The fashion industry has been taken by storm by the advent of virtual reality technology in fashion design.
Fashion shows have begun to exhibit in virtual form, and virtual purchasing has exploded, thanks to advancements such as AR Try-On, virtual dressing rooms, and virtual stores. Fashion is a sophisticated and contemporary sector that continues to grow by incorporating new technology and influencing retail and design.
Virtual Reality in Fashion Design
Virtual reality (VR) is a virtual experience that may be both comparable and dissimilar to the actual world. A person using virtual reality gear may see around the virtual environment, move about in it, and interact with virtual features and objects.
A Virtual Reality (VR) environment is a computer-generated environment containing images and objects that appear to be genuine, giving the user the sensation of being completely immersed in their surroundings. This world is viewed through the use of a Virtual Reality headset or helmet.
Virtual reality has already demonstrated its efficacy and use as a research tool in a variety of sectors. VR has been used to treat phobias and anxiety disorders (e.g., Rothbaum et al. 1995), to regulate pain (Hoffman et al. 2001), and to teach skills (e.g., Rothbaum et al. 1995). (Padgett et al. 2005).
Researchers in an applied area find the realistic portrayal of simulated settings in VR, as well as the ease of building such environments, particularly appealing.
Although few retail researchers have utilized virtual reality (VR), it can be a particularly appealing tool for researchers interested in examining customer in-store experiences since VR allows researchers to simply design and change virtual stores.
While the benefits are obvious, due to a dearth of VR research undertaken in the fashion retail environment, some of the technical challenges that VR technology brings to fashion retailers remain mostly unknown.
The earlier use of VR, for example, is most popular in architecture, where the focus is on the structural construction of structures with the fewest possible ornamental elements. Fashion retail researchers, on the other hand, are likely to deal with a huge number of things.
In a normal GAP shop, there are 1820 SKUs, which corresponds to several thousand goods. As a result, the vast quantity of things exhibited in a store might provide distinct issues when it comes to employing VR for fashion businesses.
Furthermore, research shows that understanding consumers' reactions to new technology, such as virtual reality (VR), as well as the barriers to and requirements for technology implementation, is critical to creating effective virtual shopping environments and improving consumers' shopping experiences (Ballantine 2005; Dacko 2017).
This study adds to the body of knowledge about the use of technology in retail by providing an overview for practitioners and academics of the benefits and challenges of using virtual reality (VR) and consumer reactions to VR stores, as well as how realistic virtual store experiences can be strategically implemented to create engaging and entertaining experiences.
Real Life Examples of Virtual Reality in Fashion Industry
There are several real-world instances of AR and VR being used in the fashion retail industry. Here's a partial list of companies who are using virtual reality to help with client onboarding and retention.
The Prada Virtual Reality project consists of a collection of videos that can be found on prominent sites such as YouTube VR and VEER
The initiative takes the viewer on a tour of some of Prada's most renowned locales, including Tokyo's Epicenter shops and Milan and Venice's Fondazione Prada. Users may also view some of Prada's collections as well as how the runway presentations are staged.
The New York Fashion Week in 2017 spanned well beyond New York City and even the entire continent of America. Visitors got the opportunity to virtually attend the "Dreaming of Italy" event in Milan.
The performance was taped a week earlier on the real spot in Milan. The organizers prepared a fully immersive virtual reality experience for New York fashionistas, which was viewed through Samsung VR headsets.
This event was only open to those who had received an invitation. The businesses that took part in the exhibition, on the other hand, had the advantage of bringing their New York audience to Milan.Visitors were able to examine the collections in 360 degrees and interact with them.
Anyone watching the virtual reality fashion show felt as though they were in an artistically equipped room with models parading in magnificent clothing right in front of them.
Rebecca Minkoff, who has been experimenting with virtual reality since 2014, has seen this possibility and is pursuing it at her retail locations.
Her team may experiment with alternative designs and layouts by replicating brand stores in virtual reality in order to determine the ones that elicit the highest consumer reaction.
Despite the fact that virtual reality is a pricey solution, it is still less expensive than physically remodeling stores only to discover that the design does not function.
Rebecca Minkoff took her VR experiments even farther. She employs virtual reality technology in the creation of her brand's merchandise and accessories. Before actually making a bag in a new hue, the fashion designer puts it through its paces in virtual reality to see whether it is as successful as she hopes.
Also Read | Virtual Reality in Construction Industry
Benefits of Virtual Reality in Fashion Industry
Some of the major benefits that virtual reality holds in fashion industry are:-
The fashion industry has traditionally had a poor level of sustainability. Still, virtual reality is intended to change all of that by allowing virtual fashion designers to avoid some of the industry's ethical difficulties. Virtual reality fashion design substantially minimizes clothing waste.
