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Chapter 6

The World is a Giant Trunk Show

At the Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival, Michael Kors spoke about the future of fashion. He said, “Social media is the conversation I’m having globally…it’s a giant trunk show.” What happens when that global conversation comes to life? The world will become a runway for anyone with an interest in fashion to explore. When clothes become digital, imagination can be unleashed. Kors thinks designers need to get out in the world and see people living life.

Content will take on new meaning with AR glasses. What we wear could become a combination of bits and atoms: a convergence of the Metaverse concept and the Metaverse of physical design. It would unlock new possibilities in how we become self-expressive. This, in turn, will impact culture. If the world becomes both the canvas and the catwalk, current culture and what we wear will impact the business world.

Through the use of sensors, computer vision, game engine technology, and machine learning, these wearables will combine the digital and physical worlds in real-time. It will make what’s within eyesight and earshot of a person become a further extension of their experience. This will further connect both virtual and physical touchpoints and extend content, making it contextually aware and unlocking new potential beyond just the physical world. This, in turn, will have an impact not only on what we design but also on how we design.

Take, for example, a dress. Smart glasses can scan and automatically score their price, sustainability, and ethics metrics (where it was made, who made it, and the conditions of those workers). Shoppers are starting to move away from fast fashion and blatant consumerism. Companies should be prepared with a digital version of the dress for sale so that buyers will be seen wearing it virtually by others who have AR glasses. Companies can revamp their loyalty programs to add virtual access to someone’s look. Friends can view and swap virtual outfits by signing up for the loyalty app. These looks aren’t shared with the world, just your closest friends or fellow fashionistas get access to you.

Fashion and creativity are just the beginning with AR glasses. The fashion industry was one of the first to embrace immersive, digital technology. As AR glasses become more popular and more powerful in terms of optics and processing power, our clothes will take on new dimensions, colors, and even physics. As Michael Kor said, "Fashion is about breaking the rules.”

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