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Can A Digital Transformation Revolutionise Fashion Consumption?

By Jade Deanna McSorley MA Fashion Futures 18/19 London College of Fashion, University of the Arts


Abstract

STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY I, Jade McSorley, confirm that this is an original and individual piece of work and that no part of this has been written by anyone else. I have acknowledged all sources and citation. No section of this work has been plagiarised. This work has not been submitted for any other assessment. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This research has been made possible thanks to the guidance and expertise of my supervisors, Alex Intosh and Julia Crew. Further thanks and acknowledgement is to the team at Reactive Reality who brought my avatar to virtual life.

An investigative and speculative approach to the potential of a digital transformation in preparation for digitally native generations. Digital clothing and avatars are becoming the marketing tools for fashion brands, created through collaboration between diverse industries and adopting 3D software to achieve a new form of immaterial fashion and identity. Fashtech pioneers advocate digital clothing as a creative evolution and the sustainable solution for fashion industry’s detrimental environmental effects. However, beyond business-to-business and business-to-consumer engagement, we need to question the cultural and psychological impact of a digital transformation on the consumer: Will virtual environments have a significant impact on consumption behaviours in RL (real-life) and redefine our understanding of ownership? Will the cost of a multiphrenic identity come with a psychological price? There is a lack of research on nascent technologies and vehicles for digital expression within a fashion context. Yet digital clothing and customisable avatars are not new; the have been present and a huge form of revenue within video games for decades. This paper seeks to understand the current fashion consumer’s response to digital clothing and use theories typically associated with video games and their players; to find common themes and speculate the potential for a digital transformation within fashion’s future landscape. The paper will outline a digital design process, offer a foundation for alternative business models and scope for further research and innovation. TOTAL WORDS: 18,071


“Will You Find Beauty in a Sea of Data?”


Previous page: Quote by Korakrit Arunanondchai, The Store X The Vinyl Factory presents Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder exhibition, 2019.

DEAR READER There are some notes to consider before you begin: _This paper is designed to be read digitally and, therefore, information may be lost if printed _Hover over certain images to access videos or url locations (this will only work in issuu). URL links can be found at end of document. _QR code only works on smartphones and tablets but can be accessed via desktop at online location https://issuu.com/mcsorleyjade/docs/ma_project _Full Screen is suggested on desktop _The academic study of Video Games will be projected as Shadow Theory to enrich the secondary research concerning virtual items and online identity. _Embracing the digital is encouraged for true reading experience

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CONTENT EPISODE 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Personal Motivation (pg 7) 1.2 Problem Prologue (pg 8) 1.3 Potential Paths (pg 10) Establishing Video Game Shadow Theory (pg 12)

EPISODE 4: METHODOLOGY 4.1 Rationale (pg 36) 4.2 Speculative Thinking (pg 37) 4.3 Interviews (pg 37) 4.4 Surveys (pg 39) 4.5 Content Analysis (pg 39) 4.6 Limitations (pg 40)

EPISODE 5: FINDINGS & DISCUSSION EPISODE 2: LITERATURE REVIEW & CONTEXTUALISATION

2.1 Over-Consumption in a Digital Age (pg 13) 2.1.i Past 2.1.ii Present 2.1.iii Future? 2.2 Fashtech for Sustainability (pg 15) 2.3 Alternative Economies and End of Ownership (pg 16)

5.1 Physicality (pg 41) 5.2 Sustainability (pg 42) 5.3 Relatability (pg 43) 5.4 Identity (pg 45) 5.5 Authenticity (pg 46)

EPISODE 6: CONCLUSION EPISODE 3: EVOLUTION EPISODE 3: EVOLUTION 3.1 Fashion Consumer Evolution (pg 20) 3.2 Digital Clothing (pg 21) Video Game Shadow Theory / Virtual Skins and Game Feel (pg 25) 3.3 Digital Avatars (pg 28)

Video Game Shadow Theory / Virtual Identity and Spatial (pg 31)

3.4 Glitches (pg 35)

6.1 Mindful Virtuality (pg 48) 6.2 Irregularity and Uncertainty (pg 50)

EPISODE 7: FASHION METAVERSES 7.1 Present: MMORPG & Gamification (pg 52) 7.2 Future: Avatar Agency (pg 53) 7.3 Further Future: SVE & Rental (pg 54) EPISODE 8_References (pg 56) EPISODE 9_Glossary (pg 61) EPISODE 10_ URL Links (pg 61) EPISODE 11_Appendix (pg 62)


EPISODE 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Personal Motivation We live in paradoxical times: politically, environmentally and socially. We are coming to terms with the aftermath of our habitual living: our constant desire to consume, capitalise and compete with one another. Darwinian’s theory, Survival of the Fittest (Origin of Species, 1859), has evolved into a survival of the materialist; what we have seems to outweigh what we need. Or what we need is often misconstrued and another form of want. As a result, our planet is under pressure, and so are our mental states. We are on the edge of ‘Digital Darwinism’ (Goodwin, 2018) and we are questioning how to approach our future. Greta Thunberg has become the ultimate poster girl for future generations, inspiring a wave of climate activists and questioning those in power to act in the face of an environmental crisis. Global environmental movement, Extinction Rebellion, staged a funeral procession at September 2019’s London Fashion Week, to demand a stop to the constant seasonality of trends, stating: ‘No Fashion on a dead planet.’

Figure 1_ Extinction Rebellion at London Fashion Week 2019

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Having been a fashion model for eleven years and an ongoing consumer, it is hard not to see the future of humanity without clothing. For one, we need to dress ourselves, but two, it is an aesthetic aura of who we are. We rely on fashion for so many of our social needs: to communicate where we want to belong, who we want to attract and to express inner beliefs and feelings towards our external world. If we remove fashion, do we lose ourselves? Yet, from a model’s perspective, I can also see the damaging effects of fashion both environmentally and psychologically. Today, a model’s job is less about walking the catwalk and more about a constant rotation across e-commerce studios to keep up with the changing trends, curating our Instagram portfolio and building a ‘following’. The fashion industry – the brands, the designers, the CEOs, the influencers, the models – have collaborated and contributed to the perfect capitalist business model by making consumers feel that they need something new every week, every event, every date, every holiday, every Instagram post. Hubbub Foundation suggests that 17% of young people questioned said they would not wear an outfit again if it had been on Instagram (EAC, 2019). The Instagram feed has become a reflection of our society’s bulging consumption appetite, but instead of consuming material possessions of value or nourishment, they are digitalised in a photo, validated by ‘likes’ and then left to sit in the bloated belly of our wardrobes. Future generations will be born into and live online, and, up until now, this has only given fast fashion retailers extra toppings to profit on our expense. While it is true that social media is exacerbating the throwaway nature of fashion, there is also a case to be argued that a society immersing itself into digital spaces and experimenting with online personas can be harnessed to create sustainable paths for fashion and without the requirement of physical possessions. We can still have it all in a virtual world; a new reality which gives access to new forms of

