The main point of virtual reality is to transport us to new places while we, in fact, are not making a single step.
Put on the VR headset – and find yourself in a different city, underwater, on another planet, or… at a fashion show! Why not, as VR can take you anywhere.
The fashion industry has already found several uses for augmented and virtual reality – virtual try-ons, VR mirrors where you can “put on” clothes and admire your new looks, and visits to fashion shows.
Even for a devoted fashion follower, it may be difficult to travel to a real show – they are held in different parts of the globe and, very often, the admittance is by invitation only. Otherwise, the tickets may be quite expensive.
However, some fashion brands opted for increasing their audience by using cutting-edge technology – virtual reality.
With a VR headset and the special virtual fashion software, you can get an absolutely realistic sensation of being present at some of the most fabulous shows of our time.
And, let’s not forget about the cost – with virtual reality, you do not need to be Kim Kardashian to be able to attend some of the top-class events in the fashion world.
At the same time, placing you in the front row of the famous shows is not the only way the VR can be used in fashion. By looking through the VR viewer lens, we can step in the showrooms of the leading fashion brands.
Virtual reality fashion shows
The year 2017, the New York Fashion Week, in fact, expanded far beyond New York City and even the continent of America. The visitors had a chance to be virtually present in Milan for the “Dreaming of Italy” show.
The show itself was filmed on the actual site in Milan a week earlier. For the New York fashion lovers, the organizers prepared a fully immersive virtual reality experience viewed through Samsung VR headsets.
This event was available only by invitation. However, the brands participating in the show got the advantage of bringing their New York crowd to their Milan location.
The visitors could view the collections in 360 degrees and even interact with the items.
Anyone viewing the VR fashion show had a complete sensation of being present in an exquisitely furnished room with models parading right in front of them in stunning outfits.
Mixed reality showroom
Virtual reality headsets not only can take you to virtual space but can also create a new space on top of the existing one.
With VR technology, your visit to a store or a showroom will be enhanced with the possibility of virtually viewing or trying the collections.
In 2017, Sabinna Rachimova, a model and fashion designer, presented her mixed reality show in London.
Together with the demonstration of the collection, the brand also invited guests to view and mix garments with the help of the Microsoft Hololens gadgets.
The application allowed combining and switching clothing items with simple hand gestures creating unique outfits from the Sabinna Rachimova collection.
Virtual reality in fashion brand store planning
VR can help fashion brands to not only expand their audience and impress their guests with great experiences.
There is also another side to it, and that is planning the store design and layout in the virtual space to find the most optimal one.
Rebecca Minkoff, who has been experimenting with virtual reality since 2014, has seen this opportunity and is exploring it in her stores.
By recreating brand stores in virtual reality, her team can try different designs and layouts in an attempt to find the ones that generate the best customer response.
Even though virtual reality can be a costly solution, it is still more cost-effective than physically redesigning stores only to find out that the design does not work that well.
Rebecca Minkoff went even further in her experiments with VR. She uses the VR technology in designing her brand items and accessories. Before actually producing a bag in a new color, the fashion designer tests it in VR to see whether it is as effective as she expects it to be.
Virtual reality fashion show streaming
Virtual reality is a great solution for those who missed the fashion show for whatever reason. Brands record their live shows in 360 degrees and turn them into applications that can be viewed with a VR headset.
This way, thousands of users can view the collections with the realistic sensation of sitting in the front row.
Many brands have already implemented such streaming options to expand their customer base.
For example, in 2016, Balenciaga introduced a free application that could be run on a smartphone inserted into a Google Cardboard VR viewer.
Anyone who downloaded the app and purchased this simple VR device could enjoy the live Balenciaga show at a very affordable price.
Advantages of virtual reality for brands
As we have seen, the implementation of virtual reality in fashion brings considerable benefits for both the brands and their customers.
- Bring more customers
The main advantage is, of course, bringing more customers to the brand by launching virtual reality fashion shows.
This way, people who could not otherwise visit the events and, maybe, note some outfit ideas can still do it wherever they are.
Virtual reality, of course, increases the brand’s presence and awareness and may also bring more sales.
- Reduce costs
At the same time, VR fashion shows or try-ons when offered in offline stores can reduce costs for the brand by creating virtual experiences instead of physical ones.
VR applications can create completely new worlds within the area of a medium-sized store while showing the collections that are physically far away.
Shop-goers watching virtual fashion shows can then purchase the items they liked online or even directly from within the fashion show app.
- Fascinate your audience
Another aspect is the novelty that VR brings to fashion. Each brand that uses virtual reality in its products is trying to create something new and unique.
This boosts the users’ interest and, with the right advertising, it will get them looking forward to experiencing the new VR application first-hand.
A rich and fascinating impression that they get from a VR fashion show may push the customer to explore other resources of the same brand.
- Drive virality
Also, let’s not forget the viral advertising. Virtual reality experience, when created at a professional level, is sure to make the users want to share it with others.
This builds a viral loop with new users accessing the brand’s application and then sharing their impression of it.
- Gather data
And, finally, virtual reality applications are a great source of valuable customer information and analytical data.
Within a VR app, the brand can identify the elements and flows that engage the user as well as those that go unnoticed.
Virtual reality allows making better decisions as to the design, layout, user flows as well as many other factors that influence user engagement and conversion.
Moreover, this comprehensive analytics is available at a lower cost than by monitoring the offline stores.
VR fashion application development
Fashion is an extremely visual industry heavily dependent on what the customer sees.
We admire the fashion shows with models striding along the catwalk. We try to imagine ourselves in the same outfits.
We never buy a clothing item without seeing it or looking at ourselves in the mirror.
This is one of the reasons fashion and VR seems to be made for each other. Virtual reality with its highly graphical user interface is a perfect environment for showcasing the top fashion brand collections.
Besides, the effect of virtual presence at the show and the ability to see the garments up close enhances the impression tenfold.
At the same time, this aspect places the quality requirements for VR applications at an extremely high level.
To create a seamless, breathtaking experience of a complete immersion the virtual reality application has to be truly top-notch.
With fashion, it’s either the best or nothing, as a mediocre implementation can do a bad service to the brand itself.
Subtle color nuances, luxurious fabrics, creative makeup – the application must convey them all to build a realistic sensation of presence and closeness.
Therefore, professional virtual reality development is the key.
Creation of a truly outstanding product requires, on the one hand, the most advanced tools and technologies and, on the other hand, a professional team with considerable experience of working with virtual reality software, especially combining fashion and VR.
Jasoren’s experience of virtual reality app development is quite extensive and includes projects of different size and complexity.
Visit our website to browse our VR portfolio and check the advanced technology stack that we use.
We would really like working together with you on an interesting project that joins the colorful world of fashion with the amazing experience of virtual reality.