H&M Group Opened Virtual Reality Showroom
How to get dressed in the metaverse
For H&M, it’s not the first time they have tapped into the virtual world. In January 2022, H&M launched its first virtual garments: A collection displayed through a competition where participants could submit playful, fun, innovative names for the available looks. The virtual looks were only available as a prize for the competition — they were not physically produced or sold in stores. To “wear” the pieces, the winners sent in a photo of themselves, and 3D graphic designers styled them in the digital look as an animated image, which then was ready to be posted to social media.
New technology allows H&M to engage even more with their customers, so they can be more creative and fun. Digital fashion includes everything traditional fashion offers—from T-shirts to ball gowns—but these pieces are not physically manufactured, or tangible. Instead, garments are created using 3D and animation design software. Individuals “wear” digital clothing through gaming avatars, augmented reality (AR), or digitally edited photos.
Virtual fashion as self-expression — for everyone
Just as an outfit in the physical world represents who we are, or how we feel, virtual fashion allows us to dress our digital selves, or avatars, as an extension of, or in total contrast to, ourselves. On gaming platforms players can purchase custom outfits, or “skins,” digitally layered onto their avatars to wear during gameplay.
Likewise, AR technology in Snapchat or Instagram allows users to accessorize and style their digital presence through filters–trying on a flower crown, wearing bunny ears, or dying their hair rainbow colors.
“Virtual apparel makes fashion wearable for all bodies. Garments in the virtual world are not limited by size because virtual fashion has no size. Every garment is custom fit. Regardless of size, shape, or gender, digital garments are size inclusive and tailored for all body types”, says Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor, H&M.