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digital fashion, identity and status – but only online. Fashion models and influencers have already begun a digital transformation where their two-dimensional image is arguably more important than the real-life (RL) person. Yet, such filtered and edited images are causing anxiety to be embedded into our culture. Fashion models have been criticised as enablers for encouraging unrealistic body types for decades and we now live in a time where most smartphone users have access to Photoshop-style apps in the palm of their hands. There are certainly elements of light and shade surrounding the potential of digitalisation. I question: If the population are to delve deeper into digital worlds for the sake of our physical environment, how may we all inhabit this space mindfully? And, like our planetary boundaries, what are the limits for a DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION? 1.2 Prologue Problem In plain terms, the problem is that we consume too much and give back too little to support a sustainable planet. Fashion is a huge part of the problem. The main facts are that in 2018 the fashion industry contributes £32 billion to the UK’s GDP and employs 890,000 workers (British Fashion Council, 2018). Research shows that the average person today buys 60 percent more items of clothing than they did 15 years ago (BOF & McKinsey, 2019). The truth-hitting True Cost (2015) documentary stated we make 80 billion clothes globally every year and, of that, a truck load of clothes is sent to land fill every second. If we are to carry on in this vain, the global fashion industry will consume a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050 (Laville, 2017). Add digitalisation into the mix and you are breaking boundaries of time, space and identity. By ‘Digitalisation’ I refer to the growing presence

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within digital environments and the significance of online identity that will only increase in years to come due to technological innovations. The internet has already contributed to a rise of online sales, as well as reinforcing social expectations of not been seen in the same outfit once (Siegle, 2018) and what you have is more than what you are (James, 2008). Research into social network sites have already revealed rates of anxiety and depression in young people have risen 70% in the past 25 years that has a direct link to social media (SM) users - the worst platform being Instagram (RSPH, 2017). Research on millennials and Generation Z will fall short as a new breed, Generation Alpha: The Children of Millennials, will inherit society and become the future fashionistas (Forbes, 2016). Yet, what I will assume going forth in this paper is that fashion will remain the same in theory: The way we dress is fundamental to our self-expression (Siegle, 2011) and a reflection and enhancement of self-concept (Mair, 2018; Mitchell, 1983). If fashion has so much importance in physical reality, what role will it play within a virtual one? Much like the fashion paradigm, video games and their players already subscribe to this idea of microtransactions of virtual skins to recreate new looks for their avatars and have been doing soon for decades. Fashion is only recently starting to become aware of video gaming and its $152.1 billion industry (Reuters, 2019), creating virtual catwalks and digital collections where possession is immaterial. Therefore, it is important to look at the video game industry and adopt similar nomenclature to discuss the virtual items/skins that are emerging within fashion. Digital fashion (or fashion’s virtual skins) may be the new freedom for unlimited creativity or an alternative form of consumption to amplify our incongruous behaviours.

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The Mission... Your mission is to challenge the notion of ownership by exploring the potential value of immateriality within a digitally transformed society to reduce fashion’s impact on our planet. Your research will be both theory and speculation; offering framework and potential solutions that can be used by those wishing to digitally transform.

PLAY TO BEGIN.


1.3 Potential Paths Democratised fashion and democratised communication, established through accessible prices and social networks, allows the majority of the population to engage with fashion and openly speak through digital platforms. Yet a dissonance has occurred between what is perceived and what is reality; this freedom of having all has led us to believe that materiality is the key to happiness and that whoever we speak to online is a ‘friend’. The 2019 BBC series, ‘Years and Years’, captured the Gen Z’s desires to leave the physical world as we know it and digitally transform ourselves into data by becoming Transhuman. In a future world full of digital natives, we may be too late in stopping a digital evolution and, therefore, we must prepare and adapt. What this paper explores is an opportunity with a technocentric vision to challenge the notion of materiality and ownership, and its potential to revolutionise consumption behaviours. Instead of eradicating systems already put in place, I suggest an alternative, digital path where we can utilise paradigm’s and behaviours already established. According to Postmodernism, reality is constructed rather than given, and therefore we need to approach our current conundrum with a postmodernist mindset when exploring new realities (Hammond et.al, 2019). Mapping the evolution of fashion and its consumers through past and present: from the rise of fast fashion in the 1990s to the emergence of digital fashion, this paper will look to speculate the scope of a digital transformation based on established fashion theory that may be applied in new virtual environments.

intent on reaching out to the video-game generation’ (Solomon and Wood, 2009). This has certainly been confirmed with the gaming industry making more revenue than the movie and music industry combined (BBC, 2019). Since there is very little academic research, outside of popular culture, that questions the relevance of digital clothing and fashion avatars, I will apply video game research as Shadow Theory in order to understand the future potential for digital transformation and consumption within a fashion context. The purchase of in-game virtual items, the customisation of avatars, the formation of online communities and subcultures, and the immersive relationship between digital identity and real-life (RL) has been studied within video games extensively and holds much similarity to behaviours within the fashion world. If fashion is to lead into virtual environments, it makes sense that we should acknowledge video games and their players as precursory observations. ‘Like it or not, our society is morphing into a digital platform.’ (Solomon, 2009) The time has come where we must express ourselves in new environments and that includes virtual worlds. Fashion may need to look to video gaming as inspiration for alternative business models and economies – to shift the consumer mindset from materiality to immateriality. Considering we no longer value our material hoard, as clothes are being unceremoniously sent to landfill, it is arguable whether we need to physically own something to seek gratification.

McKinsey predicted in 2008 that ‘Virtual Worlds…will become an indispensable business tool and vital to the strategy of any company

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“In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.”

—Elsa Schiaparelli


1.4 Establishing Video Game Shadow Theory In Jungian psychology, ‘shadow’ means the unconscious aspect of personality or the unknown side (Jung, 1951). For the purpose of this paper, the term shadow will be applied metaphorically to video game theories, of which are not consciously considered in relation to fashion but can be projected to understand more about the psychology of fashion consumers. For the readers benefit, when discussing video game shadow theory the text will be highlighted through change of font and colour (as presented here). It is further encouraged that one reads without the preconceived notion that fashion and video games as two categorically differently industries. Like the lines between physical and digital worlds, the divisions between both industries are blurred and we must collaborate knowledge when discussing the same virtual environment. In order to apply video games as shadow theory, I will define the categories of video games applicable to this study. Author Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel, ‘Snow Crash’, coined the term ‘Metaverses’: Two parallel universes including ‘their everyday physical existence (RL) and their avatar existence in a 3D computer-mediated environment (CME)’ (Solomon and Wood, 2009). Metaverses are not time-limited and continue to function when the player is offline, providing a hedonistic experience for players to live fantastical lives of their creation. Metaverses, according to El Kamel, offer a new kind of postmodern consumption that ‘fits with the importance of ludic aspects in contemporary consumption.’ (2009; pg 28)

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The types of Metaverses include: MMOGs (massive multiplayer online games), MMORPGs (massive multi-player online role-playing games) and SVEs (shared virtual environments – unlike MMOs, SVEs construct their own play narratives through creation and imagination (Black and Rich, 2012). MMORPGs and SVEs will be more relevant to this study as they allow individuals to recreate themselves online and interact with their self-created selves, as well as other player’s avatars. (Steinkuehler and Oh, 2012: pg 154). Kafia and Peppler suggest: ‘... that video games are a form of twenty-first century art... video games are fundamental expressive creations, representations of worlds real or imagined as seen through a game designer’s subjective lens.’ (2012; pg 359) In light of this, it will be useful to apply theories already established through research on video gamers and their online identity. The relationship between player and avatar, as well as the players attitudes towards virtual items as monetary assets will be interesting to understand and apply to a fashion context; an industry which is engaging with new technologies and pushing beyond the boundaries pf physical fashion. In order to speculate the potential of a digital future, we must understand the journey of fashion which has led to its current destination at that edge of the non-physical world. This will explore within the next chapter.

