Crash and Burn: Advice for Metaverse Fashion Founders
Consider using open standards for interoperability (if you want your wearables to work).
If you are building a Metaverse wearables company, the decisions you make early can make or break your business. It’s thrilling to consider that in our lifetime, there will exist fashion icons who got their start in the digital realm first. Some business models that come to mind are:
Phygital Wearables: You purchase the digital, and also get the physical version of that shirt, dress, or shoe. Consequently, this also works in reverse.
Burn to redeem: You purchase a virtual token or NFT that represents your ownership of the physical version. Destroying the virtual copy will release the physical version of that garment. (1 NFT = 1 redemption for the item)
Pure Digital: You don’t really care that you can’t rock this ‘fit in the physical world. You are more excited about making your Metaverse avatar shine with a flaming dress like the one Katniss Everdeen wore in the Hunger Games.
3D printed: You design in the virtual space, and print out to the physical world through tools like 3d printers.
Memberships (Fit Clubs): Owning a digital token, or NFT, allows you to access a brick-and-mortar store or store webpage that you otherwise wouldn’t get to shop from. Exclusive access for being a member.
Here’s the catch
Regardless of which model you choose, you should give strong consideration to the file type, the platforms that your wearables will work on or be distributed on, and the relative complexity to gain access to your store.
If you build a Metaverse wearables company, stay in your lane. Don’t try to expand to Metaverse avatars, Metaverse pets, and Metaverse digital land sales, all at once. Wearables is a massive industry in itself, and one that you need to get right if you want others to take you seriously.
See the Metaverse is interoperable, that is a pre-requisite. If you make a wearables company and use a proprietary file format/wrapper, your products will only be usable in platforms and worlds that allow for that file type. Meaning you might be selling items that won’t actually be wearable across the Metaverse. Meaning you are actually building a dress-up game, not a Metaverse wearables company.
My recommendations for your consideration:
Use open file formats like glTF, and your items will already be useful in a variety of platforms.
Pay close attention to open avatar standards like VRM, for advancements in default joint placement, etc.
Get involved with Open Metaverse Interoperability group (OMI) and Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF) which have groups dedicated to open file formats. MSF and M3 actually have a collaborative “Avatar Wearables” working group, where you can literally collaborate today with other companies both large and small.
It’s your choice
At the end of the day, it is your right to decide to pass on open standards. I hope that you will consider building alongside others who want your products to be wearable in their platforms too. There is tremendous profitability in interoperability and open standards. You can get in touch with me if you would like to explore together.
Thanks for taking the time to read this far!
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