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Why are people buying virtual clothes?

Why are people buying virtual clothes?

People are concerned with what their avatars are wearing. Hiro and Kai stayed up all night designing Japanese-inspired garments after the virtual world Decentral and announced in June that users could make and sell their own clothing for avatars to wear on the site. He claimed to have made $15,000-$20,000 (Rs 11-15 lakh) in three weeks by selling kimonos for around $140 (Rs 10,000) each.

While many people find it difficult to spend real money on clothing that does not physically exist, virtual possessions generate real sales in the “metaverse” β€” online environments where people can congregate, walk around, meet friends, and play games.

Kai’s real name is Noah, and he is a digital artist and Japan enthusiast. After earning as much in three weeks as he would in a year at his music store job, he quit to pursue a career as a full-time designer.

Clothing for avatars, known as “wearables,” can be bought and sold on the block chain in the form of a crypto asset known as a non-fungible token in Decentraland (NFT). NFTs skyrocketed in popularity earlier this year, as speculators and cryptocurrency enthusiasts flocked to purchase the new type of asset, which represents ownership of online-only items.

The niche crypto assets are also capturing the attention of some of the world’s largest fashion companies, eager to associate themselves with a new generation of gamers β€” though the majority of their forays thus far have been for marketing purposes.

Burberry has created branded NFT accessories for the game Blankos Block Party, and Louis Vuitton has launched a metaverse game where players can collect NFTs. Gucci has sold non-NFT clothing for game avatars. Roblox.

Imani McEwan, a Miami-based fashion model and NFT enthusiast, claims to have spent between $15,000 and $16,000 on 70 NFT wearable items since January, using profits from cryptocurrency investments. His first purchase was a sweater with a bitcoin design.

It is difficult to estimate the overall size of the NFT wearables market. According to NonFungible.com, wearable sales volume in Decentraland alone totaled $750,000 (Rs 5.5 crore) in the first half of 2021, up from $267,000 (Rs 2 crore) in the same period last year.

For NFT fans, online fashion does not replace in-store purchases. However, Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, cofounders of the digital fashion start-up Auroboros, believe it has the potential to be an environmentally friendly alternative to fast fashion. Customers can send an image of themselves to Auroboros and have clothing digitally added for Β£60 to Β£1,000.

RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company, sells limited edition NFTs that look like sneakers and can be “worn” in some virtual worlds or on social media via a Snapchat filter. β€œWhen Covid launched, it really took off, and a lot of people went more online,” said Steven Vasilev, cofounder and CEO.

The company has made $7 million (Rs 51 crore) in sales, with limited edition sneakers fetching $10,000-$60,000 in auctions. While the majority of customers are in their twenties and thirties, some are as young as fifteen. Their NFTs can also be used as a token to get a free physical version of the shoe, but one out of every twenty customers does not use that token.

CRYPTO FASHION: People are spending a lot of money on NFTs of clothing and accessories.

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This article on β€œWhy are people buying virtual clothes?” has been compiled by Ansh Kumar Farshwal, London School of Business and Research, UK

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