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EPISODE 2: LITERATURE REVIEW & CONTEXTUALISATION 2.1 Over-Consumption within a Digital Age i. Past This insatiable ‘need’ for new fashion has been encouraged by the rise fast fashion models that have harnessed the psychological elements of fashion and adopted it for modern capitalist profits. Even theorists dated back to the 1900s proclaimed the power of fashion, almost as a forewarning of its potential to be used a social weapon, which still resonates today. For instance, Georg Simmel in 1957 suggested fashion is based on psychological dualism: a form of imitation versus the need for individualism (Frisby and Featherstone (eds), 1997). He argues that the ‘elite initiates fashion’ whilst the ‘mass imitates it in an effort to obliterate the external distinctions of class’ (Simmel, 1957: pg 541). Prior to Simmel, Social Analyst Thorstein Veblen, coined the term ‘Conspicuous Consumption’ in his Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899, that described the visible motivation for consuming for the sake of consuming (Solomon and Rabolt, 2004). Fashion become visible evidence of the ability to afford luxury goods (ibid). It was not until 1990s that the manufacturing model of Fast Fashion took root within the soils of society. This model is dictated by speed, price, and a lowering of values of disposable, ‘wear-it-once’ garments (Rocamora, 2014; Press, 2017; Mair, 2018; Siegle, 2018) and is having significant impact on our environmental resources (Fletcher, 2014). From a psychological perspective, the lowering of price provides individuals constant gratification through addictive and compulsive consumer behaviour, meaning value has been displaced from quality to quantity (Solomon and Rabolt, 2004). This democratisation of fashion means the masses can also challenge the elite in regards to the visual material possessions. I, FASHION

Combing both Simmel and Veblen’s theories, Hammond et.al (2019) present the ‘positional treadmill’ concept framing ‘the social comparison process which imprisons individuals in a constant and excessive cycle of conspicuous consumption, pursued in efforts to raise their position in society relative to others, seeking to rise to the level of higher-standard groups’. As the demand for newer modes increases, propelled by the elite’s need to establish themselves above the masses, so does the speed of the process (Simmel, 1957) – hence, the seeds are sown for a fast fashion future. ii Present Rocamora views fashion as a paradigm of modernity and its changing temporality, claiming the fast fashion phenomenon as a prime example, accelerated by digital media (2014). Not only do we live in an era of democratised fashion, but a Digital Age. The internet society, the transient nature of Instagram and the power of Social media influencers, has produced the perfect digital cocktail. It has accelerated the fast fashion model to superfluous speeds by increasing the overconsumption of cheap garments and creating a ‘wear-it-once’, disposable culture. Research shows consumers of the millennial generation are more likely to buy goods they see on social media sites (McDonald, 2016); According to Mintel, online retail sales grew by 15.8% in 2017 to reach £59.7 billion, with sales forecast to grow in double-digits through to 2023. It is important to note that online stores and social media platforms have only grown in popularity within the past decade, and therefore, show the speed at which the fashion industry has dramatically changed. Journalist, Lucy Siegle, attributes the increase to the rise in fast fashion to low-priced garments that allow consumers to imitate celebrity looks by wearing a different outfit every day (cited by Mair, 2018), fitting well with Simmel’s theory of fashion imitation. Social media influencers,

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therefore, have a responsibility to take charge of their influence and understand that their messages and choices have direct effect on their followers. Many look to SMIs as saviours to combat fast fashion (Siegle 2018; Saner, 2018; Dooley, 2018), like a pop-culture hero fighting the ‘Affluenza virus’ (James, 2008). Oliver James considers this virus as the epidemic of ‘Selfish Capitalism’: a society set out for personable gain that does not consider the ramifications, focusing more on ‘Having’ than ‘Being’, deceived by giving higher value on money, possessions appearances and fame (2007). ‘In a consumption-oriented world, the notion of “we are what we possess” shapes material possessions into important components of identity formation and self-creation (Belk, 1988 cited by Hammond et. Al, 2019). But how can we move away from a culture of ownership, when belief suggests what we own has a true reflection of who we are and ‘making it in the world’? In 2017, The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) studied 1,500 young people across the UK, revealing 91% of 16-25 year old use the internet for social networking, leading to an increase in anxiety levels, particularly through the use of Instagram. Another study issued by ecofriendly soap company, Method, showed that nearly a quarter of 16-24 year old said they would only be pictured in an item one to three times on social media before throwing it (cited by Siegle, 2018), encouraged by social expectation and accessibility to cheap fast fashion. Therefore, there is a direct correlation between digital platforms, fashion and mental wellbeing. An area that still needs to be addressed and thoroughly researched in order to find more beneficial options for a digital generation, and what this paper will hope to explore.

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iii Future? Society, up until now, has led us to believe that materialism and ‘an obsession with owning possessions and acquisitions as a means to personal happiness and is, thus, associated with self-centredness and selfenhancement values.’ (Hammond et.al, 2019). Yet Max Neef ’s Matrix (1986) provides a fundamental framework of human needs (e.g. to be, have, do and interact) and ways in which these are satisfied, few of which involve material goods (Armstrong, 2013). Prior to Neef, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (1943) provides evidence that ‘belonging’ is essential to the self-actualisation of individuals. As we delve further into digital worlds, a lack of physical connection and community engagement has been called to question (Armstrong, 2013). With the urgency of environmental action, the inherent human need for interaction and increasing mental health issues, new ways to seek happiness, community and communicate self-concept needs to be considered. Most social interaction are now constructed online via apps from dating, social networking sites, music sharing platforms, What’sapp and Line, Snapchat, Tik Tok and Twitch. Metaverses, such a MMOs and SVEs show the growth of virtual communities which is arguably led by an increasing demand for social interaction. Reddit is a social platform for constant commentary by players on video games, discussing technique, offering advice, and ‘showing off’ their new avatar creations and virtual habitats. It seems that both Maslow and Neef ’s framework still applies in a digital context, as human are constantly proving the need for belonging in available environments (Coupland, Obrist, Basar; 2015).

