What about the way fabric feels? What about seeing clothes for real? What about trying them on to see how they fit?
You hear a lot of ‘what abouts’ when you say clothing doesn’t have to be physical to exist.
And we get it, this is an entirely new way of doing things, a thrilling but unfamiliar world where old school rules don’t apply.
Like any groundbreaking idea digital fashion needs pioneers, fellow explorers willing to join us in rewriting how things can be. Because when you begin to rethink the fashion experience, you see so many possibilities.
Mannequins, changing rooms, clothing racks, display cabinets. Is this as good as it gets? Are we satisfied with business as usual when the usual was decided over 200 years ago?
What can happen when we dare to reimagine the entire store environment?
Our collaboration with luxury retailer I.THK proved without doubt that when you detach from the physical world emotional connection holds strong. The heart beats just as quickly for clothing presented in digital form.
The stunning Marques Almeida puffer jacket was part of a special collection designed for I.T’s 30th anniversary. No one saw it physically before they bought it. There was no fitting room to try it on. The retail experience as we’ve always known it did not exist. Yet, it sold out instantly.
The only way to fall in love with it was via our non-physical 3D recreation. The life size screens where it was shown were also pop-up digital ordering points that appeared for a brief moment in time.
Emotional processors don’t need bricks and mortar to become activated. Neural pathways are not designed to respond to coathangers and cashiers. Racing pulses, dilated pupils and raised follicles happen just as readily with a digital experience.
Fashion has spent too long in its comfort zone. We need visionaries to disrupt the narrative and move the needle from ‘why?’ to ‘why not?’ Marques Almeida is one such challenger. They’ve given us the digital patterns of the silver puffer jacket to offer as a free file drop. It’s the first ever high-end label to participate in a FFROP. The first to push against fashion’s prevailing instincts and contribute to a more open and collaborative digital fashion future.
Innovation only occurs when we question the status quo. But certain truths remain — connection is central to every relationship. No matter what we create, we’ll never forget we’re designing for humans.
*Piece originally posted on The Fabricant’s blog: October 30th 2019.