Digital fashion is an emerging trend that encompasses a variety of ideas, innovations and concepts. If we take a very broad look at what’s considered to be digital fashion, we can include brands advertising their products online, outfits designed for digital people (such as VR characters), and software that allows people to design clothes or put together outfits. Essentially, anything that makes clothing more prominent or takes things in a new direction can be put under the “digital fashion” umbrella.
Although these features are still somewhat disparate, the concept of digital fashion is slowly homogenising into a singular concept. Indeed, analysts are now starting to track the value of this emerging entity, with a 2022 report by Allied Analytics pegging the digital fashion industry’s value at $498.7 million in 2021. The expectation, based on current data, suggests digital fashion will achieve a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 26.4% to become a $4.8 billion industry by 2031.
Fashion Always Moves with the Times
Of course, fashion, by its very nature, is an industry that moves with the times. From billboards to TV adverts, brands have always embraced the latest ways to engage customers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that digital fashion, at least in the early days, was all about online advertising and social media posts. Long before analysts started putting a definition on the move towards making fashion digital, brands were sponsoring social media stars to promote their wares.
Today, there are almost as many “influencers” as there are social media users, which is why fashion brands are finding different ways to stand out. Computer-generated characters, known as virtual influencers, have become a thing in recent years. There were 150 virtual influencers in 2021 according to virtualhumans.org, and that figure is set to grow as virtual reality technology becomes more prominent. Fashion companies have also embraced the collaborative opportunities of the internet. In fact, these opportunities have led to some unexpected but effective collaborations.
Collaborations Open New Doors
For example, an online casino in the UK, now has the capacity to host hybrid games. Otherwise known as live dealer games, these innovations make use of RFID sensors and webcams that connect online players to remote gaming studios. These studios play host to dozens of different games that are overseen by human dealers. Thus, what players get is a fusion of online and live gaming. One of the latest innovations is a suite of FashionTV-branded games developed by Playtech.
The games areas much of a visual feast as a betting activity. The dealers are decked out in the season’s finest garments, and there’s an elegance in each of the games. This is a novel yet potentially effective way for FashionTV and its associated brands to engage new demographics. The data shows that at least 32 million Brits have tried online casino gaming at least once. Look at the world as a whole, and online casino gaming is a multi-billion-pound industry that entertains over 100 million people on a weekly basis. That’s a lot of potential customers for fashion brands and one of the main reasons they’re eager to embrace this digital revolution.