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Furthermore, conspicuous and sustainable consumption are typically understood as contradictory, as conspicuous consumption and materialism ‘impede pro-social and public-welfare dispositions, decreasing the probability that people will engage in sustainable behaviours.’ (Hammond et. al, 2019). However, recent studies and business models are starting to examine the potential relationship between the two motives of consumption, developing the understanding that, under certain circumstances, conspicuous motives can promote sustainable consumption when considering status and levels of scarcity in sharing economies (Lamberton and Rose, 2012). Beyond what we put inside and on our bodies, such as nutrition and medicine, we already conduct, connect and consume most of our external needs online. ‘Think of Spotify supplanting CD sales and downloads, Netflix replacing video stores … This is a fundamental evolution in consumer behaviour and we expect it will have an impact in the fashion business in the years ahead.’ (McKinsey & Co, The State of Fashion 2019).

Figure 2.1_The Age of Earthquakes, 2015

If we are to live more online and understand that human need is not built upon material worth, how will fashion, the ultimate materialistic possession, retain significance? Beyond materialism, fashion still serves the same cultural purpose of self-expression and social status. Therefore, we need to find innovative, altruistic ways to consume immaterial fashion, something which is just starting to emerge cautiously into mainstream culture. 2.2 Fashtech for Sustainability ‘Positive effects of sustainable consumption on status depend on preconditions such as visibility and exclusiveness, and it would seem that visibility cannot be gained by consuming less’, as stated by

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Hammond et.al when challenging the notion that conspicuous consumption typically doesn’t lead to sustainable behaviours. We are at a cultural and moral crossroads in our economy. There is opposing views on which paths fashion must embark in order to progress toward a sustainable fashion future. One viewpoint comes from Technocentrism, which believes enhanced technological innovation is the solution to environmental problems. Professor Kate Fletcher argues Technocentrism is a reductive approach that relies on efficiency and further innovation, rather than a complete system rethink. She believes it does not good deeper into solving the hard problems about an industry that is totally dependant on selling more and depleting natural resources for capitalist benefit (Fletcher, 2018). If Fashtech (the combination of fashion and technology) is to prescribe to the ‘business-as-usual' then fashion needs to adopt technology in a way that removes the dependency on natural resources. As Hammond et.al states, it is extremely difficult in an industry which revolves around visible materialism. As Fletcher argues, innovative technology cannot just be for the privileged few for profit, but accessible to the masses. In recent response, fashtech, consumer demands and conscious businesses are starting to collide to produce alternative economies that may tackle such obstacles, such as rental, sharing and pre-owned models. Furthermore, businesses using apps and gamification techniques are also prescribing new ways for consumers to engage within online realms of fashion. ‘Gamification’ meaning the process of adding game-like elements to something (such as a video game) to encourage participation (Madigan, 2016).

potential to encourage sustainable consumption, catalysing the success of pre-owned and rental models. For instance, the access economy, often understood as the sharing economy, offers access without ownership. Pike claims: ‘This is something that has resonated with millennial consumers, who came of age in the recession and are economically-minded, and who increasingly value experiences over material goods.’ (BOF, 2017). Within McKinsey’s The State of Fashion 2019 report, published by the Business of Fashion, it claims that there has been a consumer shift for new ownership models, driven by growing consumer desire for variety, sustainability and affordability. I would agree these new consumer attitudes do stem from the recession that meant millennials, unlike their parents, would rarely hope to buy a house and, therefore, redefine ownership through rental properties and credit. The need for experience, variety, sustainability, newness and affordability, are the purpose of which consumers can now satisfy those cravings associated with new purchases.

2.3 Alternative Economies and End of Ownership

Companies operating within the access economy include Uber, Airbnb, and more fashion orientated, Rent the Runway - a US company which rents out high-end clothing for a percentage of the retail price. These business models challenge the notion of ownership and materiality due to status. Recent peer-to-peer (P2P) fashion rental platforms, such as HURR Collective, By Rotation, LoanHood, Nu Wardrobe, all based in the UK, and China’s YCloset (which is has over 1 million users and backed by Alibaba), allow access to personal wardrobes and regarded as the new way to shop (Leiber, 2019). Renting, leasing, adopting, reusing, recycling, are all ways in which reduces waste through production and overconsumption, yet keeps turning the ‘positional treadmill’ and human habituation to purchase goods (Hammond et.al, 2019).

McKinsey claims that ‘end of ownership’ business models could be even bigger than fast fashion within ten years (The State of Fashion 2019) and

Eckhardt argues ‘consumers are more interested in lower costs and convenience than they are in fostering social relationships with the

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company or other consumers’ and that is what the current access economy offers – an emotional detachment with the positives of access low-cost, high-end products and services. With psychological frameworks already discussed and inherently part of human nature, it is difficult to totally agree within with this fully. The access economy could be applied to membership and subscription models that allow you access into an exclusive group, such as the global Soho House group with its ‘No Suits’ policy. This particular membership is regulated by a committee of creatives, offering exclusivity as well as enforcing social status and identity. Such membership and subscription models are other applications of gamification, showing us that gameplay techniques are already being applied across many sectors and environments without us even being aware, to encourage productivity, satisfaction and happiness (Madigan, 2016).

and vintage and cater to a narrow group of passionate consumers are more likely to succeed’ (BOF, 2019).

For the access economy to strive in a sustainable fashion context, it must fulfil human needs for validation and belonging, whilst maintaining the value of clothing lacking in a disposable society. In light of this, access economy business models need to foster ‘collaborative consumption’ behaviours, particularly in the presence of the internet (Botsman and Rogers, 2011; WRAP, 2019). WRAP proposes an Innovative Business Model Map (See Appendix #1), which summarises alternative models that meet sustainable requirements. In particular, peer-to-peer platforms provide both the benefits of collaborative consumption and dematerialisation services, offering a fashion library, as well as encouraging social engagement between consumers, enforcing value proposition over materialism.

Metaverses such as World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto, Fortnite, Second Life and The Sims, offer access to virtual and/or exclusive items, based on time spent with the game or the players ability to progress to new stages. In some instances, this in even irrelevant as players can purchase items with in-game currency, purchased with real money. These ‘capabilities’ are controlled by the creation of the game designer (Tronstad, 2008), much like a fashion brand taking control of the accessibility of items. These are key gamification techniques providing an incentive for players to carry on playing and advance their in-game status.

There are limitations to this service, such as skepticism regarding users and regulating size and fit which may lead to increasing the amount of returns (and ultimately increases carbon footprint). Also, fashion rental platforms are still to find a way to include fast fashion items, with many believing only ‘rental marketplaces that focus on products like luxury I, FASHION

I will not explore further into the vast possibilities of an access economy, but I focus on the access economy as a potential foundation for the future of immaterial fashion within a digital context and conclude that the title is much more fitting within the margins of this paper. Specifically, peerto-peer models rely on social networks and bottom-up participation ‘driven by the “user” and “consumer” of media’ (Buckingham et.al, 2008), much like MMORPGs and social media networks. Within such a model, users can take control of their own online distribution through the accessibility of low-cost production tools and share amongst others, creating an ‘online communication ecology where creative production and expression is inseparable from social communication.’ (ibid.)

