It is the coolest piece of clothing in the “closet” – with a digital collection label, many merchants advertise as unique, limited and value-added Internet assets, creating dreams for buyers and stunning themselves.
However, a piece of clothing worn on the photo also attracted the questioning of concept speculation: 199 yuan to buy a picture? This seems to be another game of IQ tax harvesting.
The Beijing News Shell Finance reporter noticed that some digital collection platforms have emerged in the secondary market. The price of virtual clothing originally sold for 299 yuan can even increase by more than a hundred times.
Xia Yuedong, the founder of the technology company and the author of “The Great Era of the Metaverse”, said in an interview with the Beijing News Shell Finance reporter that designing works for individuality may be the greatest value and significance of virtual clothing. At the same time, virtual clothing has a problem of concept hype, the bubble is very large, and it is easy to cause huge losses to individuals. And a lot of low-quality works are flooded with them.
“Environmental protection, high efficiency, creative freedom”, these concepts are repeatedly mentioned in the virtual clothing promotion. Xia Yuedong said that people need to understand that the value of virtual creation lies in the quality of the work itself, rather than the concept that determines its value, and the bubble will always burst one day.
Is virtual clothing “the emperor’s new clothes”, or is it a subversion in the era of web 3.0?
The virtual costume displayed on the Little Red Book. screenshot
Clothes that can only be worn on the photo
The virtual costume displayed on the Little Red Book. screenshot
The world of virtual clothing can be imaginative.
Shell Finance reporters searched for “virtual clothing” on Xiaohongshu, and could see a lot of colorful and bold dresses, including bionic, mermaid, liquid show, and bubble dress. According to the merchant, the buyer can turn into the Metaverse Little Mermaid, can wrap the white chocolate in the shape of love, and wear the curvature of the waves. Including mechanical masks, these clothes that cannot be worn in reality can be realized in the virtual world.
Virtual clothing has become a work of art here, and the blessing of the metaverse concept has also pushed it to the forefront. The reporter noticed that each piece of virtual clothing sold has a design concept, a creative story, a source of inspiration, and an exclusive name. In business promotions, most of the metaverse is mentioned, and it is said that people can truly own something in the virtual world and become its sole owner. Not only that, each piece of virtual clothing basically has a set release time and release quantity, and most of them will not exceed 100 pieces.
The purchase method of virtual clothing is relatively simple, and there are basically no restrictions on buyers. “No need to consider body and size”, virtual clothing can realize an exclusive fashion blockbuster. Under normal circumstances, the seller issues a timed limited release notice on the platform. After the buyer takes a photo of the desired virtual clothing, they only need to select a photo that matches the clothing requirements and send it to the seller or upload it to the platform, and then they can wait to “wear” the virtual clothing. clothing.
At present, most businesses stipulate that each set of clothes can only be worn on one photo. Shell Finance reporters saw that the official “virtual fashion buyer’s store” launched by Xiaohongshu will announce the new products every Friday. 1280 yuan.
A reporter from Shell Finance tried to buy a virtual ornament designed by a student from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, limited to 30 pieces, which was sold out after only ten minutes of sale. After purchase, the product will appear in the R-Space space of the reporter’s Xiaohongshu account, but in order to wear it, you must send your real photo to the designated mailbox. In the actual experience, the seller promised to give feedback within 7 working days, and the reporter received a photo of wearing this virtual jewelry 2 days later.
“If you have a computer and know how to use software, you can basically enter the industry.” Zhang Chi, the founder of virtual clothing brand METACHI and a pioneering designer in China, told the Shell Finance reporter that now most virtual clothing designers are students of clothing schools, and even those who are interested in clothing Game company employees who don’t know anything about it, and designers like myself who have transformed from traditional clothing design, may only account for 1%.
A reporter from Shell Finance reviewed the profiles of virtual fashion designers on the platform and saw that many students from major fashion design colleges have just graduated or have not graduated.
LIV is a graduate student at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, researching the direction of “application of non-consumable materials in clothing design”. The outbreak of the epidemic has affected her to go out to find inspiration. Until 2021, the concept of virtual clothing was on fire, and LIV found a new direction. “The virtual clothing full of technology and visual impact instantly washed away my aesthetic fatigue, and my DNA was surging – I realized, this is definitely my Spiritual Oasis (Oasis of Inspiration)!” she told Shell Finance.
