Five fashion brands with digital-only collections

Louis Vuitton released a capsule collection last year in collaboration with video game "League of Legends." Supplied
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Updated 05 July 2020

Five fashion brands with digital-only collections

  • Sustainable style via clothes you’ll never actually wear– Is digital fashion the future of the industry?

DUBAI: Digital fashion is increasingly finding a place in the real-world strategy of global brands, and what it lacks in first-wear, feel-good endorphins, it makes up for in saving-the-environment smarts.

What is a digital fashion collection?

Essentially items that will never physically exist. Part creative outlet (dress your Bitmoji avatar in Alexander McQueen), part hypebeast flex (Fortnite’s “skins” are now must-have revenue-drivers) and part opportunity for the fashion world to address its environmental footprint. Crucially, while the industry has struggled to find scalability, digital-only collections represent a clear chance to reduce waste.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@burberry by @earlburgos

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GQ Middle East’s fashion editor, Keanoush Zargham, believes that the concept is long overdue. “It’s vital for fashion brands to adopt a more sustainable way of thinking,” says Zargham. “And it’s great to see how they’re already thinking outside the norms of traditional runway shows, transforming the whole experience into a digital-first concept.”

Why should I consider buying digital fashion?

A cursory glance at your Instagram feed will reveal a host of once-worn “big fit” items that are quickly discarded. Consumers in 2020 buy more and use less, and the wastefulness of fast fashion has reached critical mass. Digital fashion means no items discarded, no material left on the cutting room floor and nothing destined for landfill. The question is, could it ever truly replace the physical element of the industry?

For Dubai-based fashion entrepreneur, Natalia Shustova, the sweet spot could lie somewhere in between worlds. “I don’t really believe in wearing a different item everyday just for social media,” she explains. “I prefer to curate a wardrobe. But the idea of wearing something a little futuristic and impractical to express my creativity – with zero production and waste – then, yes, I would love to try it and purchase digitally.”

While digital fashion collections might remain a work-in-progress, some brands are ahead of the curve.

Louis Vuitton

The Parisian maison dipped a monogrammed toe into the world of digital collections in 2019. Along with a real-world Louis Vuitton x League of Legends capsule collection, people on the multiplayer video game could also purchase Nicolas Ghesquière-designed LV branded skins for around $10. Merging the two worlds, the maison recently included a digital bag for its 2020 Cruise collection.

Carlings

In 2018, this Scandinavian retailer dropped a genderless digital collection of 19 key pieces. Priced $11-33 and ranging from long cloud puffer jackets to metallic track tops, it was a collection made for digital influence. All you had to do was purchase online, upload your image, click for a digital fit and share. It was wildly popular and drop number two is expected soon.

The Fabricant

Inspired by design student Amber Slooten’s all-digital fashion portfolio, Finnish animator Kerry Murphy founded the brand in 2018 and they have since created digital collections for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and A Bathing Ape. Although items aren’t always available to the public, it did sell the world’s first digital dress for a staggering $9,500.

Happy99

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The brainchild of 3D artist Nathalie Nguyen, this virtual footwear collection is all manga spikes and cyberpunk style. Created more as a creative outlet than as a commercial interest, Nguyen has, so far, resisted requests to create in real time, leaving the brand as an ode to imagination and innovation.

Tommy Hilfiger

The PVH brand aims to fully embrace the digital world by 2021, with a mandate to avoid waste at all costs. While not exactly creating digital collections, Hilfiger will design and make samples digitally, only creating physical clothing for runway shows or when actually sold.

 


Arabs in Paris showroom to highlight Mideast talent at fashion week

Updated 27 September 2020

Arabs in Paris showroom to highlight Mideast talent at fashion week

DUBAI: Paris Fashion Week is set to look a lot different this season. Kicking off on Sept. 28, only a handful of designers are staging physical shows while the rest are opting for digital presentations. Meanwhile, some designers, including Arab couturier Zuhair Murad, are opting out of showing collections this season entirely.

To ensure that Arab design talent gets the recognition they deserve this Fashion Week, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has teamed up with the Arab Fashion Council to host an exclusive showroom and presentation on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar that shines a light on Middle Eastern designers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today the Arab Fashion Council (AFC) has announced a new exciting project which aims to connect the Arab talents with the French fashion industry. The new initiative, titled “Arabs in Paris”, is a collaboration between the Arab Fashion Council (AFC) and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) @fhcm aiming to enable the Arab designers to showcase their creativity officially in Paris Fashion Week’s calendar for spring/summer 2021. @parisfashionweek #ArabsInParis Aujourd'hui, l'Arab Fashion Council (AFC) a annoncé un nouveau projet passionnant qui vise à connecter les talents arabes à l'industrie française de la mode. La nouvelle initiative, intitulée “Arabs in Paris”, est une collaboration entre le Conseil arabe de la mode (AFC) et la Fédération de la haute couture et de la mode (FHCM) visant à permettre aux créateurs arabes de montrer officiellement leur créativité dans le calendrier de la mode de Paris pour la semaine. printemps / été 2021.

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The goal of the initiative, titled “Arabs in Paris,” is to not only spotlight the fashion talent from the region on a global scale, but to also connect designers with international media and buyers.

Participating designers include Lebanese design duo Azzi & Osta, Beirut-based footwear brand Pose Design, Esmod graduate Aboud Jammal, Lebanese womenswear label Ecaille, New York- based handmade jewelry brand Saad Collection, Jordanian ready-to-wear label Mada’En and Emergency Room Beirut, a clothing store based in Lebanon’s capital.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“The project is in line with the Arab Fashion Council’s vision to build an Arab economy based on creativity and to promote the Arab talents on a global scale,” said Mohammed Aqra, chief strategy officer of The Arab Fashion Council in a statement. “This is the first strategic alliance project with our French counterparts.”

The showroom, which will open its doors from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2020, will highlight the designer’s Spring 2021 collections and will be situated in Paris’s Rue Saint-Honore, adjacent to luxury shops like Dior, Fendi, Celine and more.

“Arabs in Paris” follows in the footsteps of other initiatives launched recently aimed to provide a global platform for regional talents.

In August, a virtual pop-up supporting 16 established and emerging designers from the Middle East and North Africa titled “Eastwave” launched online and featured a curated selection of brands spanning from ready-to-wear, accessories and jewelry, such as Egyptian accessories label Alliel, Dubai-based womenswear label Mrs Keepa and Lebanese womenswear brand Jessica K.