Welcome back to Runway, where we report to you from the frontlines of the digital fashion revolution. Leaks, controversial major announcements, android dolls replacing supermodels, and digital fashion at the Oscars — this week has been full of events. So get ready, and let’s dive into all the compelling, mundane, messy, and beautiful stories you need to know from this week in digital fashion.
Doodles’ gold socks draw backlash
After the social media near-blackout Doodles took previously — and the amount of backlash they received from their community as a result — one would think that the team would be better at communicating with holders. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. This week, Doodles surprised their community by announcing… socks? But they aren’t just any socks. Holders must complete a challenge and collect all 12 types of socks to be dropped a pair of digital golden socks.
The response from the community was a little mixed, but many were rather unhappy with the announcement.
What’s most surprising is that Doodles offered to drop socks after the Moonbirds fanny pack debacle, which also met with plenty of backlash.
According to a recent Discord post from Doodles co-founder Jordan Castro, the company is working to establish itself as something bigger than what it was. “We’re trying to go from a startup to a leading media franchise. We are no longer an ‘NFT project.’” But if community sentiment is any indication, that statement doesn’t seem to be landing very well.
Do Doodle holders know they are now invested in a franchise? And could their money go further in a much more famous franchise, like Plato’s Closet? It seems that many in the space are asking themselves those same questions.
RTKFT quality controversy
Images of the RTFKT CloneX Forging SZN1 physical samples were leaked this week. Many users noted that the physical items are a far cry from the digital renderings that fans were promised, with some even arguing that the products “approach the level of a fraudulent bait-and-switch.” Twitterverse was in an uproar over the quality of fabrics, stitching, and more.
RTFKT’s co-founders took to Twitter to defend the items, saying that the products actually do meet quality standards. “It’s hard to fully recreate the quality materials and finishes with a digital render,” they explained.
Who’s right? We will have to wait until the physical goods officially ship out to pass judgment.
Forging events allowed holders of eligible digital collectibles to redeem for limited made-to-order physical products. Holders have been waiting on the digital twins since last August, and they are only starting to ship out some of the goods this month. Outerwear won’t be shipping until June.
Clarins AR filter imminent
Following their recent metaverse debut, beauty brand Clarins, through their subsidiary Clarins Precious, is set to launch the “As Rare as You” filter for Instagram. This new augmented reality experience utilizes a combination of nature and technology to create ethereal effects, showcasing the rare and radiant results of Clarins Precious’ skincare range.
The filter will transform once every day, during the “magic hour,” emulating the rare blooming of the Moonlight Flower.
In case you missed the news about Clarins in light of all the SVB chaos, here is a quick recap. The Clarins Precious NFT Collection, co-created by ALTAVA Group and artists Ada Sokół and Ines Alpha, dropped earlier this month. It uses the Polygon blockchain and Magic Eden marketplace. The collection consists of 325 unique animated artworks that depict the story of Clarins Precious, with a focus on the hourglass. In addition to the visual experience, each NFT provides exclusive rewards, such as personalized consultations, virtual experiences, and products. VIP holders also have the chance to receive four ultra-rare NFTs that offer unique rewards.
DressX raises $15 million Series A
Digital fashion retailer DressX recently secured $15 million in a Series A funding round, with Greenfield leading the investment. Other notable investors in the round included Warner Music, Red DAO, The Artemis Fund, and Slow Ventures. The funding will be used to focus on achieving interoperability of its digital fashion assets across multiple metaverses and games, as well as to enhance the performance of its app and NFT marketplace.
Institute of Digital Fashion drops a couture dress
IoDF (Institute of Digital Fashion) teamed up with designer Zac Posen to make a custom couture dress with a digital layer. The cream, open-back bias halter gown featured off-the-shoulder cuffed poet sleeves, and it was worn to the Oscars by Avatar: Way of Water actress Bailey Bass. The biodegradable dress was designed using Tencel Luxe filament yarns of botanic origin in collaboration with sustainable fashion brands RCGD (Red Carpet Green Dress) Global, a women-led sustainability initiative, and CLO Virtual Fashion, a 3D fashion design software program.
M3GAN debuts for Marc Jacobs’ Heaven
The titular robotic star of the 2023 horror-comedy M3GAN made her modeling debut this week in the Marc Jacobs Heaven campaign. This campaign is a collaboration between the streetwear brand Stray Rats and the popular band Deftones. Android doll M3GAN quickly became an internet sensation following the release of the film in January, and Marc Jacobs’ choice to use her as a model proves that AI is being embraced more and more in the world of fashion — both on and off the runway.