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Is this the world's largest virtual fashion show?
Thursday, 06 January 2022 - 23:34 | Views - 139

 

With five minutes to kill on your commute, or between meetings, which app do you open? For many of us, it is Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or gaming apps. But for more and more teenagers, it's a metaverse platform to check-in on their avatar.

 

Your avatar can resemble how you look in the real world. Or, you could pretend to be someone, or something, totally different. That's half the attraction.

 

"My avatar is who I want to be on that day," says Monica Louise, who is also known as Monica Quin on South Korea's hugely popular metaverse social media app, Zepeto.

"In the real world, it's not easy for us to cut our hair and then grow it back, but in the digital world, we can do that with just one click."

 

So what exactly is a metaverse? It's an alternate world online - a bit of virtual reality and a little bit augmented reality. And it's been touted as the next big thing in tech. Zepeto is Asia's biggest metaverse platform, with almost a quarter of a billion users - it launched just three years ago.

Some 70% of these people are women, some are young teenagers, which is unusual, as most rival metaverse platforms such as Roblox are dominated by gamers who tend to be male.

 

Everyday, we have people designing and publishing tens of thousands of new items," says Mr Lee. "I think we're the largest virtual fashion marketplace in the world."

Big luxury fashion brands like Gucci, Dior and Ralph Lauren - as well as a lot of local and regional fashion brands - are also planning to release their virtual products on the platform.

 

"There are clothes that I cannot afford to wear in real life but in the digital world, I can buy all of them," says Monica. "I think that's one huge factor why I'm really drawn into this."

 

To inspire the next generation of designers like her, Zepeto has announced a scholarship with fashion school Instituto Marangoni Miami (IMM). Last month, it asked applicants to create a collection for the platform.

 

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