Much of fashion revolves around exclusivity, an idea the metaverse has only emphasized. One platform, however, is hoping to provide a more accessible outlook for virtual fashion.
Draup, a marketplace for digital fashion, plans to streamline the process of owning virtual styles by allowing them to be bought, sold, showcased, and monetized all in one place. The platform recently received $1.5 million from investors including Ledger executive Ian Rogers and Trevor McFedries, the creator behind CGI influencer Lil Miquela.
A one-stop shop — Founded and run by Daniella Loftus, who also founded digital fashion blog This Outfit Does Not Exist, Draup will use its seed to build up its marketplace over the next 18 months. Soon, resale, rentals, and “wear to earn” features will be available on the platform, according to a press release, fully replicating the options people have with tangible clothing. Draup’s marketplace is expected to roll out towards the end of 2022.
Loftus has previously said she aims to improve the experience of owning digital fashion, writing last January in a white paper that Draup will offer “virtual wardrobes through which digital fashion can be curated, displayed, and ported into off-platform virtual environments.” As of now, digital fashion pieces are often limited to the virtual world they were created in, or only available for one-time “digital wear” in photos.
Draup also plans to “curate a community of digitally native creators and consumers, providing them with the access and education they need to maximize the value they get from digital fashion.” Its first step toward this community will be a digital fashion and culture zine called “The Lost,” set to launch later this year.
Accessibility is key — Digital-only styles don’t exactly scream accessibility. Virtual pieces serve no purpose outside of the internet and can be as costly (or even more so) as their real-life counterparts. Pieces from “contactless cyber fashion” brand Tribute — which recently received a $4.5 million seed-funding round to create its own platform — are also limited to anywhere from 30 to 100 pieces, with no reissues.
The expansion of the metaverse has prompted many brands — and subsequently, consumers — to turn to web3 to see what’s next in fashion. But in widening the wearing opportunities of digital fashion and creating a community of cyber style-focused influencers, Draup is sure to further interest in virtual-only products. As Loftus foreshadowed in a previous white paper for Draup: “If you don’t currently count yourself as an inhabitant of [a] virtual world, there’s a high chance you will in the near future.”