“We just had a baby,” Dundas image director Evangelo Bousis said via a Zoom call from the hospital on the eve of the brand’s Metaverse Fashion Week debut.
Co-founders of the brand Peter Dundas and Evangelo Bousis are life companions and business partners and are also barely a week into motherhood.
It was in this all too real context that they were working on the Metaverse Fashion Week show and virtual boutique in the Decentraland Web 3.0 universe.
The idea was to keep the physical and digital universes as coherent as possible from visual merchandising to runway execution. “We wanted to see how we can combine the digital and physical worlds, how we can make the two fit together,” she said.
The store that aired a couple of days before the show offered a preview of its 12 looks, 11 of which featured links to the Dundas e-commerce channel where physical versions were already available for purchase.
As for the look 12, it was a more fantastic deal. “I told Peter ‘this is your chance, no budget, so go for it and do something Beyoncé would wear'”, she laughed. To celebrate the brand’s 2017 launch, Dundas created a custom look Beyoncé wore for her performance at the Grammy Awards.
These looks were shown “in store” on avatars against the backdrop of two of the brand’s emblematic panthers complete with diamond-encrusted collars. She explained that they had curated the pop-up just like their brick-and-mortar stores did and that the same was true of the digital fashion show.
In both cases, he said, it was a transfer of knowledge from the physical world to the Metaverse. “The vision has to be strong so that all the components come together. For the show, we had the same composer do the music we use in our physical shows and Peter worked with his real-life stylist George Cortina on the looks. ”
The next step will be digital wearables made with the virtual clothing brand DressX that Dundas collaborated with on his first foray into the Metaverse on NFT wearables of the Super Bowl outfits he made for artist Mary J.Blige.
The duo is keen to continue their partnership with Decentraland, so DressX will create avatar outfits to wear in DCL plus versions of additional filters for social media sharing.
But first come the Grammys. “We have a great time at the Grammys,” revealed Bousis, “we’re making a (digital) wearable with DressX.” He couldn’t reveal anything else but, for the record, HER, Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish all have performance slots.
Like all stylists, MVFW was a kind of laboratory. “We are a small brand, so we thought ‘let’s learn about consumer behaviors and expectations in the digital world,'” he said. “For us it is an experiment and how we can relate it to our business.”
One plan for the future is to sell physical clothing that comes standard with the corresponding digital wearables.
The idea was born from the discussions on Covid-19 around the Zoom calls and inspired by the classic movie of the 90s, In the dark. “It was one of the movies that we all grew up with, thinking about the digital wardrobe. They were light years ahead of us ”.
Instead of hoping for the best with a dress at the waist, you should simply pick something from your digital closet.
Other uses of Web 3.0 technology could revolve around bypassing supply chain problems that also emerged during the pandemic.
“Since starting our brand we have always wanted to see how we can disrupt systems and we believe the Metaverse will disrupt fashion. There are endless opportunities and we are looking to explore them, ”she concluded.
“It’s about taking risks, so you have to jump in or hold back and we’re the kind of people who jump in.”