Within the virtual cloud, digital clothing and online personas can only exist and be accessed through software and downloadable items, questioning ownership in its extremities. Speculation of business models within the digitally-centred access economy need to be addressed in response to a highly probable digitally transformed society. In fact, some are already starting combine the fashion and gaming industry to produce new business models and economies based on gamification applications. Drest, ‘the first designer fashion styling game’ created by former Porter Page 17


Editor, Lucy Yeomans, is set to launch in 2020 and tests the consumers appetite for virtual fashion. Through styling challenges on photo-realistic avatars, the users can buy in-game currency to dress their models in virtual replicas, or buy the physical garment with ‘real money’ through fashion retail platform, Farfetch. This new model follows the path paved by mobile app Covet Closet which allowed users to create outfits with real brands and generated an $53.4 million in sales in 2018 (Vogue Business, 2019). It may be that games are the gateway for fashion consumers to explore beyond the limited boundaries of the physical, as well as offering positive benefits for industry revenue. Yet as we delve deeper into digital spaces, the question surrounding ownership is one of controversy. If, through a speculative lens, we are to redefine our notion of ownership form physical to non-physical, there is still the question of who owns the data used in order to create such digital assets.

Figure 2.2_ Jennifer Lynn Morone Inc, 2014 Source: jenniferlynnmorone.com

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Artist, Jennifer Lynn Monroe, turned herself into a Corporation and sold her data in order to re-establish ownership of herself as a digital entity (2014-2018). This is something for Generation Alpha to consider is they are to move into virtual environments, with risk of becoming victims of ‘data slavery’ (Monroe, 2014) or digital ‘enslavement’ (Dunne, 2008).

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‘In pursuit of health, happiness and power, humans will gradually change first one of their features and then another, and another, until they will no longer be human.’

- Yuval Noah Harai, Homodeus


EPISODE 3: EVOLUTION 3.1 Fashion Consumer Evolution ‘People are becoming increasingly interested in the environmental and social consequences associated with their consumption patterns’ (Schneider and Jastram (eds), 2018, pg 147; The State of Fashion, BOF, 2019). Yet fashion remains dominantly analogue within a digital world. Of course, fashion needs to be a material product otherwise we would all walk the streets naked. In the most simplistic of terms we clothe ourselves for protection from external factors such as the sun, the weather and the terrain. Ironic, that what we use to protect ourselves against the environment, is now one of the most damaging contributors to climate change. The evolution of fashion and consumption behaviours into digital spaces may be stunted by previous fashion psychology research and consumer association. For instance, a study conducted by Adam and Galinsky (2012) introduced the term ‘enclothed cognition’, a twist on the scientific field ‘embodied cognition’ yet primarily focused on clothing. Using case studies involving a doctors coat and a doctors coat disguised as a painters coat, they proved the cognitive impacts on the wearer. Despite the coats being exactly the same, albeit a few splashes of paint, the participants wearing the clean doctors coat showed significant improvement in attention in comparison to those wearing the painters coat. Adam and Galinsky suggest that this is because of the symbolic meaning of the doctors coat paired with the actual wearing of the garment which resulted in the participant’s to “embody” the clothing’ (Adam and Galinsky, 2012); The symbolic association of each coat influenced their psychological processes and behavioural tendencies. Whilst both theorists agree that clothing has power externally, they argue that enclothed cognition depends on both meaning and the physical experience of wearing the clothes.

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What Adam and Galinsky didn’t take into consideration is the evolution of a digital generation who are redefining the meaning of clothing within a transient and intangible environment. Unlike Doctors, social media influencers do not rely on a symbolic uniform but rather the online platform where they can constantly change their outfits per post. Also, the validation does not come from the SMI wearing the garments, rather the number of likes the post received. Therefore, it is hard to suggest whether an SMI ever embodies the clothes he/she is wearing, yet what they wear still has huge cultural influence. This may have some reference to ‘Game feel’, a concept I will discuss further later in the paper, but one that addresses the physical feeling experienced by the ‘user’ in response to their online experience. Adam and Galinsky’s theory might be outdated beyond physical garments, however, it does make one consider the relationship between wearer, clothing and persona. Today it is questionable whether we need to physically own clothing in order to satisfy the psychological tendencies typically associated with consumption. We impulse buy and dispose after one or two wears due to boredom. What we buy and wear no longer seems to retain any sustained emotion, which means ‘retail therapy’ is an outdated term or one that needs to be re-concextualised. ‘While some see “digital kids” [those that are born into online] as our best hopes for the future, others worry that new media are part of a generational rift and a dangerous turn away from existing standards of knowledge.’ (Buckingham et.al, 2012). Yet Buckingham also counterargues: ‘Far from corrupting the young, technology is seen to be creating a generation that is more open, more democratic, more creative, and more innovative than their parent’s generation.’ (2012). Being that fashion has been the generational go-to for democracy, self-expression, creativity and innovation, it feels only to natural that fashion should keep up with the digital ‘natives’ (Prenksy, 2006) and join forces with new technologies and

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I present alternative tools (technology) and vehicles (clothing and avatars) digital kids are re-embodying to achieve digital transformation. I will use further video game research as shadow theory to understand what the fashion industry can learn and apply to future fashion consumers stepping beyond the physical. 3.2 Digital Clothing Digital clothing is emerging beyond speculation. It is arguable whether digital clothing is classed as a new form of fashion, an asset within a blockchain system, or both. Regardless, it is becoming an increasingly significant area to address economically, environmentally, culturally and even philosophically (Islam, 2019). What is digital clothing? Digital clothing is custom-built for today’s digital age. They are garments you can’t actually wear but can be e-fitted and worn exclusively on photos or videos on-line (Hall, 2018). ‘Think of it as self-expression unbounded by the limitations of reality — and the environmental costs of consumption’ (Yalcincaya, 2019). At present, digital clothing and its cultural impact has not yet been explored by academics, perhaps because it still lies in the fringes of society and has not quite integrated itself into the mainstream. However, the concept is not new. Fashion shoots have often produced images that are digitally manipulated by retouchers in post-production to cater to body type, production mishaps, or cultural differences. An example being Chanel’s Les Beiges 2018 skincare campaign, where the image for the European market was digitally transformed by superimposing digital jackets covering the arms of the models for the middle-eastern consumer.

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Figure 3.0_ Version for Western Market. Source: models.com Versus Version for Middle-Eastern Market. Source : azyaamode.com

Such manipulation is achieved by Photoshop, but the technology creating digital clothing uses more advanced software primarily used within movie animation and video game design. Clo 3D, and its ‘true-to-life 3D garment simulation technology’ is changing the way designers create garments, as well as reducing the amount of waste produced within the sampling phase and also reducing carbon emissions (clo3d.com). Unity and Blender are software that are becoming new tools for creativity beyond game design (Unity) and model making (Blender). Whether subscription based (Unity) or free open-source (Blender) software has never been so accessible for the everyday user.

