We can already tell how impactful digital fashion designers will be in the Metaverse. Not only that, if we take a look at the state of this industry today, we can see fashion progressively blossoming within the digital realm that we co-create.
Digital fashion has already solidified it’s existence in our lives. It is no longer a concept, it is a reality. The biggest of houses in the business have released digital collections and participated in Digital Fashion Weeks. We could say we seem to be catching a sight of a future where our virtual lives are entangled with our physical. A future with a fully functioning, immersive Metaverse. It won’t be long until the existing demand for digital fashion to skyrockets. And in order to cater to the evolving ubiquity of virtual clothing, the demand for stylists that know the ins and outs of the digital fashion industry is bound to rise too.
Online identity is essential nowadays. Maybe even as important as our physical one, at times even more. In light of this, and if we are on the verge of the influence of virtual fashion being omnipotent, could ‘meta stylist’ be the next big -professional- thing in the industry?
Will meta styling stick around?
It’s no wonder we care about our avatar’s appearance. The Metaverse is a digital community that is replicates that society feeling. We want to look good when we leave our front door, so why shouldn’t we want the same for our avatar? If we have can hire a stylist to get advice on our physical garments and overall look, why shouldn’t we look to resolve those same concerns with a Metaverse image consultant?
This is where meta styling can play a big role. As digital clothing becomes increasingly widespread and mainstream thanks to social media influencers, consumers start to value virtual fashion as a part of the future of the fashion. The digital verse is now an important part of the fashion industry -especially for the Millennials and Gen Z-. However, rather than being a digital-extension of real-life-styling, there could be a more notable potential to exploit with regards to what a meta styling could achieve.
The metaverse is helping you to get used to bolder outfits while wearing them on web3. And later when you feel comfortable, also in real life. –Michaela Leitz, Professional Fashion Stylist on the Metaverse
Meta styling broadens stylists’ and clients’ horizon, as virtual fashion knows little to no physical limits when it comes to creative expression. Without these physical restrictions, professional fashion stylists can approach the look of their clients’ 3D avatars as holistically as possible, and create a personal style that fulfills both their clients’ needs and their professional aesthetic.
Wanna an example? Have a look at the work of the pioneer Julia Levshina, the phygital fashion stylist that is boosting the profession throughout the virtual realm.
What sets meta styling apart?
We find ourselves in the post material era where the focus on self-expression is very much present. However, we expect people to revolve around this phenomenon more in the future. The Metaverse will be a perfect medium to focus on how we want to show ourselves, as creative freedom is number one priority, unlike the real-world where we always have to keep the functionality, market practicalities -or even gravity- in mind.
That particular detail is the reason why meta styling isn’t entirely the same thing as styling. In fact, the difference between both arises the moment you examine both professions beyond surface level. When styling for the material world, one may expect a fashion stylist to ask standard questions in order to analyse the level of functionality that the garments need to have for that particular client. Nevertheless, when a meta stylist meets with their client, they may ask things such as what they are dreaming of. This emancipates stylists from the functionality limits that they had to take into account in the material world, and puts creativity in the spotlight.
Contrary to popular belief, self-expression doesn’t necessarily mean complete transparency. People can speak their minds and visually express how they feel, and still remain anonymous behind their avatar. This anonymity is liberating on a clients’ end, because they don’t have to conform to some type of unofficial dress code that society accepts and may then live out their dreams with their fantasy styling thanks to their meta stylist.
This creative bond can translate into everyday life and change daily fashion drastically too, because the Metaverse is actually helping people to get used to bold outfits. As they continue seeing eye-catching avant-garde fashion in the Metaverse and then actually wear them, they are encouraged to be more comfortable with brave designs in the material world as well.
What can we expect from the future?
Alongside streetwear and avant-garde skins that focus on self-expression, luxury fashion is also taking its fair share of impact by the meta stylism boom. Luxury fashion brands are present in the Metaverse in many different ways. We’ve witnessed this in the past few years with the opening of digital fashion stores in Decentraland as well as with special skins via the gaming platform Fortnite. Luxury Metaverse fashion has been present for quite some time. Nevertheless, since with time the Metaverse has become a collectively-accepted alternative verse, another chapter of fashion has begun as result of the appearence of different dynamics that have changed the meaning of clothes.
Luxury clothing has been associated with the upper-class for a long time. When people are interested in entering the high society in the Metaverse, they care about looking as polished as possible with the help of luxury fashion brands that they know and admire. As we mentioned before, society-like-feeling may cause some understandable concerns when it comes to deciding an avatars’ appearance and stylists that still want to grounded in the material world could choose this track.
We expect that meta styling will become a highly relevant profession in the fashion industry in the future. However, we have some doubts about it being the profession of the future. Even though the prevalence of meta styling is increasing day by day, and many professional fashion stylists seeing the opportunities in the virtual life and jumping onto the bandwagon, there is one thing that could get in the way of real life stylists evolving into the metasylists of the future… And that would be AI.
Will AI rob people of styling jobs?
There is a significant chance that AI will take over some meta styling gigs. As this technology provides immense machine-learning capacities that can capture the unique picture in clients’ imagination with specific questions. On the other hand, we could say that styling is a more personal experience, because of the creative bond that is being created between meta stylist and client. So there’s still hope that AI won’t replace this personal interaction in the near-mid future. Now, having said this, what we can expect?
Meta stylists may be still the number-one specialists in this sector, or may share the market with AI-stylists. In any case, it’s obvious that the potential of this profession hasn’t been exploted yet and the best is yet to come!