In 2022, LIV established its own virtual clothing brand LIV IN OASIS, and the sweetheart series clothing launched in Xiaohongshu also opened up the market. “During that time, orders were blowing out. Many KOLs and young ladies paid for the Sweetheart series and enthusiastically posted them on the platform to share their experiences.”
It took nearly half a year for LIV’s first outfit to go from conception to commercial realization. “Now that Xiaohongshu has opened a trading platform, new entrants can quickly cash in.” She said that the initial investment risk in the field of virtual clothing is relatively small, and it can be done with a computer, and most of the cost is time and marketing costs. Today, her time to make a virtual costume ranges from one day to half a month.
From the designer’s point of view, even if the threshold is low, the cost is low, and the risk is low, it is difficult to say that it is a good business. At present, the virtual clothes sold on the platform are mainly priced at 100 yuan. In the case of limited sales, the total income of a set of designs is only tens of thousands of yuan. It’s hard to call it a huge profit, it’s more of an attempt.
LIV believes that “creative freedom” is what impresses her most about virtual clothing. “It breaks the physical limitations of reality and the digital vision that cannot exist in reality. This is undoubtedly an oasis for the creation of futuristic clothing.”
In Zhang Chi’s view, in addition to practical needs, clothes are more aboutbeautifulPursue. With the popularity of fast fashion, people buy clothes more frequently, and tens of billions of clothes are wasted every year. “Many clothes are only worn once, and in the web 3.0 era, people are more active on online social platforms than have the opportunity to meet each other. When digital assets generate value, virtual clothes meet the needs of beauty.”
Virtual clothing promotion on Xiaohongshu. screenshot
The secondary market “runs wildly”:
The launch price is 299 yuan, and the resale hype price has increased by more than 100 times.
With the arrival of the first year of the Metaverse, virtual clothing has been linked to NFT and is regarded as an investment product like digital collections.
At present, virtual clothing is given by merchants as unique, limited, virtual collectibles with social attributes. In addition, as a tradable/value-added Internet asset, each NFT has its own unique number and code, which cannot be copied/tampered with. On Xiaohongshu, virtual clothing is defined as an R-digital work, which is uniquely identified based on the support of blockchain technology. Each digital work has a unique serial number on the chain, which publicly records the creation of works, certificate transactions, and ownership. and other related information. These digital works can be in the form of flat works, 3D models, or even videos.
Xia Yuedong told Shell Finance reporters that virtual clothing can be understood as one of the products created by the metaverse scene, but it is not an NFT product in the strict sense. “Virtual clothing is created, presented and shared without any restrictions. The publication and valuation of digital collections follow very strict distribution processes and rules. If there is no such thing, it is worthless.”
Xiaohongshu is one of the two mainstream virtual clothing platforms in China, and the other is the digital fashion platform “Beiji APP” launched by ByteDance on June 8.
For the entry of designers and virtual clothing brands, Xiaohongshu announced its recruitment plan in April. A Xiaohongshu virtual clothing brand manager told Shell Finance reporter, “The threshold is relatively low, as long as there are works and a certain number of fans, you can enter.”
The reporter did not see an obvious entry channel in Boujin. The official introduction said that it will cooperate with China’s top original design brands, and will also invite excellent personal virtual clothing creators to settle in. Several creators on Xiaohongshu told Shell Finance reporters that they had already received invitations from Boiling.
It is worth noting that Xiaohongshu and Boijin are not dedicated digital collection platforms, and the reporter has not seen them open the secondary market. This means that there is no circulation and no value-added, and users are more likely to buy virtual clothing based on their liking.
However, virtual clothing is playing a fierce game on some digital collection platforms. Shell Finance reporters saw on IBOX that buyers can freely consign the virtual clothing purchased on the platform, which means that it has its own secondary market. Among them, 732 copies of the “Change” virtual costumes were sold at a price of 299 yuan. According to the platform rules, only users on the official whitelist are eligible to buy new collections. Users who can enter the “whitelist for priority purchases” usually need to own other officially designated collections.
