Virtual reality applied to the fashion industry

Antoine Charneau - 08/11/2022

Virtual Showroom: how does virtual reality impact the fashion industry?

For hundreds of years, technological innovations (recently virtual reality) have periodically revolutionized the fashion and retail industry.

The sewing machine, for example, completely changed the production of clothing in the 19th century.

In 1935, nylon was patented and proved to be a success when introduced to the public.


Then, in the mid-1990s, the rise of online shopping platforms revolutionized the retail experience, and it didn't stop there.

As products themselves as well as customer expectations change faster than ever, the introduction of virtual reality into the fashion world has impacted in several ways:

Live fashion shows

The most obvious use case for VR in fashion is streaming fashion shows, and some brands have already capitalized on this technology to show off their new collections.


For example, "Afterworld"developed by the Balenciaga brand offered an opportunity to discover the 2021 collection in VR during which viewers could select an avatar and explore a virtual showroom.


Such extended access increases the presence and awareness of the brand, subsequently generating more sales.

Virtual fashion shows can also pave the way for live conversion, as viewers can immediately purchase the items they liked online or even from the app in VR.

The virtual showroom : A better E-commerce experience

The virtual showroom is an extension of an e-commerce site. Thanks to virtual reality, the consumer can now project himself by visualizing his product from every angle and immerse himself in the brand's universe.

Virtual reality could also be used to solve one of the biggest problems in fashion e-commerce: how to show the consumer what the clothes will look like on them.. It could encourage more consumers to feel confident enough to make an online purchase in the first place.

1. Store and virtual reality design

Virtual reality has proven to be an excellent way to plan a store design in a virtual space to find the most optimal solution.

Rebecca Minkoffwho experiments with virtual reality since 2014, is a perfect example. By first virtually creating its future stores, the brand can experiment with different merchandising and better select the one that will generate the best customer return.


While there are costs involved, it is still more cost-effective than physically redesigning stores in the event that it is discovered that the design is not working as well as expected.


Rebecca Minkoff has taken her experimentation with virtual reality a step further. The brand uses VR technology to design certain items and accessories. Before producing a bag in a new color, it is tested by the fashion designer in virtual reality.

2. Reduce returns

Returned items represent a significant frustration and loss in the world of retail world online retail world, and anything that can help reduce the propensity of customers to return items will help from a financial perspective.


By allowing customers toBy allowing customers to virtually try on clothesrather than taking advantage of free return options, fashion companies can solve this industry-wide problem.

3. More ecological

VR technology technology can help reduce the number of samples produced before a collection even begins production. The creation of samples via virtual simulation and design tools allows brands to significantly brands to significantly reduce their environmental impact.

RV fashion shows fashion shows have less impact on the environment than traditional fashion shows, as they reduce the need for large numbers of people to travel from all over the world during fashion weeks.

4. The growth in the number of virtual fashion influencers

With Virtual Fashion, a new category of Influencers has appeared: the Virtual Influencers.


You may know the 5 avatars famous for their partnerships with major brands: 


  • Miquela 3 million subscribers for Calvin Klein

  • Shudu Gram 250 K Subscribers for Fenty

  • Imma Gram 330,000 subscribers for Amazon

  • Ruby9100m 79,000 subscribers for Fendi

  • Noonoouri 379 K Followers for Dior.


With virtual influencers, brands can fully control what will be published and don't have to worry about actions that could compromise the brand's image, and influencers are their own asset, so they don't have to pay huge amounts of money to negotiate publications.



5. Valuable information on consumer behavior

VR applications provide an excellent source of customer information and analytical data.


Within a VR application, the brand can identify the elements and flows that engage the user as well as those that go unnoticed.


Virtual reality enables better decisions about design, layout, user flows, and many other factors that influence user engagement and conversion.


In conclusion

Any fashion brand looking to increase sales, raise awareness, reduce costs and move toward a more sustainable industry-wide ecosystem should consider implementing virtual reality.


For starters, virtual retail space design is possible with Retail VR, a collaborative 3D platform accessible to all sales, marketing and merchandising teams.