Throughout the years, technological innovations have been changing the fashion industry. For example, retail shopping was made available online in the mid 1990s, and meant that customers no longer had to head over to their local malls and spend their valuable time looking through disorganized, in-store collections. Simply put, it was revolutionary, and the ramifications of the shift are still evolving to this day.
Now with mobile devices and e-commerce, shopping has never been more convenient. You can literally buy a whole new wardrobe with just a few clicks of a button. The internet has also helped folks interested in fashion stay up to date on the latest trends. Fashionistas no longer have to wait around for the latest edition of Vogue to know what they should be wearing.
On top of these gradual and monumental shifts though, it’s also exciting to look for the next tech innovations that will change the fashion world. And in this regard, virtual reality appears poised to make quite an impact in the near future (and in some cases have already begun).
Here are three virtual reality-related developments in particular to watch for in the fashion industry.
People Will Be Able To Watch Remotely
Being in the front row of a major fashion show is a huge deal. Unfortunately, only the rich, famous, and well connected tend to have the opportunity to get there and see the gorgeous garments and talented models up close and personal. With the help of VR, however, anyone can feel like the next Anna Wintour during any major fashion week or showcase event, anywhere in the world.
Not only are 360-degree virtual reality fashion shows going to be a lot of fun for people to experience as they become more popular (and they’re executed better), they could also help to remedy the issues of exclusivity and classism within the industry. Essentially, those who previously had no way of accessing runways will finally have a chance to, in some sense. And the same way VR may allow people to tour palaces closed to the public, or sit in the royal box at Wimbledon, this in an of itself will be somewhat revolutionary.
Online Shopping Can Be Incorporated
VR lends itself to the improvement of online shopping. Online retail sites could effectively run studio-based “runway shows” that people could tune into via VR as they browse. Basically, as opposed to clicking through photos, customers could strap into VR and see a recording of a model walking a runway showing off a specific outfit. This way, customers can get a better idea of the shape and movement of certain garment prior to purchase.
Whether through this sort of simulated experience or remote viewing of an actual fashion show, VR viewing connected to a retail platform would then allow customers to “tap on”; outfits, garments, or accessories they want to save for later or buy on the spot. This is just an idea for now, but it’s actually one we’re basing on something similar that’s being discussed in the sports industry. Today’s online bookie sites are focused on creating more “live” experiences, including real-time betting. And it’s been suggested that this sort of effort could be paired with VR sports viewing, such that users could place bets while watching events in real time. It’s not an exact parallel, but one could certainly see a similar pairing involving fashion shows and retail browsing.
Models May Benefit Too
The modeling world is known for being a little bit cutthroat. Unless you are a top name, i.e. Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid, a spill on the catwalk can be career ending – and for that matter, so can a brief bout of nerves! Practicing runway walks in VR, from anywhere and at anytime, can essentially provide aspiring and practicing models with a new advantage they’ve never had before. It will allow them to get used to the experience, right down to peering eyes, cheering crowds, or smooth-voiced announcements that could be simulated in VR with relative ease.
It’s likely that there are ways in which virtual reality may affect the fashion world that we can’t predict or foresee just yet. For now though, hopefully these examples help you to see how VR may in fact represent the next big technological shift in the industry.
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