When the Shell Finance reporter browsed, the virtual costume of “Change” showed that the first sale was out of stock, the highest consignment price reached 99,999 yuan, and the lowest was 13,777 yuan.
The highest consignment price reaches 99,999 yuan. screenshot
Shell Finance reporters saw that one of the “Changes” released on June 3 was consigned by buyers on the third day at a price of 36,800 yuan, and the price increased by more than 100 times. On the same day, it was bought by another buyer and consigned again at a price of 56,888 yuan within two minutes, but it has not yet been sold.
In the secondary market, virtual clothing is also invaluable. Shell Finance reporters found that many players have cut prices all the way after consignment of virtual clothing, and there are also cases where the consignment price is lower than the purchase price.
Virtual clothing has become a hype and has become a currency symbol on digital collection platforms. Buyers are beginning to pay more attention to the future appreciation potential and popularity than the aesthetic significance of clothing.
Every investor expects to be a pioneer and be able to beat potential stocks. What is the measure of price?
In this regard, Zhang Chi said that, like traditional clothing, there will be a brand concept and limited influence. LIV believes that virtual clothing is a premium commodity, and the evaluation factors are affected by the popularity of the creator or the brand itself, the presence or absence of celebrity influencers, and traffic exposure. In addition, the design sense of the work itself and the sophistication of the after-sale wear service will also affect the price.
Mr. Wang began to contact digital collections in 2021, and successively invested nearly 200,000 yuan in platforms such as IBOX and Magic Core, including portraits and albums. In April of this year, he started to buy virtual clothes and bought dozens of them on Xiaohongshu alone.
Shell Finance reporters rarely see photos of wearing virtual clothes on his homepage. In Mr. Wang’s view, virtual clothing is no different from other digital collections. They are collections with investment value, and “value lies in consensus”.
“Consensus” is a frequently mentioned word in the field of blockchain and metaverse. Simply put, if everyone in the system thinks it has value, then it has value. The value of Bitcoin is in this Consensus to tens of thousands of dollars.
As for why he bought virtual clothes in Xiaohongshu, Mr. Wang said, “Isn’t it pure leeks after opening the secondary market.” He firmly believes that the secondary market will open sooner or later.
Get together to “grab food”,
Virtual clothing or “Utopia”?
Virtual clothing appeared earlier than the metaverse. In 2018 Amber Jae Slooten created the first virtual clothing brand.
“Clothing has two functions, utility and expression, but what about separating the two? I see a future where we’re going to re-architect that space where you can express yourself as much as you want without harming the planet.” Amber Jae Slooten once explained the value of virtual clothing.
The market is hot, traditional fashion clothing brands and Internet giants have entered the market one after another, and independent virtual clothing brands have emerged one after another.
In May 2019, the first digital garment “Iridescence Rainbow Dress” was born on the Ethereum blockchain and sold for $9,500. Since then, with the concept of the metaverse, virtual clothing has become a new trend.
On June 17, Facebook (Facebook) founder Zuckerberg said that he is launching virtual clothing stores on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, where users can buy virtual clothing for their avatars. Initially introduced brands include Balenciaga, Prada and Tom Brown.
The virtual clothing that once existed in the concept has room for promotion in the metaverse concept. In addition to the growth of the NFT market and the impact of the epidemic, many fashion brands continue to increase their size. In addition to early virtual fittings and 3D displays, they also hold virtual clothing shows, cross-border cooperation, and design special clothing for virtual people. Deeper excavation.
Shell Finance reporters noticed that Balenciaga released the 2021 autumn series through a VR game. Nike acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker design company, and partnered with Roblox to launch the “Nikeland” Nikeland virtual experience. Gucci has created a virtual space for a limited-time Gucci Garden exhibit.
“When I first said I was making virtual clothing, people around me thought I was crazy.” Zhang Chi believes that even now, the recognition of virtual clothing in the fashion circle is still not high, and the entry of fashion brands is more like an early adopter , “No matter whether it can be developed in the later stage, but we have to enter the game, this is the concept of fashion itself.”
