Digital fashion has been the Next Big Thing in fashion for a few years now. For many their first experience of it was Lil Miquela wearing Prada or influencers suddenly cropping up in their feed wearing gravity-defying or liquid-textured outfits. But despite pockets of hype and some flattering media coverage, it mostly existed within its own niche, continuing to bubble under the surface. Then, digital fashion’s existence and relevance was suddenly magnified as COVID pulled the rug out from under fashion’s feet and made the shows it has thrived on for decades a near impossibility.
As designers and fashion week bodies scrambled to maintain the flow of seasonal shows, digital fashion took on two distinct guises: digitally rendered garments presented in digitally rendered surroundings, and physical clothes showcased digitally via livestreams and films. Both were almost immediately considered to represent the sustainable future of fashion. Respectively, they offered clothes without production, pollution, and waste, and fashion shows without international flights.