Metaverse Fashion Council is facilitating a series of interviews among our Advisory Board Members in order to address the most important and relevant questions related to Metaverse. This interview is run by fashion entrepreneur Tracy Greenan and Clare Tattersall, the founder of Digital Fashion Week NYC will share insights of the upcoming runway shows, XR rooms and panel discussions.
— Hi Clare! How is your summer going? Keeping cool? I’d like to start the interview off with some background questions: Tell us about your yourself. Where are you from, for instance. How did you get involved in digital fashion and where did the concept of DFWNY come from?
Hi Tracy! The summer is heating up – as the temperatures rise, so does the pressure as we hurtle towards September and Digital Fashion Week. The event has grown so fast. Now it is not just the technology evolving that we have to keep up with, but the growing interest in digital fashion and fashion technology. I am from the UK originally, but consider myself a New Yorker, as do most immigrants here. We all share a dream to create something new that defines not just us but our time. I have actually been in digital fashion since 2009, and every step of the journey has brought me to where we are now.
— Tell us about your involvement in the Metaverse Fashion Council. What are they all about. Why is it important to be a part of this community and how’s that going for you?
I am truly honored to have been invited to be part of the Metaverse Fashion Council. They stand for many things, but what is most important to me is the strength and support of the community, and also the dedication to creating positive values as we move into a future that is unregulated. Kazbek is an incredibly thoughtful person and the energy that he draws from to pull people to a place where we are moving forward, together to create something good is very admirable.
— When does Digital Fashion Week New York start and what can we expect this year?
Digital Fashion Week NY runs pretty much in parallel with NYFW, the dates are September 7-11. Each season is different as we draw on new technologies and welcome new designers into the digital family. We have screenings of animations, both live and in the Metaverse movie theatre, networking, runway shows where you can experience digital and physical fashion together. Virtual try on, XR showrooms where you can explore and try fashion, speakers, panel discussions and the opportunity to create your own avatar that reflects your own body, which will then be an NFT. The theme is “Into the Metaverse” and we are looking at the ways that designers, brands and consumers can enter on their own terms.
— Explain to us how Digital Fashion Week New York works? How is it different from a traditional fashion show? How do we view it? Can anyone get tickets?
It sometimes overlaps with a traditional fashion show. But it is also different. I believe that the consumer demands new ways to interact with fashion and we are exploring ideas in this space. We are not exactly providing answers, but rather experiences that will raise more questions. So we do have runway shows, but you will be able to create your avatar and try on digital versions of the clothes. Fashion is about self-expression and we are experimenting with more creative ways to express yourself.
— What do you need from digital fashion designers to be apart of DFWNY?
We have several categories and each of these has different demands. We select designers that we think exhibit both technical excellence and also creative brilliance. Designers need to come to the table ready to push their own boundaries, learn new technologies and try out different ways of sharing their artwork.
— Why should we be interested in digital fashion? Why wear virtual clothes if we can’t wear them in real life?
Well....we can wear them in real life. So much of our lives are now spent online, and we can wear these digital clothes (it is still an evolving process). As a jewelry designer, you are selling your designs to wear in Zoom calls or on Google Meet. As we move more and more into virtual experiences we are going to need clothes that express who are as much in URL as we do in IRL.
"The opportunity for fashion in the Metaverse is tremendous - - as we spend more of our online time in immersive spaces we will want to express ourselves through fashion as we do IRL"
— Where do you see DFWNY in the next five years? What do you have planned for the future?
One thing we have learned from recent history is that you never know how the world can suddenly change, so while we can plan ahead, we have to stay nimble and adapt. This is absolutely key to DFWNY is just a reflection of where technology and creativity are going. I really cannot say where we will be in 5 years – that seems impossibly far out in planning terms. However, I can tell you that for February 2023 we are already talking to some fabulous brands about cool immersive experiences where people meet fashion.
— Do you see any resistence from traditional fashion brands showing at NYFW going digital? Why aren’t more participating in DFWNY?
I think it is very hard for established brands to adapt as fast as young brands. Independent designers are more nimble and agile because they just don't have the infrastructure behind them, they don't have red tape or checks and balances. We work with independent designers because honestly that is where the digital talent pool is right now. Bigger brands are dipping into this pool for the talent. It's really interesting to watch this reversal of fortune, and super gratifying to see independent artists appreciated for their skills.
— From what I hear, many digital designers in this space are spending a lot of time and energy collaborating with others, but few are making real money and that can be frustrating. What are your thoughts?
Some people are making a lot of money. Some people are not – you are going to find that in any industry. It is a time of innovation, you need to stand back, look at the market and see how you fit in or how you can differentiate. Many of the designers we work with are so busy now, it is no longer a side hustle, but they are often overwhelmed with how much work they are getting.
— How can a traditional fashion brand transition to web3? It seems very daunting and intimidating. Is it expensive? What are the steps to take?
That is a huge question. We could be here days discussing. What we are addressing during the panel discussions, networking and speaker events is steps that you can take to enter this space. There is no single one-size-fits-all answer. It is very important to look at what would work for your brand.
— Who is your favorite digital fashion designer or brand? What is it about them that you like?
I don't deal in favorites. Honestly I am stunned by the wealth of talent and creativity out there.
"While in traditional fashion we are bound by gravity, physics of fabrics and time, in Metaverse fashion we are bound only by our imagination"
— Tell us about the Drip Boutique. Where did the concept come from and what are your plans for it?
We are very focused on functionality – finding new ways to wear digital fashion. Our plans are to keep expanding, keep forging new partnerships and keep providing new options for designers.
— Where do you see digital fashion evolving?
I very much believe that the Metaverse will play a significant role in business, industry and education. While now we are mainly hosting social events, but in the future it will be an integral part of how we learn and share. And while we are spending so much time there...well we are definitely going to need a cool drip to wear.