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In the fashion world, it is only until recently popular culture is becoming more aware of the presence and potential of digital fashion, creating a niche subculture of digital artists, consumers, 3D designers and fashtech enthusiasts, who are starting to explore software and redefine what is fashion. Lines that once separated industries are becoming less defined with collaborations across sectors becoming essential for a digitally engaged future. Digital engineers and graphics designers will be the new fashion designers, animators will be the new avatar masters, and Scientists will be the new fabric innovators. In fact, Kerry Murphy worked within the movie industry before applying his knowledge of animation into the fashion industry to creative a Digital Fashion House, The Fabricant. Their first ever piece of digital couture, Iridescence, was produced by The Fabricant in collaboration Dapper Labs and artist Johanna Jaskowska. Bought by an investor for his wife during Blockchain week in NYC in May 2019 for $9,500, she will never get to wear this piece in real life (RL). Yet, after digital tailors use a mixture of 2D garment pattern-making, 3D design and rendering software she will be wearing the most expensive and exclusive digital garment to date. Despite the item’s immateriality, this sounds extremely similar to Simmel’s theory of elite imitation and psychological dualism in a modern-day context. The obvious question would be why we would even consider purchasing an item that cannot physically be touched nor worn? As Adam and Galinsky show within their research, the embodiment of garments has importance to the wearer as does the external communicational power of fashion. This 2019, a panel discussion, held by a London-based start-up company Favourup, brought together sustainably-driven instagram influencers to talk about the fast fashion industry and the challenges of influencing positive consumption. Journalist, Brooke Roberts-Islam, asked the

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Figure 3.1_ Johanna Jaskwoska in ‘Irridescence’ by The Fabricant (Image: Julien Boudet) Source: Forbes.com Page 22


question: ‘If your platform of communication is digital, why can’t your clothes be?’ A heated debate unfolded with protests claiming digital fashion as unauthentic and would encourage faster, more accessible, unlimited consumption. Islam’s argument supporting digital fashion remained clear: ‘The fact remains that all clothing has an environmental impact and places strain on our planet. The only truly sustainable option is to go naked; it has been said. The next best solution is to dress digitally.’ (Forbes, 2019). If we are more concerned with our online image on social media and purchase an item for one post, then digital clothing is the most sustainable alternative. Fashion Futurist, Karinna Nobbs, says it's difficult for consumers to achieve an emotional connection with digital garments. But within online platforms, such as gaming and social networks, a consumer could dress their photo-realistic avatar in a digital garment, then post it on social media for validation and likes. ‘You still get an endorphin hit,’ says Nobbs, ‘But your CO2 emissions will be smaller.’ (Vogue Business, 2019) Sustainability and Conscious Consultant, Nataliya Makulova, regards digital fashion as ‘balanced fashion’ which can be ‘emotionally almost as satisfying as physical garments.’ (2018). She states that digital fashion is here to stay as ‘humanity is going through a process of raising our consciousness up to the level that is beyond physical.’ Her holistic standpoint on the potential of digital clothing goes to transcendental heights, believing that we are moving into a oneness with the world, where everything is energy and where we are stripping away our connections to the physical to move onwards to spiritual planes. In many respects digital media is just another way to explore identity and digital fashion is one of its visual vehicles. Mitchell refers to identity construction as bricolage which is suited to digital media:

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‘Like Bricolage, identity construction involves improvising, experimenting, and blending genres, patching together contrasting and contradictory element, creating and modifying meanings to suit the context and its response to the requirements, affordances, and meanings of the situation.’ (2008, pg43-44) Similarly, Morten Grubak, Creative Director of Virtue Nordic, explains: ‘Platforms like Instagram are now virtual runways for millions of people that are expressing themselves in the most unimaginable ways. [They’re] pushing fashion forward at the speed of light.’ Digital fashion will indeed speed up the making process, eliminating not only stages in the production process but also within the purchasing and post-production stages. Without the material existence, fast fashion will be redefined or sped up. We will no longer be discussing the democratisation of fashion due to cheap, disposable items, but the democratisation of unlimited identities through transient, digital fast fashion. Witnessing the devaluation of fashion, we may speculate that our identities could have the same fate. The Fabricant’s digital collection, DEEP – Faster Fashion, does not shy away from the fact that digital fashion is faster, yet it’s names suggests style plus symbolic substance; one that asks deeper questions about fast fashion’s place in consumer culture: ‘Out of the remnants of the polluting fashion industry rises a way of working that has never been done before’. (The Fabricant) Already digital garments are more accessible than ever with price points competing with high street stores. Last November, a traditional fashion company, Carlings, launched their first ever digital-only collection, Neo-Ex, in partnership with AI influencer

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Perl. For $10-$30 you can buy one of their downloadable items which can be superimposed onto an image ready for Instagram. The idea came from Virtue Nordic, the creative agency of Vice, who used speculative thinking and fashion-forward design to question current cultural values and bring to light the state of our consumption behaviours. Speculative design theorists, Dunne and Raby, suggest that ‘Critical design needs to be closer to the everyday; that’s where the power to disturb lies.’ (2013, p. 43). The digital-only Neo-Ex collection and its provocative marketing campaign film, ‘adDRESS_THE_FUTURE’, is an experimentation and a conversational gimmick; one that questions the very paradox between consumer and humanity, and the consequences of our needs on our planet’s resources.

Video 3.1_ adDRESS_THE_FUTURE - A Digital Fashion Collection by Carlings, produced by Virtue Nordic (2018) Source: virtueworldwide.com PRESS PLAY TO BEGIN

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3.2.i Video Game Shadow Theory / Virtual Skins and Game Feel Youtube Vlogger, Lilsimsie, has almost 500k subscribers and is the video game equivalent to Fashion Vlogger Zoella and her Primark Hauls. Her video of a CC Shopping Haul video (CC is free custom content for online games such as The Sims), finds viewers watching Lilsimsie buy over three hundred items of new clothing for her Sims characters; These items are free and she will never physically own them in her closet yet her excitement of the purchases is still evident and a new shopping experience. This is perfect example of when fashion and gaming collide and an example of ‘Game feel’. Game feel is hard to define collectively. Yet Swink tries to produce a basic definition to encompass the phenomenon: ‘Real time control of virtual objects in a simulated space, with interactions emphasised by polish.” (2009; pg 23). The achievement of great game-feeling relies on the attachment to virtual items. What Lilsimsie and her viewers experienced was the feeling of a fashion shopper’s ‘fix’ of immaterial items within a gaming world, highlighted previously by Nobbs and Mukulova. This new form of shopping isn’t just present within fashion. In video games it is exponential. Gamers will potentially spend hundreds, thousands on living their video game fantasy, purchasing in-game goods such as property, weapons, collectibles, superpowers, and virtual skins that are cosmetic items and have no influence on gameplay. Players find clothing in roleplaying context useful for establishing a character’s identity (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler, 2008). I, FASHION

