The Superplastics avatar model Guggimon, a bunny-like figure with a human-like body, wearing Tommy Hilfiger on a virtual runway above a city-scape.
Superplastics Guggimon avatar model in the Tommy Hilfiger show on Roblox

Brands are rewriting fashion week, elevating their collections with technology for a fashion experience that straddles the physical and virtual realms.

Tommy Hilfiger intertwined physical and digital capabilities during its Fall 2022 collection debut. Guests who attended the show in person were greeted with an AR-generated video screens, complimenting the physical mylar balloons on display. As the show progressed, guests were given the chance to engage with Tommy Factory NFTs and other digital art through their phones.

Seven avatar models pose above a digital rendition of the Manhattan Bridge. Behind them, a sunset and a blimp with the Tommy Hilfiger logo lit up on it.
Avatar models group shot for the Tommy Hilfiger show on Roblox

For the first time, the show was also live-streamed on Roblox in an exclusive runway event. Audiences were able to watch the show in real time with digital additions: Superplastic avatars joined the runway as well as the Chinese metahuman NOAH, blending the boundaries between the physical and digital experiences.

In a statement, Tommy Hilfiger outlined the brand’s intention behind these digital activations. “The Gen Z consumer lives in the digital space. We want to meet them where they are, whether that be in person at our runway show, through our social media channels or hanging out in a virtual environment.”

Designer Rebecca Minkoff incorporated projection mapping in her show, which showcased a sustainable collection. The technology displays digital imagery and videos over and around physical objects, elevating the physical experience with virtual elements. The designer also allowed the house’s existing NFT holders exclusive access to her show.

Karl Lagerfeld introduced a new avatar collection to be sold in a dedicated pop-up in New York’s Soho neighborhood and 14 others globally. Puma released an NFT collection, called Black Station, which can be redeemed for physical sneakers after purchase.

Nolcha Shows, an independent fashion designer firm, hosted virtual reality shows at 3 World Trade Center in New York City during New York’s fashion week. Events highlighted fashion in the metaverse, digital wearables, virtual avatars and augmented reality elements.

These liminal experiences are elevating an already star-studded event as fashion and retail become increasingly intertwined with the virtual realm.

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