Although the fashion industry has only recently begun experimenting with the Metaverse, it seems like a fair bet to say that all of its customers will eventually end up using it in one way or another. As of right now, more and more emerging designers are taking the lead of bigger luxury brands like Burberry, Balenciaga, and Gucci and launching digital collections.
If you’re ready to start your fashion brand’s adventure in the Metaverse, read on. In this blog, we’ll cover the pros and cons of creating an online collection and tackle the biggest question that’s probably on your mind – are digital fashion collections worth investing your time and money in?
How Long Will It Take to Create a Metaverse Collection?
Unsurprisingly, the answer to this question is a big, unhelpful “it depends”. Your skill with computers and fashion design programs will greatly influence the process of creating digital fashion products.
These are the three steps you’ll need to include in your timetable for planning the launch of your virtual apparel line:
Step 1: Gain confidence with design software.
You are automatically in a better position if you have experience with 3D designing programs like Backbone PLM, Adobe Substance 3D, or CLO 3D. If you don’t, we recommend starting by trying out one of the many free online tutorials on how to master these tools.
Since different virtual realities will ask you to use different software tools to create your digital products, you could technically skip this step, but beginning with a grasp of traditional 3D modeling and product design will make the whole process easier and faster for you to master.
Step 2: Identify the right multiverse for your brand.
Put some time and effort into this part. Just like we saw in the first blog of this series, many different companies, games, and virtual realities contribute to creating versions of the Metaverse.
As of right now, many platforms prefer to work with bigger designers and luxury brands to contain the potentially uncontrollable and unstoppable amount of content that users could create. Two of the multiverse domains that currently allow everyone to launch digital wearables are Decentraland and Roblox, which we’ll explore in more depth later in this blog.
Step 3: Secure multiverse approval.
Choosing the most appropriate game or platform for your brand and products is only part of the hustle. You may be asked to submit your creations for an official revision before you receive clearance to start selling your items in the Metaverse.
For example, Decentraland requires that its own Decentraland Curation Committee reviews and approves every work that appears on its platform. And as Decentraland’s website says, “collections may be reviewed and rejected multiple times before final approval”.
How Much Does It Cost to Create a Metaverse Collection?
Even if you won’t have to worry about producing samples, sourcing different materials, and storage room for your physical items, the final expense of creating a digital fashion collection could still run up pretty high. Creating a fashion item in the Metaverse can vary in investment from $1 to $700 per item, while their MSRP can range anywhere from $10 to $8,400. According to Fashion Brain Academy, a first collection should include between 10 and 12 items, although some digital collections have presented collections of fewer looks. When it comes to create digital fashion, these are the two main costs that you’ll have to consider.
1. Rights or no rights?
If you try to reproduce a Hermés or Gucci bag in real life, you might end up with a lawsuit for counterfeiting because these brands own the legal rights and licenses over their products. That makes it illegal for someone else to try and recreate them. Similarly, in the Metaverse you would have to factor in your products’ “digital rights” – or NFTs – into the cost of creating each item. This will help prevent other brands or designers from recreating your looks without giving you the credit for them.
Consider this: if you create a successful digital garment, a bigger fashion brand might be willing to invest some money into a partnership with you, launching initiatives like a comprehensive ad campaign for the product or dual brand collaboration. If you didn’t concern yourself with buying the digital rights to what you created, someone else could just start reproducing it and selling it without you gaining any financial benefit.
We recommend assigning all of your digital products an NFT, or a non-fungible token, indicating you as its sole owner. Being the one and only owner of the digital rights of an item or collection will assure you some leverage and profit in case a competitor decides to start producing it. In addition, owning and then selling the digital rights of your item just one time could also potentially turn into a higher profit than selling the single item multiple times. For example, in the past 7 days, on Decentraland Wearables, 48 wearable NFTs (the digital rights of virtual clothes) sold for a total of $10,200, at an average individual price of $211. Do keep in mind though that, because NFTs are a much safer bet than a mere digital item, they also run a higher cost. On average, creating and owning a NFT will cost you about $500.
2. What is the cost of creating a single item?
In the end, the choice to create and sell a clothing item without owning its rights is yours, but that still comes at a price. Decentraland’s pricing is clear: you must pay a non-refundable, flat fee of 500 MANA (Dentraland’s own digital currency, worth $2.423 USD at the time of publication) to create each single design in your collection. As said on Decentraland’s website, “This fee exists to deter users from publishing an excessive number of wearables in an attempt to “spam” the wearables market.”
Another game that will let you create your own clothing line is Roblox, which we mentioned in our first Multiverse blog. If you want to start experimenting before committing to a high price for producing a digital collection, Roblox is a solid option. There, you can create a T-shirt at no cost, but you will need a premium membership ($19.99/month) to sell it or make other kinds of clothing attire. Roblox also charges $0.06 USD (or 5 Robux) for each shirt and pant created, and $0.02 (2 Robux) for t-shirts. All things considered, you could start selling a collection on this platform for about $20 per month.
Is the Metaverse Worth It for Emerging Fashion Designers?
Unfortunately, as of right now, there’s no clear answer to this question.
While a digital fashion collection might be a better, more suitable solution for some designers, others might still find the risk too high to bet on. After all, virtual reality or not, people still need clothes even if parts of their lives move more online.
The whole concept of Metaverse is in development and leaves room for a lot of exploration and innovation. That can lead to success or failure. However, the fact that many elite luxury brands have already decided to immerse themselves in this new scenario should be a good indicator that the Metaverse won’t go anywhere any time soon. If there is one lesson that fashion has taught us, it's that it’s best to ride the wave at its peak.
The possible advantages of moving your fashion brand in this new world are notable, beginning with an undeniable reduction of material waste unattainable with any other form of sustainable fashion – a goal that this industry has been exploring for very good reasons. Another advantage of Metaverse-based fashion is its potential online visibility and simplified product delivery. Someone on the other side of the world could immediately purchase your products and have them in their possession in seconds instead of days or weeks like with physical products.
In the end, you shouldn’t commit to the Metaverse if you don’t feel ready to accept the fact that it is still a work in progress for everyone – emerging fashion designers, established fashion brands, and even software developers. But starting small with some easy and inexpensive experiments could be the safest and smartest option for you and your brand.
Lucrezia was born and raised in Italy, where she graduated in Humanities from Università degli Studi di Siena. She's a Content Marketing Intern for MakersValley and loves to write, but can only do it when laying on the floor. In her free time, you can either find her in a swimming pool or next to a buffet table.