Digital fashion house The Fabricant has launched an online design studio in which users can create exclusive virtual garments to trade and wear in the metaverse.

Named The Fabricant Studio, the platform was developed to make virtual fashion design accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

The Fabricant Studio design platform
The Fabricant Studio

The studio is being launched by The Fabricant today as part of its guest editorship for Dezeen 15, an online festival celebrating Dezeen’s 15th birthday.

As part of the event, Dezeen commissioned 15 creatives to imagine ways to make the world a better place over the next 15 years.

Amber Slooten, the co-founder of The Fabricant, introduced the platform as part of her manifesto for the future of digital fashion in a live interview with Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

Studio to “create the wardrobe of the metaverse”

The Fabricant Studio works by inviting users to create, mint and trade digital garments as NFTs, which can then be worn across various digital environments within the metaverse – an emerging digital universe in which users can experience a parallel life.

According to The Fabricant, it was developed to enable “anyone to become a digital fashion designer” and create clothing with leading brands and creatives.

It is also “key to The Fabricant’s mission to create the wardrobe of the metaverse.”

The Fabricant Studio design platform
Users can customise garments with exclusive digital fabrics

“Within The Fabricant Studio, individuals are on an equal footing with global brands, and that’s understood and appreciated by all participants,” the fashion house told Dezeen.

“The collaborative creative experience allows anyone to become a digital fashion designer and create their own exclusive fashion NFTs to trade and wear in the metaverse.”

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital certificates of ownership and authenticity that can be assigned to digital assets.

The tokens are individually recorded or minted on a blockchain, similarly to a cryptocurrency transaction, which enables the associated asset to be bought, sold and collected. In The Fabricant Studio, each new co-creation is minted on the Flow blockchain.

Garments expected to be “highly valuable”

The process of creating digital garments within The Fabricant Studio begins with fashion brands and designers dropping three-dimensional master garments into the platform.

These master garments form blank templates that are made available for users to customise with digital fabrics, trims and accessories created especially for the platform.

The Fabricant Studio design platform
The clothing can be worn in different digital environments within the metaverse

However, only one version of each garment can be made – meaning each piece will become “highly valuable digital couture”.

Once complete, each piece is minted as an NFT with the user behind them credited as co-creators with the designer of the master garment. Royalties from sales are then equally split between everyone involved in its creation.

Digital fashion world offers “equity of opportunity”

The Fabricant hopes the platform will offer an accessible counterpoint to the “secretive, time-consuming and expensive” world of physical fashion design.

It will also allow “non-tech-savvy fashion fans” to easily create digital fashion garments without the need for knowledge of 3D design software.

“In the digital fashion world, there are no predetermined centres of fashion where you have to be present in order to participate, there’s equity of opportunity and no one owns the space,” The Fabricant said. “Our audience are co-creators right alongside us.”

The Fabricant garments in Sandbox
The Sandbox game is one of the places the garments have been trialled

The debut collection produced within The Fabricant Studio, named Season 0, launched in September. It was created by a group of 50 users who were invited to the experience.

The master garments were designed by The Fabricant, as well as digital creators Mengze Zheng, Idiat Shiole and Taskin Goec, and fashion brands Dickies and Marques Almeida.

The Fabricant Studio’s next season will launch on 30 November and be open for anyone to join. As with all future seasons, brands, artists and creatives from a variety of disciplines will be invited to drop master garments.

The Fabricant was founded by Slooten with Kerry Murphy and Adriana Hoppenbrouwer in 2018 to guide the fashion industry towards a future of digital-only clothing.

In 2020, Slooten told Dezeen that interest in virtual fashion has exploded in recent months as “the desire for escapism is at an all-time high” and that it will allow people to “go completely crazy” online.

The Fabricant Studio “allows anyone to become a digital fashion designer”