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Is the Metaverse changing the fashion world? Claudia Hofmann is convinced of that. She has been known for many years as an established maker and fashion visionary in Berlin and in the international fashion scene. In an interview with us, she explains how digital possibilities are already decisively shaping the fashion world today.
CCB Magazine:Hello Claudia. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you get into the fashion world?
Claudia Hofmann:It was already clear to me at 14 that I wanted to do something with either fashion or photography. I then decided on fashion and studied fashion design. Today I work as a visionary, fashion stylist, curator and concept developer with a focus on content creation, image campaigns, fashion consultant and fashion shows. I work for clients and magazines like Adidas, Chanel, H&M, Karl Lagerfeld, Neonyt, Puma, Wolford, Harper`s Bazaar, Instyle, Süddeutsche Magazin, Vogue Arabia and many more. I am also co-founder and board member of FASHION COUNCIL GERMANY.
CCB Magazine: Wow. And how did you get into the Metaverse?
Claudia Hofmann:Since I'm always looking for new ways to combine all my experiences from the fashion world into something new, I'm interested in many different things. The topics of Metaverse, NFTs, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence are here to stay. In this context, I work closely with many international specialists and universities... with the generation of tomorrow! For Style Protocol, I've also been on the Advisory Board for a year in the area of Metaverse, Blockchain, Games and Virtual Social Places. My strength is understanding worlds and connecting them.
CCB Magazine:The Metaverse is a collective term for an extended form of Internet use. A three-dimensional or sometimes even walkable Internet, if you will. How is the fashion industry using this today?
Claudia Hofmann:Due to the pandemic, the e-commerce sector has grown at an incredible rate. It is believed that traditional e-commerce retail platforms will disappear within the next 5 to 10 years, while immersive virtual shopping spaces and experiences are becoming increasingly popular. Many of the big brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Adidas, Alo Yoga, etc. are using the Metaverse to playfully showcase their digital collections through NFTs and reach new audiences.
It is believed that traditional e-commerce retail platforms will disappear within the next 5 to 10 years, while immersive virtual shopping spaces and experiences are becoming increasingly popular
CCB Magazine:Can you give one or two specific examples of how it's used in individual cases?
Claudia Hofmann:Brands, for example, show their digital collections at the Metaverse Fashion Week in their own stores or at a digital fashion show with avatars. Others show their collections at concerts that take place in the Metaverse. Still other brands, such as L'Oréal or Selfridges, create rooms in which the new products can be viewed in 3D and interactively. And still other brands generate competitions to get more attention. There are practically no limits to how you can present yourself, and that is what makes the Metaverse.
CCB Magazine:Is the application of these new technologies only interesting for large fashion chains or also for smaller, independent fashion labels?
Claudia Hofmann:The new technologies are interesting for large and small labels. The technology is getting better and better and the Metaverse will change a lot in the next few years. At the moment, developing digital collections and using the technology is still very time-consuming and expensive for smaller labels. It's important that a label knows its customers in order to reach them in the Metaverse. An existing community in the Metaverse is a great advantage. This should be built up first. My advice for small labels is to get to know the new technologies and if they have the means to do so, to try them out. There is still time for small labels to learn from the big brands and take a cue from them, then launch into the Metaverse with the right idea for themselves. As the fashion world becomes increasingly entrenched in it, and Generation Z's core clientele spends much of their time playing, socializing, and shopping there, it's critical to harness its full potential.
CCB Magazine:How does the customer benefit from the Metaverse? Can I already try on clothes virtually?
Claudia Hofmann:Yes, definitely! The future of e-commerce will be that we walk through a 3D online store with our friends as avatars and go shopping together, get advice and try on the digital clothes. That's why it's also important for us what we will wear in the Metaverse and how we will present ourselves, because this will become the new place where people visually meet each other individually. One is seen!
Using VR technology to create virtual online dressing rooms can help retailers improve conversion rates, increase order value, lower fulfillment costs and reduce returns
CCB Magazine:Do you have any figures on the value added to the fashion industry by the Metaverse? Or to put it another way: If the fashion industry is really exploiting the market potential of the Metaverse - how can this be proven?
Claudia Hofmann:In very basic terms, using VR technology to create virtual online dressing rooms can help retailers improve conversion rates, increase order value, lower fulfillment costs and reduce returns. For example, according to Retail Customer Experience, product pages that offered AR and 3D experiences led to a 13 percent increase in average order size and a 21 percent increase in revenue per visit. Market research firm IDC projects that retailers will make the largest commercial investment in AR/VR technology in 2024, at $7.3 billion. And here are some more numbers: According to a 2020 Big Commerce study, 61 percent of customers prefer online stores that offer AR experiences. And 40 percent of consumers would spend more on products that can be customized in AR. Is that enough for you?
CCB Magazine:And how do you think the use of the Metaverse will evolve in the fashion industry? Do you have a vision of where it should go?
Claudia Hofmann:I believe that e-commerce will be fundamentally changed by the new technologies, which is good for some of the problems the fashion world is facing today, the overproduction and the enormously high return rates for example. I see the use of the Metaverse and new technologies perfect for educational programs, these can be presented in a fun way and reach many users. But we should definitely have a conscious and reflective use of the it. There are also negative sides to its use: health problems, addictions, legal problems. We have to pay attention to this.
CB Magazine:Claudia, thank you very much for the interview.
Category: Innovation & Vision
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