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  • Writer's pictureDonavan R

The Metaverse’s First Runway Show Is Coming- Are brands prepared for this new trend?

The online metaverse and social networking site IMVU grew by 44% during the pandemic; it now attracts 7 million active users a month, most of them female or female-identifying and aged from 18 to 24. If you aren’t one of those millions, here’s a primer: On IMVU, users create personal avatars and dress them in clothes designed by fellow users—creators, in site parlance—bought with credits paid for with real money. The point of IMVU is to connect virtually with friends and to potentially make new ones, but shopping is no small part of the site’s attraction. IMVU’s virtual store features 50 million items made by over 200,000 creators. Fourteen billion in credits, or $14 million, exchanges hands over 27 million transactions each month. I Shop Therefore I Am, as Barbara Kruger put it in her famous 1990 piece, takes on new resonance in this digital world.

“Fashion is at the epicenter of why people create avatars and connect with others on IMVU,” says Lindsay Anne Aamodt, the site’s senior director of marketing. “Part of that is because dressing up an avatar in a digital space gives people access to anything that they want to look like, and it’s hard to do that in the real world.” On the night of the 2019 Met Gala, for instance, there were virtual versions of celebrities’ campy red carpet looks up on IMVU before the cameras stopped flashing. “Every time there’s something major in pop culture or there’s a trend in fashion, it’s immediately on IMVU,” Aamodt confirms. Users put on their own fashion shows, form virtual model agencies, and host award show ceremonies. When the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic started bringing musicians to digital platforms like IMVU, where they could create videos in the absence of real-world production, Aamodt had her brainwave.

Now, she’s spearheading a first-of-its-kind virtual fashion show on IMVU that unites the real-world labels Collina Strada, Gypsy Sport, Mowalola, Freak City, Bruce Glen, My Mum Made It, and Mimi Wade with expert creators who know their way around the 3D meshing and texturing process that brings IMVU’s clothes and accessories to life. The show will stream on May 27, after which IMVU users will be able buy and dress their avatars in the designer looks they saw on the virtual runway.

With mainstream luxury brands like Gucci, Burberry, Balenciaga and more already having a plans to take over the metaverse, will this trend be the next hot thing for brands?

The article above was courtesy of Vogue. Link below to the full article.

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