By: Irina Proskurina, E-PROnline
In every corner of the fashion landscape, technology is leaving an indelible mark. From the creative design process to the immersive consumer experience, technological advancements are revolutionizing the very essence of style. Through the fusion of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, and sustainable practices, fashion is becoming more accessible, personal, and interactive. The digital landscape has seamlessly assimilated into the daily lives of consumers, compelling fashion companies to adapt to the ever-evolving technological landscape. The race is on for brands to meet the demands of this rapidly changing market, as those who successfully navigate these waters will emerge as leaders in the industry.
The recent BRICS+ Fashion Summit held in Moscow brought together industry experts to explore the profound impact of technology on the fashion world. The BRICS+ Fashion Summit, a global gathering of fashion industry professionals, convened under the umbrella of Moscow Fashion Week served as a catalyst for an important dialogue on the future of the industry.
One standout session during the BRICS+ Fashion Summit, titled “Through the Metaverse: Blockchain, DAO, Web3, and other technologies democratizing the industry,” featured Sunil Arora, a renowned figure in the world of Web3 fashion and a technology advisor with four decades of experience in the global apparel and fashion industry. Arora captivated the audience with his insights into the extraordinary possibilities offered by the virtual world. He heralded the mesmerizing potential of merging virtual realms with gaming, as the industry ponders the transformative capabilities inherent in these nascent frontiers, superseding the boundaries of traditional fashion stores and e-commerce platforms.
Speaking of innovation and customer engagement, Priyanka Sarkar, the CEO and Head of Design at House of Biori, emphasized the pivotal role of the metaverse in the retail sector. Sarkar showcased the power of immersive experiences in a brand’s virtual reality, highlighting how such interactions foster a deeper connection between consumers and products. Gone are the days of mundane e-commerce; the metaverse offers a refreshing alternative, captivating shoppers in a world of digital wonder.
Alia Khan, Chairwoman of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, acknowledged the rapid changes in technology and their impact on the industry. She highlighted the rise of artificially intelligent designed collections, noting the current need for creative expression. Nevertheless, Khan stressed that the intensifying competition brought by technology requires fashion brands to embrace the relentless pace of change. Being aware and knowledgeable about these advancements is essential for success in today’s fashion domain.
One name that has emerged as a true trailblazer is Olivia Merquior, renowned for her groundbreaking work on Brazil Immersive Fashion Week (BRIFW). Merquior affirms that innovation and digitalization are set to revolutionize traditional fashion paradigms, offering streamlined operations, enriched customer experiences, and more sustainable practices. From 3D printing to artificial intelligence, these technologies are reshaping every step of the fashion journey – from design to manufacturing to marketing. However, with transformation comes challenges. Merquior acknowledges the resistance to change among traditional sector players, who may struggle to adapt to these emerging technologies. The upskilling of the workforce to effectively navigate digital tools is also critical in this new era. Furthermore, bridging the digital divide is essential, ensuring that smaller brands and those from less technology-focused regions have the resources to thrive. Thoughtful implementation of new tools is key, preserving space for brands that choose to maintain their offline presence. Merquior also emphasized the need to cultivate an environment that respects and accommodates creators who may not be inclined towards technology, recognizing that a healthy creative industry embraces diverse perspectives and practices.
The culmination of this convergence between fashion and high technology will take center stage at Moscow Fashion Week this spring. From March 1st to 8th, the Russian capital will unveil a glimpse into the future, showcasing the transformative power of fashion enabled by cutting-edge technology. As the industry continues its inexorable march towards an increasingly digital future, those who seize the opportunities presented by these advancements will shape the landscape of fashion for years to come.