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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

The Emperor Needs New Clothes In The Metaverse

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

In an interview with Decrypt, BNV, the self proclaimed “virtual destination for designers, creators and global fashion brands”, shed light on the developments of fashion in the metaverse & Web3 and its seemingly slow evolution.

BNV founder and CEO Richard Hobbs, explained that fashion houses and brands are concerned with protecting their intellectual property in the digital world. According to Hobbs, the element needed is that of co-creation. “The co-creation is the key thing because most brands are nervous about that type of thing,” said Hobbs. BNV’s business purpose is to bring fashion brands into the virtual space.

BNV is an open platform that anyone can use and acquire designer clothing to dress their avatars. The area where designers are reluctant, is where the users are able to customize the garments purchased. It’s kind of like owning a Picasso painting and then adding your own touches to make it feel more like your personality. For the designers/brands, they are Picasso in this scenario and they are struggling with the thought.

I understand their stance and concerns. BNV’s Richard Hobbs stated, “We have to demonstrate how that can actually be quite cool. You can still retain your brand DNA,

your brand identity, your brand IP, but you can also enable your community to be

proactive around that”.

Hobbs further elaborated by giving an example of how someone can purchase clothing from Ralph Lauren, customize it and sell it to someone else, basically doing the same thing in physical retail. “I can rip the sleeves off, paint an anarchy symbol on the back, stick a badge on it, nobody can do anything about that, nobody can stop me,” said BNV’s CEO.

Offering this opportunity in the metaverse could be beneficial for designers and brands by way of designers exercising their creativity and developing unique items while brands receive royalties from the items altered. Online scalability of this model versus physical retail was also a key point in favor of BNV’s purpose.

“I don’t need to sell one, I can sell 50 or 100 or 1,000”, Hobbs stated. Very conscious of what designers feel and their reluctance for someone altering their creations, Hobbs went on to express, “Most people have invested a lot of their own personal time and ideation into what their brand is”. “When you’re used to designing a collection, it becomes very personal.”

Though early, Hobbs believes that fashion brands will come to see the value and workings of co-creation and will eventually be influenced to take part in Web3.

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