Vatom Coverage: New York Fashion Week Enters The Metaverse With Nolcha
By Christos Makridis, Forbes
Participants will have the opportunity to experience groundbreaking technology that incorporates fashion in the metaverse, virtual avatars, augmented reality, and digital wearables.
The two-day Web3 event will be held on the 69th floor of the iconic 3 World Trade Center. Unlike traditional NFT events, the goal “is to create a new destination, or highway, connecting Web2 and Web3 communities where they can work together,” said Arthur Mandel, cofounder of The Nolcha Shows at New York Fashion Week.
Even though the fashion show is an invite-only event and there is a limit to how many people can reside within the venue, the use of Web3 technologies will allow “everyone to experience fashion week—not just the select few,” said Mandel. Participants will be able to see how different clothing looks on the runway using augmented reality without having to physically change clothes, allowing for more creativity with fashion styles than traditionally possible.
These runway shows will begin at 2pm on September 13, featuring ready-to-wear Web3 native brand, and panel discussions will begin at 12pm on September 15th, allowing for opportunities to share and exchange ideas about the impact of Web3 on the fashion industry.
“It is about educating brands about the difference between NFTs for speculation, collectibles, and virtual spaces where people are walking around—and all the real potential for Web3,” said Brian Wallace, chief marketing officer for Vatom. “It’s about creating an absolutely new direct engagement channel with their customers where they can reward and incentivize behavior on an ongoing basis.”
Many brands have traditionally viewed NFTs as an interesting show-and-tell technology, but we are now at a “now what” stage. “You have peoples’ attention, now how are you going to increase brand and customer engagement,” said Wallace. The difference between the more versus less successful web3 projects are those that are responding and engaging with their customers.
“We need to align the technology that we’re seeing with what people want and provide them with an entry point and access we just need to get to a point where there is a really easy entry point for people to get involved,” said Jacqueline Blackburn at Scout Ventures.
NFTs provide a new direct engagement channel to reward and incentivize consumers for specific behaviors on an ongoing basis. Marketers no longer require millions in advertising expenditures creating content that consumers do not want to see. Instead, Web3 allows consumers to own their own data, which means that brands will need to win their customers over by providing value.
“NFTs are not just about intellectual property and monetization or new ways of engaging with customers, everything in your wallet, ranging from loyalty points to information from your bra size to digital wearables recommended by artificial intelligence, provides opportunities to co-create, support local creators, vote on collaborations and control real-time supply chains,” said Paula Kilgarriff, a Web3 fashion retail activation consultant and lecturer.
Some of the innovation is also taking place on virtual land. For example, LandVault has built out some 100 million square feet of land in the metaverse for brands. “Metaverse is the 3D version of the internet, so as it grows in a new era for the internet, all the brands and businesses will need to figure out how the new platform works we think of ourselves as in the business of creating experiences,” said Sam Huber, chief executive officer and founder of LandVault.
Since metaverse spaces are not constrained by the same degree of physical or geographic limits, it provides an opportunity to gamify brands and build virtual experiences. “Every campaign has different objectives, which is different than Web2, it’s about recreation and entertainment, not specific numbers or a single campaign,” said Huber. Because these web3 experiences tend to attract consumers who are naturally more interested in the product or service, brands have also seen much larger engagement and conversion ratios into sales—even as high as 70%.
“The future store is dynamic and is a downloadable immersive interactive experience for customers/community to interact with the brand and have a say or stake in their products and services,” said Kilgarriff.
The Nolcha Shows promises to not only create an exciting and engaging experience for participants—both in-person and virtually—but also pilot an innovative set of Web3 use-cases that will transform the fashion industry forever.