Fashion and technology are always eager to grasp at one another. Seemingly disconnected at first from vastly different industries, by working together, each stands to gain a great deal. Fashion designers seeking innovation are starting to embrace the possibilities that technology can offer, in order to create new designs and to raise the bar in terms of functional design.
A new technology trend that is ripe for fashion influence is inevitably Virtual Reality (VR). Let’s face it, VR headsets are still pretty ugly – they’re definitely far from becoming the next fashionable accessory. Maybe that’s why the fashion industry has been somewhat reluctant to embracing VR. But recently, there’s been a gradual acceptance and awareness of virtual reality, especially in the high fashion world. VR headsets may not be a chic fashion statement piece (yet), but they are starting to be used as a platform, in effort to provide more of an experience.
High fashion brands have always enjoyed hosting exclusive events, from couture runway shows to extravagant A-list parties. This is where VR is well suited to disrupt traditional experiences and elevate a brand. “Virtual Reality allows anyone to experience that world,” says Henry Stuart, CEO of VR studio Visualise. Experientially, VR can send you to the moon.
How is VR seeping into the fashion industry?
There are already evolutions in the way fashion items are marketed and sold. Major players like Dior and Topshop had already embraced VR technology this past summer. Topshop hosted an AW14 virtual reality runway show in its flagship store at Oxford Circus. They broadcasted the show in 360 degrees, offering the same view as if you were sitting in the front row next to Anna Wintour.
Dior created its own VR headset, Dior Eyes. Known for their superb quality of craftsmanship, the headset was designed entirely by Dior’s own workshop, which is impressive for one of the oldest fashion houses – not to mention the huge and bold Dior logo right in the front of the headsets. The headsets have been introduced to select Dior stores worldwide, presenting the backstage of the fashion world.
As the world is increasingly connected, we predict that VR will become an invaluable tool for commerce. What is now an experience will shift to a highly profitable, shoppable experience. Despite being in the early days of VR, brands will increasingly use VR to personalize and amplify the shopping experience. The possibilities are supreme.