Innovation That Matters

Three of The Fabricant's virtual designs, including the auctioned dress (middle) | Photo source The Fabricant

Virtual fashion house dresses avatars according to online presence

Fashion & Beauty

A leader in the booming digital fashion scene, The Fabricant allows customers to try on exclusive digital fashion using online avatars

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Spotted: The Fabricant, which has been described as “the world’s first digital fashion house,” allows customers to try on their exclusively digital fashion using online avatars. Launched in 2018 by Amber Jae Slooten and Kerry Murphy, Slooten became the first-ever fashion student to graduate with an entirely digital collection from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute.

According to Slooten, interest in digital fashion has soared throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as it became harder to try on clothes in person. The Fabricant customers can use online avatars to try on the bespoke garments, which are made realistic through 3D modelling software. Earlier this year, the company also launched a Beta version of their Leela platform, which provides a range of ready-to-wear garments for avatars, instead of to-order. The dressed-up avatar can then be presented on social media platforms, games and virtual worlds, and can be adapted to their online presence too; for example, professional clothes for Linkedin, casual for Instagram. 

This, of course, has a sustainability element too. According to Slooten, part of the reason that “We create clothes that only exist in a digital space and never exist in the physical world,” is that customers can get all of the thrill of a new purchase, without any of the material waste and travel miles of physical fashion stores. “The physicality made me sick, because of all the materials that we were wasting,” she says. “I felt like a huge responsibility for the future of the industry”.

Moreover, at a time where people feel creatively stunted and that their lives are becoming smaller, such online creativity gives them the chance to represent themselves. Slooten is big on using virtual fashion as self-expression: “If we can be anything, will we still want to be ourselves?” she asks. “We try to create a new fashion narrative for the 21st century because we really believe that we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and see if our vanity really needs to harm the planet in this way.”

The Fabricant’s virtual collections are launched with digital shows, a strategy which many other brands have adopted during this year. 

Written By: Holly Hamilton

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