Any faulty items made with physical clothes are destroyed, however in VR, they may be deleted at the touch of a button, leaving no trace and considerably lowering pollution.
When designing and creating garments online, a lot of resources are saved. It lowers waste and shipping-related carbon dioxide emissions.
Shipping garments, which is equally as destructive to the environment as fashion production, is also reduced by digital fashion. At the touch of a button, users may now upload their clothes to their phones for their newest Instagram or Snapchat snap.
For people who just buy particular outfits to wear for a social media photo, digital fashion provides a more sustainable solution for customers to maintain this trend without having to worry about shipping or returns, which helps to conserve the environment while also saving money for companies.
This new era of fashion design encourages experimentation and involvement, allowing buyers and designers alike to try out as many styles and patterns as they like without wasting materials. It also enables them to evaluate their work in a more precise and quantitative manner.
VR fashion design technology will assist the fashion industry in becoming more progressive in responding to social and environmental issues caused by production, creating a better work environment, building a better relationship with customers and conserving resources, responding to a global need, and saving time for shoppers.
Also Read | Virtual Reality in Architecture
Uses of Virtual Reality in Fashion Industry
Instead of the traditional boring practise of dragging yourself to a mall, finding a parking spot, spending hours searching for the item you need, waiting in line in the dressing room, visiting several shops to find alternative garments and compare their prices and characteristics, etc., augmented reality and virtual reality gives you a "WOW" factor feeling in shopping.
The retailer and the manufacturers are using and Virtual reality in a different ways in the fashion industry like :-
Uses of Virtual Reality in Fashion
We've already discussed this fantastic feature, which allows customers to skip a frustrating dressing-room experience, save time, and try on a large variety of outfits in various colors, patterns, and sizes. A virtual dressing-room software is a game-changer for individuals who despise the mess and stress of traditional shopping.
Increasing the Usability of in-store Navigation
According to Retail Dive studies, 62% of buyers are hesitant to give up pre-sale product interaction and prefer to shop in physical locations. These shoppers can navigate a mall or business more easily using augmented reality technologies.
These types of guided shopping excursions lessen ambiguity and confusion, as well as the amount of time spent in the store by the individual. Meanwhile, because in-store navigation has made shopping more accurate, the number of purchases has increased. This tool can assist you in rapidly locating tasks from your to-do list.
Getting Past Pre-Purchase Indecision
When you have a choice, doubts are normal. They may, however, be aggravating. Making an informed selection, on the other hand, is as easy as pointing your smartphone at a garment and acquiring all the information you want. It's especially useful if you're an 'interactive introvert' who doesn't want to contact a human salesperson for help.
You could also develop a fondness for an app that displays the number of individuals who have loved the thing you're considering (including your Facebook pals). Peer pressure may be a potent purchase motivator for certain people.
Shopping with a Personal Touch
Based on your previous purchase history, augmented reality applications might leverage your personal information to propose things you would like. This customer-centric strategy, once again, makes targeting more accurate, with all the benefits it entails.
Furthermore, you may get the information you want more quickly: rather than scrolling through a large list of specifications on the retailer's website, you simply hover your camera over a specific section of the product and see what you require.
Creating Unique Items
Creating a unique costume or accessory before the advent of AR and VR took a lot of time and effort. Customers with a lack of creative vision may receive a product that falls short of their expectations.
AR and VR solutions help to solve this problem by providing a virtual demo version of a product to a customer. They will be able to view how their bag or pair of sneakers will seem in real life.
Also Read | Virtual Reality Games
Through appealing schemes, the virtual depiction of clothing and sample pieces may considerably decrease wasteful expenditures involved in the production, cloth, sewing, shipping, and exhibition of these sample items, resulting in improved customer experience and brand improvement.
Tommy Hilfiger's virtual headset experience allowed immersed customers to go deeper and be a part of the Autumn/Winter collection show, which is a strong mechanism for encouraging potential purchasers to assess items controlled by the brand's choice of display and presentation.
Since one cultural demographic will experience a varying degree of sizes and heights, clothing and garments are harder to perfectly suit each individual because they are produced in bulk and created with a generalized picture. The new power of data collection and garment resourcing has also reduced garment alteration changes.
AR makeovers, VR catwalk shows, virtual fitting rooms, augmented apparel, and other fascinating new technologies will make shopping more of a pleasure than a chore. This will help to increase customer interest in a brand, which will lead to an increase in income.
While they satisfy the emerging demands of merchants and purchasers, augmented and virtual reality devices are here to stay. They will make both buyers and shops very happy if they are fully utilized.