Video 3.2_ LilSimsie Custom Content Haul Source: youtube.com PRESS PLAY TO BEGIN

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Free MMORPG game, Fortnite, made $300 million in a month, purely on the micro-transactions of ingame purchases. Student loan portal, lendedu, in 2018 did a study on one thousand Fortnite users, showing 68.8% of Fortnite players have spent money on in-game purchases and amongst Fortnite spenders, the average amount of money they spent was $84.67. What is the reason for this? The question is whether players buy for functionality or pure aesthetics like virtual skins. Some players use items as a tool for game feel, some for investment (such as self-made millionaire Jon “NEVERFIE’ Jacobs who bought a virtual nightclub on MMORRG Entropia Universe for $100,000 and sold it for $635,000 (BBC, 2019)), some turn in-game virtual goods into assets using blockchain technology and cyptocurrency, such as The Fabricant’s ‘Irridescence’ dress. The lendedu study also showed that players of Fortnite will go on to sign up to subscription model, Twitch: a streaming service that enables them to subscribe to watch other people play Fortnite (similar to viewers watching Lilsimsie’s CC shopping frenzy). Metaverses allow the ability to live online, dress online, and ‘be’ online, forming virtual communities that meet the requirements of human needs and have become the gateway for gamers to express, perform, to ‘show off’ their latest skins – much like a fashion catwalk. The virtual items that their online avatars wear make the players ‘feel good’ about their in-game purchases (Madigan, 2016; Woods and Solomon, 2009). Academic and game designer Ian Bogost produced a satirical version of free-to-play online game in order to make a point. He argued such ‘games’ exploited the players with cheap psychology in order to squeeze I, FASHION

their purse strings. To play Bogost’s game, ‘Cow Clicker’, the player must click on the cow, listen to the cow moo and then wait six hours before you can click on the cow again. That’s it. However, Bogost included ways for players to purchase and spend ingame currency – called ‘mooney’ (pun intended). Players could use their mooney to reduce the time between clickable moos or purchase cosmetic items for your cows – pinks cows, emo cows, zombie cows, communist cows and ninja cows. These purchases gave your cow status and reflect your purchasing power as a player. Despite being designed as experimentation of such psychological exploitation in games, people started to really like the game. Cow Clicker became a parody of his own creation. However, it proved his point – people are willing to use real money for virtual items for their online personas, much like fashion consumers are willing to pay for fashion items to show off their style, ideals and wealth. (Madigan, 2016; pg 155-158) In a digital age, fashion is lived more online through social media. Gaming shows that it is just as important about your look online as it is offline, and often these lines are blurred. Those that dress in Cosplay, for instance, are certainly influenced by virtual worlds in real-life settings (see appendix B). Also, it is coming to attention amongst young players that how your avatar dresses can have an effect on school hierarchy. In relation to Bogost’s experimentation, school kids are feeling pressured to spend money within Fortnite so that they are not targeted and bullied for their Default characters: Page 26


‘Defaults’ are apparent due to their standardised outfits which have not been customised by virtual skins. In Fortnite ‘players earn prestige with other fans based on their character’s look. And in the realm of Fortnite, there is nothing worse that having a standard character, otherwise known as a “default.” (Hernandez, 2019). This sounds frightfully similar to the anxiety found within fashion consumers to constantly update their outfits to increase a following, achieve status and validation. Yet little research has been conducted as to whether game feel applies to fashion consumers if they were to dress their online images with digital assets and what impact it may have on the individual. Another factor to consider with digital garments is the ability to achieve successful game feel within a fashion context that relies on the realistic simulation of garments. Swink refers to this within gaming as the ‘aesthetic sensation’ i.e. How the avatar moves and is there a jarring in motion? Up to now virtual items and digital clothing still have the digital aesthetic and technology has not quite conquered the reality of silk across skin or the movement of draping fabric. Only through speculation can we considered the consumer’s responses to digital clothing from an ergonomic design perspective.

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“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.” - Bill Cunningham

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3.3 Digital Avatars Another presence is making a virtual leap into physical campaigns, social media and even catwalks, and that is digital avatars. Again this is not a new concept. Video Games have been using avatars within games for decades and they have been used as ambassadors of a game, company and even fashion house. Lightning, the avatar protagonist from Final Fantasy, was one of the first to break down the barriers between video game and the fashion industry when she featured in the Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 campaign. Not only did their choice of ‘virtual heroine’ push the boundaries of reality and what we consider woman’s nature, but she represented the brand’s imagination and fashion-forward creativity. Similar to Mukulova’s holistic interpretation of digital clothing, Nicolas Ghesquière, Creative Director of the house of Louis Vuitton, viewed Lightning’s avatar presence as raising the question of immanence (2016). This 2019, Nicolas Ghesquière has partnered with Riot Games and designed virtual skins for League of Legends characters. Within the fashion sphere, the most infamous avatar to date is avatar influencer, Lil Miquela, who was created by LA based company Brud in 2016 and has 1.7m followers on instagram. She is multi-racial and an advocate for multiculturalism. She can do anything she wants from releasing an album, model in the Calvin Klein campaign where she is ‘kissing’ supermodel Bella Hadid, take pottery classes, hang out with friends at In-and-Out Burger. Her followers are invested in her life in the same way our parents avidly watch soap dramas on TV or watching a pro-wrestling staged fight. Another presence is Shudu, the first ever avatar supermodel, created by Cameron James-Wilson using Daz 3D software. Along with her fellow avatar models, Margot and Zhi (also creations of Wilson’s), she become the exclusive face of Balmain’s ‘avatar army’ campaign in 2018, dressed in virtual garments produced by Clo 3D. I, FASHION

Figure 3.2_ Lightning ‘Virtual Heroine’ Source: uk.louisvuitton.com HOVER TO BEGIN

Figure 3.3_ Louis Vuitton X Riot Games Collaboration for League of Legend Virtual Skins Source: dazeddigital.com Figure 3.4_ Nicholas Ghesquière with Qiyana in her LV skin Source: instagram.com

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EXAMPLES OF ONLINE PERSONALITIES

Figure 3.5_ Lil Miquela (1.7 million followers) Source: instagram.com PLAY TO BEGIN

Figure 3.6_ Shudu (193k followers) & Shudu, Margot and Zhi in Balmain Campaign 2018. Source: instagram.com

Beyond avatars, other online aesthetics are taking root in new social media platforms. Tik Tok, created in the US in 2018, is forming a new subculture named E-Boys and E-Girls, forging a connection between online and RL identities. Unlike tradition influencers who’s traffic comes from making their lives seem as aspiration as possible, e-boys/ girls comes from their digital personas (Jennings, 2019). They ‘dress’ in emojis, filters and memes. In the subculture of E-boys/girls, it is not about what you wear to school that offers credos but what you wear online. In this respect, we have already, maybe unintentionally, started our digital transformation where our online identity has as much, or even more, significance for self-expression than the physical world. With technology advancing beyond human nature, it is only a matter of time before we have the tools to easily transform ourselves into digital worlds. Software companies, such as Reactive Reality are already trialling their new augmented reality engine which lets brands create 3D avatars, garments and products using photogrammetry. The scope for such engines will categorically transform the fashion industry as we know it. Not only will it overcome major e-commerce and rental model problems regarding sustainability, such as fit and retention, it could potentially create a new virtual shopping experiences for consumers and their avatars.

