The Fabricant: A Brief Introduction to a Digital Fashion House for the Metaverse

The Fabricant describes itself as “a digital fashion house leading the fashion industry towards a new sector of digital-only clothing”. The team of artists, technologists, and executives certainly aspire to some very lofty-sounding goals:

ALWAYS DIGITAL, NEVER PHYSICAL. 

We waste nothing but data and exploit nothing but our imagination. Operating at the intersection of fashion and technology fabricating digital couture and fashion experiences.

CREATIVE EXECUTION: We develop end-to-end 3D narratives for customers and consumers, from concept to implementation.

PHYGITAL EXPERIENCES: We merge physical and digital capabilities to create interactive brand experiences.

DIGITAL COUTURE: We create digital-only fashion that can be used and traded in virtual realities.

An article on the blog Portion includes an interview with Michaela Larosse, the Head of Content at The Fabricant:

The Fabricant is the world’s first digital-only fashion house. Its’ community of creators combines 3-D fashion design, cutting-edge visual effects animation, and technology to build the future of fashion. Their bespoke designs garments only exist digitally and collectors’ avatars can “wear” the items on social media platforms, in gaming environments, and in virtual worlds (“the metaverse”)….

Q: When you talk about your practice you sometimes refer to it as “thought couture.” Can you elaborate on what that term means for you and how it ties in with your practice?

A: The Fabricant has always believed that clothing does not have to be physical to exist, but it can be quite a challenging concept for people hearing it for the first time. We’re used to such an intimate relationship with garments because we have traditionally worn them against our skin, so the idea that this is no longer necessary requires a mindset shift in what fashion can be. We use the term ‘Thought Couture’ to describe our pieces to enable people to comprehend the concept of non-physicality. It’s couture that exists beyond the physical, just like a thought. We can collectively agree that thoughts exist even though they don’t take physical form, so it’s that idea translated to fashion.

Here is one of their first projects, described as “the world’s first digital-only dress”, and sold on the blockchain for $9,500. It was designed by The Fabricant, and “worn” by model Johanna Jaskowska in collaboration with Dapper Labs. Here’s the 8-second video:

The Fabricant has launched something called the Fabricant Studio. Michaela Larosse says:

The Fabricant Studio is an open invitation for anyone to become a digital fashion creator, without any software knowledge, and participate in co-creating their own digital fashion NFTs to be worn, collected and traded. Users get to customise garments to their own preferences using limited edition digital-only fabrics, trims and accessories. The master silhouettes are dropped into the environment by big brands and boutique digital creators, so they can be played with and customised before users mint their own entirely individual fashion NFTs.

All the garments can be traded in the Studio’s in-platform marketplace, launching 15th October [2021], and have multiple utilities in environment such as The Sandbox and Ready Player Me, so they can be worn on avatars in virtual spaces.

A Google search for the “Fabricant Studio” brought forth the following clever 404 page:

It turns out that the Fabricant Studio moved to a completely separate website, here.

My take on all this? In the same Portion interview, Michaela claims, “We didn’t end up in this industry [digital fashion], we created it.” Oh, really?

Well, there would be a lot of virtual fashion designers in Second Life, Sinespace, Sansar, and dozens of other social VR platforms and virtual worlds who would likely beg to differ with The Fabricant’s claim to be “the world’s first digital-only fashion house”. I have interviewed them, reported on many of their stories, and showcased their creations on this blog.

Digital fashion is not a new concept, people. What perhaps is new, is the creation of Instagram-like “filters” so that people can see digital garments on real-life people (and once again, I’m pretty sure that others have done this before The Fabricant). I am starting to get tired of being the only person in the room who keeps pointing out that what everybody keeps trumpeting as “new” in this season of NFT and metaverse hype, really isn’t. It’s becoming tiring, and frankly, I’m starting to get cranky.

If you wish to learn more about The Fabricant and its work, you can visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow them on social media: Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They also have a YouTube channel with a lot of CLO3D tutorials, as well as the ones I shared here with you.

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