Over cocktails and bespoke water bottles, Web3 enthusiasts mingled with fashion designers. NFT artists and owners chatted as impeccably dressed influencers snapped photos nearby. Somewhere beyond the crowd, the winners of ‘Love Island’ season 8 prepared for the night’s events.
The unlikely medley of people was brought together earlier this week for a New York Fashion Week runway show that blended real-life fashion with Web 3 couture. Among the brands on display were e-commerce boutique Oh Polly and blockchain gaming company ChainGuardians, coming together to highlight the emergence of AR in fashion.
Looking out over Manhattan from 3 World Trade Center, ChainGuardians gave attendees a first look at its Phygital Meta Street Wear collection, a clothing line that can be worn both IRL and in the metaverse.
“(Phygital) is where the future is,” ChainGuardians cofounder and CEO Emma Liu told Insider. “We believe that merchandise that comes with digital experiences is what people will come to expect in the future.”
Before the runway show, ChainGuardians had a virtual reality area where guests could don a headset to look at and “touch” virtual versions of the clothes, which would later be seen on human models on the catwalk.
Nearby, there was an augmented reality installation where attendees could virtually “try on” the colorful streetwear. And, of course, there were physical t-shirts which came with a chip that could be scanned to give the owner an NFT for attendees to take home.
Part of the collection’s goal, according to Liu, is to engage “non-crypto” people those who aren’t familiar with Web3 as well as women.
Metaverse strategists have said that women face higher barriers to entry while trying to break into Web3. Liu hopes the physical pieces of clothing act as a way to get more women interested and active in the metaverse.
“When you’re wearing your t-shirt, your avatar in the metaverse will be wearing the same thing,” Liu said. “Those are opportunities we can get women into the space, and make it easy to understand starting with fashion.”