Fashion is not something that immediately springs to mind when talking about virtual reality—but neverthless, it is now widely use by the fashion industry in a variety of ways. Fashion and tech are always eager to grasp at one another. Put together, each stands to gain a great deal. When fashion embraces tech, it looks cutting-edge, forward-thinking and smart.
For the fashion industry, technological advances mean the potential for new and interesting ways to entice buyers, while virtual reality represents the possibility for something else entirely. It is like the promise of being virtually trasnported to the front row of a fashion show. Imagine, for instance, a fashion show without seating charts and assorted egos, or without the five to seven minutes canned small talk you always have to make before taking a seat. Imagine the ability to skip past those parts and fast-forward to the good stuff, all from the comfort of your home—being able to attend without, well, even being invited. That is the beauty of digital—somebody has a front row seat while sitting in their own comfortable armchair.
Runway shows have been an early and obvious experimentation for fashion’s use of virtual reality. Last October, Tommy Hilfiger added a virtual reality video to flagship stores in US and Europe showing its fall 2015 runway show. The designer even says, nowadays you can’t just wait for people to come into the store and try on those jackets, we have to provide an entertaintment.
As the majority of the world already experiences Fashion Week—and really, most of high fashion—through the screen, virtual reality is groundbreaking for its potential to disrupt the other part of the world. We wouldn’t at all be surprised to see increased virtual reality coverage of the fall 2016 fashion shows taking place in February and March.