Daphne Duong

June 22, 2021

Podcast EP.41: Why digital fashion is the future

Digital fashion assets such as NFTs and CGI models are challenging the traditional retail business models of production, consumption and ownership.

Propelled by the pandemic, the fashion industry is adopting more digital strategies, with ecommerce at the forefront and NFT mania at its height. 

More fashion retailers are diving head first into the virtual fashion world by getting hot and heavy with digital experiments from virtual fashion shows to live stream shopping. With no end in sight for the trend towards more digital interactions, virtual fashion is emerging as a huge opportunity for brands - both as a revenue stream and a channel for product discovery. 

An expert in this field, Founder of The Diigitals, Cameron-James Wilson, is best known for his creation of the World’s First Digital Supermodel, Shudu, who has amassed 217k followers on Instagram and has also worked with high-fashion names including Balmain and Louboutin. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Cameron started out as a fashion photographer and visual artist. Now, he runs an all digital modeling agency to demonstrate the potential of 3D fashion modeling and showcases its application for innovative brands. In this episode, Cameron takes us on his journey through the world of digital fashion, the opportunities for retailers and whether NFTs are on their decline. 

Key takeaways:

  • While virtual fashion has predominantly  made headway across the industry over the past year, Cameron notes that the technology was nothing new to him given its usage across other fields. He says, “3D virtual fashion is a revolution within the fashion industry and is one that is really late to the party - it’s gone past being fashionably late. It’s sort of catching up to everyone at this point.” 
  • When considering the ethics behind creating digital models, Cameron mentions how it’s been a massive learning journey for him as a White man who created a Black character. He says, “The intent was really to create a depiction of a beautiful woman. There wasn’t really anything more to it. Now that she has become quite famous and does have a platform, there is a responsibility there to make sure she’s not taking away from the community that she represents. There are concerns that people can use these models to profit from the likeness of Black women and that’s 100% not my intention. So for anybody moving in this space and creating these characters, you have to be aware of that and you have to be responsible with the creation of these characters. If you’re going to create a Black character and you are White, be prepared to hire Black creatives, work with Black writers, Black brands - everything you can do to give back to that community.” Cameron does exactly that and tries to step back when possible to let people who look like Shudu speak for her and make any necessary decisions. 
  • NFT mania may have subsided a bit and entered a lull; however, Cameron believes people will use that time to come up with even more amazing things. He says, “we’re not in the golden age of NFTs yet. We’re in the experiremental phase and then in the future we’re going to move into a time when we’re going to know what the real function of NFTs will be because I don’t think the way people use them is the way they’re intended to be used for.”

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