce a physical store located anywhere in the world, transfer it to virtual reality and allow anyone to visit it and directly access its items.
If technology advances and predictions are fulfilled, we'd find ourselves shopping with a friend - despite his geographic location - in Tokyo, Milan or Paris, which not only on a consumer level but also on a business level, opens the doors to infinite possibilities.
The physical store will not die but the technologic evolution will force it to reinvent itself.
Referring to fashion shows, virtual reality technology can be used to share the experience beyond its physical limits. Adding a layer of "virtuality" will give a new twist to fashion weeks, allowing us to go much further, directly to the front row, where we can experience exclusive backstage moments, see the garments in motion, appreciate the details of fabrics, enjoy the entire collections in their original staging.
That the nearest future would be invaded by virtual reality is an idea that doesn't sound like science fiction if we consider that, in less than 16 years, mobile phones have become a work tool, a camera, an assistant, a map, a television; in short: essential devices to survive modern life.
The VR sector lives in a state of aspiration and exclusivity, facing the challenge of transforming the fashion industry, raising it to the tops of reinvention, seducing and surprising us. After all, virtual or not, hasn't fashion always been a vehicle to freely recreate reality?