Stefan Hauswiesner, CEO and co-founder of Reactive Reality (www.reactivereality.com), the augmented reality leader enhancing the e-commerce experience for retailers and consumers comments on the role of digital fashion tools to improve the luxury sector:
The physical fashion industry of late has taken a real hammering. From fast fashion to supply chain issues of certain brands – these are challenging times! However, digital fashion and the technology enabling it have become the golden child. They offer brands and consumers scalable and eco-conscious options that have little impact on the environment, and often reduce costs.
Less a solution and rather a pathway, digital fashion doesn’t come without its own unique set of challenges. However, as the creators of the very product digitisation technology opening the metaphorical door to Web3 for designers and brands everywhere, we see it as the future. We all know that COVID pulled the rug out from under the feet of big fashion, as fashion shows internationally were cancelled and physical stores closed. Suddenly brands needed to give consumers the tools to view products in a digital capacity. The alternative was for retailers to hold masses of stock, then letting shoppers over-order items in every size, in the hope that one fits, and sending the rest back. This is neither ethical nor environmentally conscious. Enter PICTOFiT.
For consumers, magic mirrors, image capture technology, and virtual try-on features offer the ultimate level of personalisation when shopping both online and in-store. Personalisation is exactly what people are seeking when it comes to retail.
In stores, through mixed reality technology, customers can view and try on clothes that may not be in stock, all via personalised avatars, accurate to body size and measurement, boosting sales and loyalty. Customers are then provided with an online sign-in credential, where their own avatar and in-store experience will be stored, giving them access to continue their shopping journey at home. This is the solution that the retail industry has been seeking for decades. It is thanks to new image capture technology and virtual reality that we are able to bring it to the mass market.
This year, the world’s first metaverse fashion week meant that people did not have to physically travel across the planet just to watch models walk the catwalk. Gucci, Dior, and Balmain all released ready-to-wear fashion lines this season in the metaverse, giving the world digital runway access to luxury fashion that once may not have been available to them, and at no cost to natural resources or air miles in shipping. It is digital fashion technology that is enabling this to happen.
One report from ORDRE suggested that 241,000 tonnes of CO2 a year is emitted from travel costs associated with the quarterly fashion months alone. However, there are more than just four. In fact, there are over 100 international fashion weeks held globally. This is just one space where digital fashion can help to reduce the need for global travel for an ‘IRL’ fashion experience. Through PICTOFiT, buyers can not only see the entire collection, but they can also try the items on themselves – try before you buy.
This is just one example of the scalability and potential for fashion in the new digital world. One that we are building.
When launching PICTOFiT, we were aware of the positive impact that it was going to have for the entire industry. While the metaverse is still in its early stages, our goal is, and always has been, to work directly with fashion brands and retailers, to improve the otherwise clunky online and in-store processes offered to customers when trying on clothes. People need speed and efficiency and that is what PICTOFiT offers. From high-end luxury to ready-to-wear, fashion is going through a revolution.