The Summer 2022 edition of L'Officiel is titled The Metaverse Issue, dedicated to the exciting new virtual worlds that have been heating up the traditional fashion industry. Leading digital fashion house DRESSX is featured on the cover of the issue along with the subtitle "Digital Meets IRL." In this issue a conversation was staged between the founders of DRESSX and legendary designer Iris Van Herpen about the wide scope of creative possibilities in digital fashion.
The longform article that records their discussion over Zoom covers much ground and offers many fascinating ideas. Daria Shapovalova of DRESSX opens the conversation by stating that digital fashion is an opportunity to do mass market without being mass market, then stating that the goal is to democratize fashion without harming creativity. Van Herpen recounts her first efforts using 3D printing in her design work more than 10 years ago, also mentioning how excited she is about mixed reality and the wider acceptance of technology in the creative process of fashion design.
Van Herpen hints at a "digital extension" for runways and exhibitions that her team is working on, but she does not offer any further details on the project. She also speaks about her love of storytelling in fashion and how she feels digital environments and worldbuilding are conducive to stories and identity. Natalia Modenova of DRESSX implores creatives in fashion and tech to participate in the metaverse market, so that everyone's interests are acknowledged in the new rules that are forming around this space.
The conversation ends with Modenova remarking that the earlier you embrace technology the quicker it improves, while Van Herpen says that it takes imagination to shape interaction in the metaverse, with the ultimate goal being a more intuitive and humane experience. Nuanced conversations like this are necessary and welcome additions to thinking through the possibilities of web3 as it shapes the future of the fashion industry.
L'Officiel celebrated its 100-year anniversary last year. The magazine created a capsule collection in collaboration with DRESSX to mark this moment.