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Why did ESMOD decide to support design in the Metaverse?

Fashion is inseparably linked to innovation and is demonstrating a growing interest in Metaverse applications, and ESMOD International intends to play a leading role in the exciting matrix that is currently being developed before our very eyes.

From the weaving machine to the industrial revolution, the rise of fashion and textiles has always been intrinsically linked to technological innovation, and the metaverse, which has been the topic on everyone’s lips for a number of months now, will be no exception. After all, the possibilities that this virtual and immersive world represents thanks to its accessibility to all by means of special equipment such as augmented reality goggles and helmets are not limited to the fields of gaming and socialisation alone. Far from it, in fact. On the contrary, it promises to explore a vast range of applications that will make it easier to interact and to develop services and in doing so to create value. According to Bloomberg, the metaverse market is expected to be worth $800 billion by 2024,

and the industrial applications that this concept promises to offer do indeed seem endless. Boeing, in particular, is currently developing its own internal metaverse based on the principle of digital twins that help avoid design errors in the company’s aircraft, for example, while Nvidia, a listed American company specialising in graphics processors, is developing a digital twin of the Earth with the ability to use artificial intelligence to anticipate and predict climate change as part of a project that will require a decade of research and investment. Oceans Atlantic International, meanwhile, aims to create a metaverse that will make it possible to predict the impact of corrosion on energy infrastructures. Much more than just an enhanced virtual game, the metaverse is intended to become a technological facilitator that is intrinsically linked to the issues we face in the physical world -

something that the giants of the fashion, lifestyle and luxury spheres have certainly understood. They’ve also certainly not been shy in adopting this innovation, which heralds a revolution in usage, while at the same time taking an interest in closely related technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and of course blockchain and NFTs - non-fungible tokens equivalent to the title deed to a digital file that are used primarily to certify the authenticity of a work or as a form of remuneration. Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Gucci, Nike, Adidas... even esteemed brands such as Christofle - there really are too many examples to list. Suffice it to say that these innovations have allowed many brands to create special editions and contributed to the development of a brand-new creative language. It’s not surprising to witness the birth of fashion brands such as Tribute for example, which defines itself as a platform for cybernetic and contactless fashion, that offer clothing and accessories on a 100% online basis. This new world will be perfectly compatible with the principles of ecology, too; in fact, while many brands will be faced with supply chain issues, digital fashion will make it possible to come up with new ideas and product launches without necessarily relying on the production of new clothing. From a more general perspective, using the metaverse to get their message across like this helps to strengthen the auras of brands with a connected audience and ultimately pulls additional traffic into stores. According to a Harris poll cited by Business Insider, 38% of GenZ and 48% of millennials believe that the metaverse will become part of their daily lives within the next ten years.

This interest on the part of the fashion industry would therefore appear to be perfectly logical and indeed inherent to the nature of a sector that has always built its raison d'être around retail and harnessing the power of experimentation and new ideas, and ESMOD International intends to play a leading role in the exciting matrix that is currently being developed before our very eyes. Given that the metaverse is a powerful driver of growth for the future, the group has decided to launch a Meta-Wear class dedicated to digital fashion design from the start of the 2022 academic year. This one-year course will allow future digital fashion designers to develop their skills in the metaverse and NFTs, with the emphasis on developing collections and universes created using key digital design tools such as CLO 3D, BLENDER, MAYA and DAZ3D without neglecting the technical aspect, with classes in ‘physical’ pattern-making to help students gain a better understanding of volumes and 3D garment construction. In addition to the creative and technical approach to fashion products, core modules will focus on virtual design in a commercial context. These classes will also look at the history of and current events in the worlds of fashion and gaming. A short 5-month metaverse programme will also be offered in 2023 to professionals looking to develop their digital design skills as part of an effective and pragmatic response to the needs of an industry that seeks highly specialised profiles.

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