The first Exthereal’s Digital Fashion Conference was held over three days. It brought together key speakers from various industries to discuss the future of the metaverse.
The virtual Nordic event brought together fashion students, gamers, professionals from the entertainment industry, representatives of fashion brands, and crypto professionals. Participants acted on Exthereal’s mission to bring digital fashion to a wider audience through presentations and speeches and provided a snapshot of the state of immersive technology at the moment.
The platform offered a solution in the form a surrealistic showroom that featured over 20 digital garments. DressX is a digital fashion developer. The showroom was accessible via a virtual reality headset (VR) using meta platform AltspaceVR.
A virtual fashion show was also presented as part of this event. It featured a variety of Finnish brands, such as Uhana and Sofia Ilmonen, as well a few others like Mert Otsamo. The pieces were displayed in a virtual landscape inspired both by Finnish nature and urban environments.
Olesja Hannikainen, Exthereal co-founder, stated that this is the most sustainable way of visiting a showroom or fashion show. No physical clothes were shipped and no need to travel to see the showroom. The carbon footprint of online shopping is huge. People often return and buy many items. Digital fashion can disrupt this industry and reduce pollution through reducing postage returns via online stores. This is the future for sustainable fashion.
“This is the most sustrainable way to see a showroom or attend a fashion show.”
One year ago, 32 people attended a small meeting. Today, it has grown to a large-scale, digital event with 3,500 viewers.
Exthereal CEO Krista Janti spoke about the growth of the event. She stated that the event was more like a conference than an event because she wanted to create a virtual reality showroom.
“We were overwhelmed by the amount of responses. It is a hot topic. It brings together NFTs, gaming, and crypto, in addition to fashion being in turmoil due to the recent pandemic and importance of sustainability. It is a great way to get people’s attention when all these hot topics are merged together.
She said, “The most important thing is sustainability. There are great revenue sources when it’s done right. People are always attracted to money. Fashion brands cannot stop making fast fashion. Everyone needs revenue sources. They only need to rethink their future revenues sources.”
The event was dominated by sustainability. Kim Berndt (founder and virtual designer at 3mbassy) took to the podium to discuss a new fashion design model that takes into account the circular economy. Valentin Karabanov from Valentins Studio spoke about how the digital realm could possibly “save the physical world.”
Jantti spoke out about the main themes of the event and said that brands need to work with creative people to help build communities and collaborate with other industries. Because of the rapid pace of life, no one can survive alone.
Jantti also spoke out about the metaverse, stating that it was a key topic at the conference. You can’t just take your brand and be there. It is important to get to know your audience and how they communicate with you. Otherwise, the experience will feel fake and unengaging.
Its popularity is growing, and plans are to launch a second edition in the near future.
Jantti said, “We didn’t have any plans when we started, but it has gained such immense popularity that people are asking for another conference.”