Metaverse Set For Meteoric Growth In Asia As Virtual Fashion And Art Explode

Metaverse Set For Meteoric Growth In Asia As Virtual Fashion And Art Explode

Metaverse Set For Meteoric Growth In Asia As Virtual Fashion And Art Explode

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From Tommy Hilfiger displaying their fashion on Decentraland to Samsung’s multi-sensory experience on 837X, the Metaverse is in a rapid state of growth. The question of Metaverse turning mainstream is now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.’ 

One key observation in this growth is the volume of interest in the Metaverse from Asian countries. Fashion designers and artists from Asia are entering the space consistently, creating engaging social experiences for their audience – a sentiment backed by research findings estimating that Metaverse will contribute over a trillion dollars annually to the Asian economy. 

This piece explores the rationale behind adopting Metaverse and the growing Asian involvement in the space.

Revolutionising fashion and art in the metaverse

Fashion and art are two industries traditionally plagued by counterfeits and pirated goods. Also, with the eruption of virtual shops, fashion brands and artists need help establishing a personal connection with their audience. A vital step towards a counterfeit-free market would be the holistic adoption of a blend of NFTs and the Metaverse.

NFTs, with their digital identity provenance and real-time traceability, derail most counterfeiting efforts. Similarly, brands can use the Metaverse to create tailor-made social experiences for their audience to interact with, use, and own pieces of their favourite collectibles. These two breakthrough technologies mark the start of a new age of immersive digital experiences and social connection. 

A prime reflection of this is the use of the Metaverse by K-Pop culture across the globe. Zepeto, a popular Metaverse platform with more than 20 million active monthly users, is built around K-Pop fashion. Similarly, a first-of-its-kind K-Pop concert was organised by the digital wearable brand boAt.

Vietnamese digital fashion metaverse platform, ORTHO, is another player in this space. They partnered with the local top fashion brand Le Thanh Hoa for a metaverse launch with physical and digital fashion designs. Physical and digital work, dubbed phygital, allows designers to present their work with an immersive virtual experience. Counterfeit and copy-cat items are increasingly an issue for creators, and ORTHO is creating a space where authenticity is encouraged. 

This reflects a genuine attempt by these platforms to leverage culture, creativity, and a hopeful future, to grow their initial audience base. Expectedly, the majority of their audiences are from Asia. 

Asia: The hot spot for metaverse development

It is a tough ask for a continent as diverse as Asia to be considered a ‘hot spot’ for developing a niche industry simply because the efforts and resources are often concentrated in one or two nations. However, thanks to the Metaverse’s virtual nature, low entry barriers, and a young, dynamic workforce, Asia is building a thriving Metaverse ecosystem.

In addition, people and firms alike are gearing towards this aim. More importantly, governments have waved the green flag more often than not for developing these yet-to-mature industries.

Nations like Singapore are turning into hubs for Metaverse-related firms, courtesy of their friendly regulatory policies for running those businesses. Also, more than 70% of Singaporean business professionals believe in the Metaverse being a part of their work life. So, it is a blend of people’s interests and a proactive governmental approach.

Similarly, another project out of Vietnam is setting up a Metaverse Village to spur innovation amongst its builders, with the core objective of Vietnamese startups gaining access to a global audience and more. It is one of the prime reasons behind the nation finishing in the numero uno (No. 1) position for the ‘2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.’

People, firms, and governments in Asia are on the same page regarding the development of this Metaverse space. This creates a rare opportunity for Metaverse builders to start building without worrying about third-party involvement. 

Metaverse utilities need to be added, along with accessibility

Pay particular attention to this element of Metaverse development. The simple way to achieve mass adoption of any solution or product is for it to solve a problem at scale fundamentally. And for a nascent industry like the Metaverse, projects and people alike need to focus on building solutions that solve real problems. 

The Metaverse needs to be built with more use cases for the layman. This report from Deloitte suggests several industries/sectors where Metaverses can be implemented. Gaming and entertainment are ripe for disruption to critical healthcare and education, and the room for innovation and improvement is enormous.

Moreover, ‘Accessible Metaverses’ need to be pursued, as even the best projects are futile if most users cannot access them. Instead, there need to be conscious efforts to educate and spread awareness — at first. Then, building layman-friendly solutions and projects will be a top priority.