Vice’s creative agency, Virtue, began pitching the idea of digital fashion to emerging brands in 2019, after creating a sold-out digital fashion collection with Scandinavian retailer Carlings. The idea was to gift the collection to influencers and sell them to customers to both generate buzz and test a less resource-intensive approach to Instagram content.
Brands were interested, says Mortan Grubak, executive creative director at Virtue, but not necessarily in the idea of selling digital clothing itself. They were drawn to the ability to work with influencers without needing to give away actual goods for free. Small brands in particular were compelled by the money and resources that would save from sending out influencer samples.
Now it’s getting real traction: this month, Farfetch became one of the first large retailers to test the practice of digital sampling by digitally dressing influencers to promote the launch of its new pre-order offering from brands including Balenciaga, Palm Angels, Khaite, Off-White, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, Nanushka, Casablanca and Nicholas Kirkwood.
Farfetch worked with digital fashion platform DressX to digitise the garments and 3D creator Threedium to digitise the accessories, digitising a total of 20 men’s and women’s items from the pre-order collections.
After each influencer selected their preferred look, they supplied multiple images to be digitally tailored by the DressX team; influencers were given guidelines on how to take their images and pose for digital dressing. Then Farfetch, DressX and the influencer reviewed the images to make any necessary changes.