Fashion schools are gearing up the next generation of creative talent for the metaverse, a yet-to-be-realised space where virtual and physical realities will coalesce. Over the past two years, digital-only collections have become increasingly commonplace for graduate designers, evident in SHOWstudio's global showcase Class of 2021. London College of Fashion and Ravensbourne have both integrated digital design technology into their courses, with the latter teaching students how to design virtual garments and environments. The 3D design tool Clo3D is taught by Parsons in New York and the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) in Paris, and a growing appetite for discovering how technology can aid both digital and physical design was made evident by Central Saint Martins partnering with the Institute of Digital Fashion last year. Now, the fashion school Polimoda have partnered with the digital creative agency MONOGRID on a new course launching this summer, Fashion in the Metaverse.
The new short course will teach the ins and outs of digital fashion and world building, readying students for the metaverse by equipping them with the skills to create assets such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Starting in June 2022 at the cost of €5,500, the course runs for a month and is directed towards both advanced students and professionals with previous experience in fashion design. The move sees Polimoda take up a leading position in readying the workforce for the digital realms of virtual fashion shows and gaming skins which the industry has taken to over the past two years. Fashion in the Metaverse will tackle subjects such as Fashion Design in the Metaverse, Digital Culture and Iconography, Design Development, Art Direction, Fashion Future and Marketing in the Metaverse. 'Starting from avatar clothing design, students will explore the subculture of fashion that combines digital design and modeling of real garments, as well as the uploading of design (physical and digital) within the blockchain', a statement from the school revealed.
Designers and brands moving from the physical to the digital realm need experts in the field to translate and reimagine their designs for gaming platforms such as Roblox, virtual worlds including Decentraland, and for their own custom digital universes which are surely just on the horizon. 'This course will allow us to connect with students while also building a new vision in the construction of the metaverse together. It, therefore, will become important to train hybrid professionals who are not only capable of conceiving a physical reality but also have great digital sensitivity and 360° communication know-how', says MONOGRID CEO Francesco Bernabei.
'From the catwalks directly to the Metaverse, Fashion in the Metaverse is a new and entirely digital experience aiming to connect the real world with virtual interactions and offering the opportunity for individuals to express themselves through customizable digital 3D avatars. In response to the increasing demand of professional profiles with multifaceted knowledge of the fashion industry, this course will amplify the creative potential of tomorrow's designers, capable of integrating the craftsmanship of traditional fashion with hyper-augmented realities. Versatile, conceptual creativity connecting the Heritage of fashion with the Metaverse', Director of Polimoda Massimiliano Giornetti revealed.