ESMOD, The Oldest Fashion School In The World, Is Offering A Class In Digital ‘Meta-Wear’ Fashion

ESMOD, The Oldest Fashion School In The World, Is Offering A Class In Digital 'Meta-Wear' Fashion

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ESMOD launches a class for the creation and maintenance of digital fashion ESMOD has launched a class for the creation and maintenance of digital fashion
Image courtesy ESMOD

SParis’s ESMOD fashion school, the oldest in the world, will host a Meta-Wear class on digital fashion design next fall. Véronique Beaumont, the school’s managing director, explains how training in this area is essential for the next generation of designers, who will learn to bring together craftsmanship, technical expertise and new technologies. This is what you need to know in order to shape the future of fashion.

Q. Q.
This was necessary to meet the needs of the new generation of students and to adapt to the changing fashion industry. We did some research on the topic and realized it was important to support digital software training. It’s not a new idea. We already had a partnership for courses related to product development and model making. Also, we were already testing Clo3D software which allows users to create a virtual avatar. We started with Clo3D training. But then, the metaverse emerged. Fabrice Jonas, founder and CEO of MyFashionTech, suggested that we go further and offer classes to train students in these new developments. We are adaptable to new trades that have emerged with the metaverse while respecting tradition and craftsmanship, which are fundamental to fashion.

Q. Q.

Although product creation is inevitable, we will also consider the NFT and cryptocurrency environment. The physical aspect will still be important. These virtual worlds will be used to highlight traditional products of brands. It’s obvious that there is a marketing aspect. We are aiming to satisfy the expectations of a hybrid generation. They aren’t content to be artisans anymore. They want to be entrepreneurs. It’s a generation that wants to be entrepreneurs at an earlier stage.

Q. Q.
The Meta-Wear class targets second-year students because we want to place physical fundamentals at the top of our list in the first year. It’s a reorganization of ESMOD’s traditional learning methods, creativity and technique, with digital practice. The new session will include two second-year classes. However, the classic program will still be followed by the students. We intend to go further to train them for new jobs. We want them to be able work in other areas, such as gaming. This is because it responds to the need from recruiters to create new digital costumes designers or metaverse-related profiles.

Q. Q.
It’s not true, I think so. It’s one diversification of our industry. The metaverse phenomenon exists, but paradoxically, my students are asking me more frequently for manual techniques and craftsmanship. There is tradition and modernity. Both are complementary and can’t be substituted for the other. Gaming is an interesting field. We’re going to incorporate it into our teaching methods. However, design is synonymous with emotion, touch, and that is still important. It’s not about abandoning ESMOD’s DNA which still allows for the creation of physical products, but about building bridges between digital and physical fashion.

Also read: Zara, a fast fashion brand, makes the first move in metaverse capture

Q. Q.
Digital fashion is very appealing in the areas communication and perception. Teaching is very difficult today, not just in terms of capturing students’ attention. We discovered that digital fashion is more flexible and more creative than physical fashion. However, the two complement one another and we can see no reason to switch completely to digital fashion. Some students don’t want to take the Meta-Wear course. They prefer to learn techniques and sew in workshops. We’re betting that meta-wear will be a complement to our classic program. We will soon offer a brief metaverse program, in partnership with DressX, to ESMOD alumni as well as professionals who are interested in digital design.

Q. Q.
It all depends on which orientation the students choose. You can have both digital fashion and physical fashion. Everyone can do what they want. Some predicted that the end of haute couture would be marked by the advent of ready-to-wear. However, it is clear that this has not happened. The idea of genderless clothing has not replaced specializations for menswear or womenswear. These are fashion phenomena, but don’t get me wrong. They won’t be the end of fashion, but that doesn’t mean they will last forever. They do allow us to be more creative.

Q. Q.
Although I believe the industry is ahead of the times, it is normal because it is now driven by the new generation. Since a few years, the fashion industry has been moving at the speed of this generation. It is driven largely by innovative and connected influencers. Although everything is changing rapidly, there is often a disconnect between the general consumer base and this connected and innovative generation. This is how things often start. You can see this in environmentally friendly fashion. This was something that didn’t interest people 10 years ago and is now at the forefront of people’s minds. Fashion is all about attractiveness, and desirability are very important concepts. Therefore, the industry must stay ahead of the curve.

Q. Q. Do you consider digital fashion the luxury of the future, or an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional fashion?
This is a difficult question. I think digital fashion will only allow for more physical products. Everyone is interested in it, including major fashion brands and fast fashion. There’s a reason. It is a new way of communicating that is closer to marketing than it is to design. Although it’s great to be in a virtual world, we won’t be able to spend all of our time there. We will still need to purchase physical clothes and pay attention to the origin, materials, and manufacturing methods. Digital fashion will allow us the ability to try on clothes and see if it fits. As for luxury, it is necessary to be aligned with the times, that’s obvious, but we must not forget the fundamentals of luxury—the precious, a taste for the exceptional, and rarity. While this is true for the metaverse at the moment it may change in the future. Digital fashion is not the future of luxury, in this sense.

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