In addition to traditional fashion brands, more independent platforms and brands focusing on virtual fashion have emerged. From a global perspective, there are already Mo, DressX, Tribute Brand, RTFKT and other brands, through cooperation with fashion brands, designers and technology companies, to tap more possibilities for virtual clothing.
DressX is an international e-commerce store that is purely digital fashion. Its founder once said in an interview that he wants to create a digital wardrobe in the metaverse. While giving play to the value of virtual clothing itself, it cooperated with the NFT platform to create a DressX NFT store. The reporter observed and found that the clothing in its NFT store is not interoperable with the clothing in the original mall, which means that not every product purchased in the DressX mall has NFT attributes.
DressX’s virtual clothing store. screenshot
However, virtual clothing has taken steps, and the voices of doubt have also never stopped – QQ show, expensive and untouchable have become a slot. In addition, virtual clothing is compared to a P picture, “I could have directly grabbed money, but he also gave you a picture.” “199 buy a picture?” “I didn’t expect that I would buy skins for myself one day”, many Netizens see it as a new way to cut leeks.
LIV told Shell Finance reporters that the wearing map of virtual clothing is not as simple as it looks. After the merchant receives a photo, it first needs to simulate the alignment, environment rendering and post-detail processing in the computer according to the action of the character in order to achieve a realistic image. Wear effect. However, because the photo synthesis of some virtual works is not well-made, it looks “fake” at first glance, which leads everyone to think that virtual clothes are stickers on P.
Shell Finance reporters browsed the works of various platforms and found that due to different technical levels such as business rendering, the quality of virtual clothing is also uneven, including some virtual clothing that cannot completely fit the characters, hair passes through clothes, and edges are blurred.
In LIV’s view, although the entry threshold for virtual clothing is low, in order to do well, it still takes a lot of time to polish the details of the version, adjust the proportions, and pay attention to the tailoring process to make it look like a real clothing, rather than blindly Rough products of stacking technological elements, “The essence of virtual clothing is still aesthetic output.”
Zhang Chi also agrees with this point, “If you don’t understand beauty, you can’t do it well. In addition, imagination and cognition and understanding of this era are very important.”
Xia Yuedong reminded in an interview with a Shell Finance reporter that the biggest problem with virtual clothing now is conceptual speculation. The bubble is very large and it is easy to cause huge losses to individuals. It is not an exaggeration to understand it as a gamble. “It’s also flooded with low-quality work that doesn’t have any value at all.”
“Environmental protection, high efficiency, creative freedom”, these concepts are repeatedly mentioned in the virtual clothing promotion. Xia Yuedong said that people need to understand that the value of virtual creation lies in the quality of the work itself, rather than the concept that determines its value. The bubble will always burst one day. This scene is the same as the hype of air coins and pyramid schemes. “Designing works for individuality may be the greatest value and significance of virtual clothing.
Zhang Chi believes that virtual clothing is still in the early stage of development, and it is still too early to talk about problems and chaos. “Right now the whole future of virtual clothing is unknown, and no one has been successful with virtual clothing, so you don’t know how big the market is, but it’s this unknown thing that inspires people.” He has a lot about the future of virtual clothing Looking forward, the first thing to do now is to firmly believe that if you can’t do it for two or three years, you can’t do it.
In the blueprint depicted by the brand, the virtual clothing of the future can appear in GIFs, video platforms, vlog bloggers, video calls, games, etc. anywhere. In addition, the threshold for ordinary people to wear luxury brands has been lowered, private custom clothing has appeared, and clothing waste has been reduced. DressX has achieved static to dynamic upgrades of virtual clothing, such as belts fluttering in the wind, flowing patterns, etc., but it is still at a relatively early stage.
“There is currently no clear law on whether these digital collection platforms that have emerged in China are compliant, but if the sale of digital products is based on the attributes of their virtual currency for speculation, it is suspected of breaking the law. In addition, it depends on whether the platform has obtained relevant qualifications. , Does the nature of the digital collection trading platform have a tendency to financialize and securitize digital collections?” Zhao Hu, a partner of Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, told Shell Finance reporters.