Perhaps more than other creative sectors, contemporary fashion lives the current dichotomy between the more tangible materiality and the more evanescent immateriality: the first is expressed with a decisive rediscovery of craftsmanship, the second through an ever greater incidence of instant and digital communication.
Between ancestral know-how and videos lasting a few seconds that last 24 hours, figures are emerging who aim to reconcile these two opposites in an almost utopian way.
The Fabricant is succeeding. It is a design studio dedicated exclusively to fashion digital, that is a lot of clothing but not even a fabric, hours and hours of design and none of the packaging.
The founders, Kerry Murphy, Amber Jae Slooten and AdrianaHoppenbrouwer-Pereira, have stated on multiple occasions that never and then they will never make a physical product. Symptoms of genuine revolutionary tension, they even point to a change in vocabulary when they suggest abandoning 'haute couture' in favor of 'thought couture', towards a craftsmanship that does not is light as silk but like thought.
Anyone who has worked on a 3D modeling software knows how much attention to detail is necessary, knows the complexity of paths that require continuous changes, creative solutions, tricks to go beyond the limits imposed by the medium: the doing digital can therefore have the same dignity as making a manual.
The designers of The Fabricant do not claim to replace real clothing with digital ones, they are aware that we cannot dress in pixels. Theirs is an alternative proposal that aims to change the system, both in form and in meaning.
"We need clothes to protect us and we need fashion to express our identities", declare the founders. "Since most of our identities are built into digital and social channels, why would we need physical objects to express ourselves?"
With its projects, the studio explores possible worlds, in which clothing can change shape and appearance when viewed through cameras and monitors, with the addition of an ethical aspect. In fact, with few real objects it is possible to obtain countless virtual looks, guaranteeing greater expressive possibilities but at the same time reducing production, generating less waste, perhaps even increasing the quality of the physical product.
"We see an opportunity to use technology to make the fashion industry more sustainable", they continue, "while allowing consumers to explore their identities in new and limitless ways."
Between communication and product projects, there are many established companies that have chosen to work with them; among these Under Armor, Adidas, Puma, Off-White, Tommy Hilfiger, Vogue Singapore, Napapijri, Nicopanda and Buffalo.
The result is shoes of fire, animated covers, physical installations, competitions dedicated to emerging digital fashion creators and, of course, NFT collections. From the collaboration with the Neapolitan digital artist Teresa Manzo, for example, a collection of hats inspired by the history of costume was born, which could be tried on before purchase thanks to an Instagram filter.
In fashion, we cannot forget the red carpet, even in digital form. In September 2021, on the occasion of the Meta Gala which opened the first Crypto Fashion Week, the artist and transhuman RUBY 9100M wore a The Unpublished fabricant, then auctioned on SuperRare and sold for 3 Ether, equivalent to about 7500 euros.
The co-ed projects are flanked by the designers of The Fabricant Studio: anyone has the opportunity to create a digital dress that can be worn by their avatars in the metaverse or enjoyed through filters for social media, but also transformed into NFT and put on the market. Several thousand have already been made.
Purely digital fashion is also easily applied in entertainment and gaming, not surprisingly more and more in the radar of traditional fashion ( Gucci and Balenciaga in primis, without forgetting Sunnei and GCDS).
In fact, in 2020 The Fabricant received a grant from Epic Games (those of Fortnite), therefore the task of creating "high quality digital fashion garments" for the Unreal Engine store. Because quality fashion also exists in the metaverse.