Google has launched a range of digital clothing for mobile phone users to ‘try on’ – without ever touching a garment.
The free 12-piece collection, which includes a waist-cinching metallic playsuit, glittering padded coat and futuristic dress shoulders, doesn’t physically exist and is simply a number of cutting-edge digital simulations created using 3D software.
But fashionistas can see themselves ‘in’ the designs by uploading a snap to a designated website and selecting the piece they want to ‘wear’.
The digital garment is then superimposed on top of the original image, creating the illusion the person is actually wearing the piece.
The finished result is emailed back to the user and can be shared on social media, making it seem as though a high-end piece has been added to their wardrobe.
Digital fashion has been around for over five years, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has really taken off.
In 2019, a translucent computer-generated dress made by ‘digital couture’ house The Fabricant sold at auction for £7,800, after Canadian tech executive Richard Ma bought it for his wife.
Other companies like Tribute Brand and DressX, which partnered with Google on the new range, offer a huge range of digital garments for prices ranging from £20 to £200. The Google x DressX Material You Collection is available for free.
Nike and Gucci are just two of the big name brands that have jumped on the bandwagon.
Virtual fashion in gaming is already a high-value market, predicted to reach £36 billion by the end of 2022.
Players can change their character’s appearances, often by paying a fee, meaning games such as Fortnite, which has more than 250 million global users, reportedly earns about £220 million a month in virtual clothing sales (skins as they are called).
It is seen by some as a solution to fast fashion and the environmental damage caused by the industry as a whole.
It also provides another way for image-conscious influencers to change up their looks without expending too much time, effort and money.
However its detractors question whether shoppers will ever really place the same value on a digital item they can’t ever wear.
The Pixel 6 x DressX Material You Collection was designed by famous names including musician Tinie Tempah and writer Jack Guinness.
Tinie Tempah said: ‘As we continue to embrace this tech-based world, we are constantly online and reliant on WiFi, 5G and radio waves. I wanted to design a jacket that doubled up as a protector from these elements, whilst being stylish and practical.
‘When designing my garment I used the Pixel 6 to scan objects like furniture, industrial equipment and clothing to understand how things were produced, which helped inform my ideas and inspiration.
‘We already have avatars and online versions of ourselves so it’s amazing to be able to have virtual outfits too. I’ve really enjoyed exploring the endless possibilities of technology and our phones with Google Pixel.’