Figure 3.7_ E-Girls on TikTok Source: wmagazine.com

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“The boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.�

- Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto


3.3.i Video Game Shadow Theory / Virtual Identity and Spatial Presence Donna Haraway’s famous 1985 essay ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’ was one of the first milestones in the development of feminist post-humanistic theory. She was not talking about social media, the question of Lil Miquela, nor the relevance of avatars on real life. Yet, interesting, she was one of the first to push feminists beyond the limitation of their gender and question the rigid boundaries defining physical and non-physical.

the holistic connection between the physical and virtuality. This is linked by the ‘coaxial cable’ which acts as flexible sight line connecting the grounded subject to its embodied reality (see figure 3.5): ‘Identity begins to exist and situate within a schizophrenic dialectic operating, as it were, unto itself, ironic and incoherent as this might first appear.’ (Hillis, 1999; pg.106).

Social networks and online game metaverses, such as The Sims, Second Life and Fortnite, as breaking down walls of the virtual. Avatars become the creations of the players, not just the brands; a personal extension of their second—self: ‘Avatar appearance is one of the only ways that a player can lastingly affect their environment, and is an obvious representation of self in the game.’ (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler, 2008; pg 230). Kozinets and Kedzior refers to this as ‘multiphrenic nature’: ‘a tangible sense of self through the multiple personalities explored by postmodern writers, from Gergen (1991) to Firat and Venkatesh (1995) (2008, pg13). This fragmentation may lead to a divided self - ‘a chosen ‘schizophrenia’ for a purely hedonistic purpose’ (El Kamel, 2008; Hillis, 1999) within accessible metaverses. In prospect of the split self, we must consider the origin of identity with precautionary measure; to create an anchor for extensional identities within virtual worlds. Hillis provides a useful diagram to show the aspects of identity in virtual space and I, FASHION

Figure 3.5_ Aspects of identity in virtual space. Illustration by Liz McKenzie. Source: Digital Sensations, Ken Hillis, 1999; pg 107 Page 31


El Kamel (2008) proposes the construction and perception of an avatar originates with the ‘resident’ or player’ based on four characteristics (self-concept, perception, personality and motivation), as shown below:

summation of the benefits of role-playing to gain spatial presence: ‘We feel that role players see role-playing in a number of ways: as a testing of personal ideals; as morally challenging, involving issues of teamwork and conflict resolution (or not); as mentally or physically demanding; as opportunities to act out characteristics or beliefs they might not usually express; as granting a sense of agency that encourages feelings of influence, control, and power; as engrossing; and finally, as escapist.’ (2008; pg 227) Many theorists agree online gaming avatars are vehicles of safe space for identity exploration, without the serious risk of repercussions (Yee, 2002; Solomon and Wood, 2008; Kozinets and Kedzior, 2008; Bryant and Akerman, 2008). This refers to what the avatar looks like as well as what the avatar wears, meaning that, ultimately, the avatar becomes another form of virtual skin for the player to wear within virtual environments.

Figure 3.6_ Dynamics of the Animation of Synthetic Identity in Metaverses Source: Virtual Social Identity and Consumer Behaviour, Woods and Solomon (eds), 2009; pg 31

Identity construction aids immersion into games and this has been explored by many theorists with a variety of perspectives. Madigan states that ‘spatial presence’ is generally the most agreed overarching term to encompasses the psychology of immersion or presence within virtual worlds (2016). There are many ways in which to achieve spatial presence. MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler provides a I, FASHION

Kozinets and Kedzior refers to this as the ‘reembodiment’ of the consumer; Such ‘freedom of transformation opens up an internal mirror through which we can gaze and interpret with selfrealisation.’ They believe that this will have a direct effect on consumption and marketing ‘because of the re-embodied (rather than disembodied) nature of the virtual world experience.’ This is also supported by Kozinets and Kedzior, and Wang et. Al who argue: ‘digital association constitutes a new form of symbolic possession that does not rely upon actual ownership.’ (2008; pg 110). This is Page 32


contrary to Adam and Galinsky’s research with relies on embodiment and symbolic meaning of physical garments. Similarly, when focusing on game feel, Swink argues that an avatar in a video game is kind of tool; it provides both a potential for action and a channel for perception. He supports this by using Game Designer Jonathan Blow’s theory of ‘proxied embodiment’ whereby – identity extends to some kind of proxy, inhabiting it and making it part of ones own body. “My guy” becomes “Me”. (2009; pg 28). With this in mind, the player’s actions and avatars actions are of one, and have potential effects like a two-way street. Time is a major consideration when thinking about customisation of one’s avatar. Despite being a requirement in some games, player’s take considerable effort, expense and time and, therefore, results in an investment of one’s extended self (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler; El Kamel, 2008). This is interesting to consider within a fashion context. Social media influencers, for instance, already put time into establishing their online presence and make a lucrative income from it. Also, it raises questions about the current consumer’s value of clothes. At present, fast fashion is all about decreased time span and trendled products, resulting in a lack of investment and the devaluation of items. It we were to apply time as a gamification technique, would this effect consumer value propositions?

within virtual environments; ‘Immersion involves a loss of self by the player, who then “becomes” their character.’ (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler, 2008; pg 228). This may be why psychologists prefer to use ‘spatial presence’ instead of immersion, which happens when we stop paying attention to the technology between us and the virtual world (Madigan, 2016). King and Krywinska argue, however, that players see game through ‘a picture frame’ and are aware that games are unrealistic (2006). If we are to overlay this onto a fashion context, there is much concern that we heavily invest too much time and energy into our online persona (Buckingham et.al, 2012). The picture frame of instagram, for instance, is often seen as a real insight into someone’s life and causes a feeling of inadequacy and anxiety (RSPH, 2017). A concern which needs to highlighted going forth with digital fashion transformation.

Escapism, whilst a restorative concept, can also be a problem if one is to achieve full ‘immersion’ I, FASHION

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“Lmfao my sim got a job, a house, 2 dogs, money, friends, a lover and here I am in irl eating chips alone in my room with the lights off for 9hrs a day with no friends or a hope for a solid future.� - u/TheRainbowShakaBrah; r/thesims via Reddit


3.4 Glitches A factor that hasn’t been addressed with the paper and one which needs to have some consideration, is the carbon footprint of the internet. As noted, we already reap much natural resources from our exhausted planet and digital clothing relies on those resources to fuel the technology required to create it. According to Climate Care’s infographic, the information communication technology industry (delivering internet, video, voice, cloud services) produces more than 830 million tons of carbon dioxide annually – 2% of our global emissions. Having said that, Greenpeace states fashion produces an annual CO2 footprint of 3.3 billion tonnes – equal to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Unearthed, 2019).

a physical world perspective, in light of growing environmental and consumption awareness. It will consider the early questions we need to answer before using more of our resources for digital purposes. The scope for further research beyond this paper is wide and it is clear collaboration between technology, psychologically and even science is essential for establishing balance between physical and virtual worlds.

Many fashion consumers are becoming aware of fashion’s connection to the environment due to a rise in consumer demand for sustainability (FashionUnited, 2019). But no research shows fashion consumer’s awareness of the connection between the combination of fashion and technology. Also, digital clothing remains an online asset and, therefore, relies heavily on technology. Should there be a glitch, a power cut or limited bandwidth, do we lose our immaterial possessions for good? Video Games are set to move into cloud with Google announcing Stadia service in 2019; Gamers will be available to stream games, like movies on Netflix and music on Spotify. Some worry about this digital transition onto a server, which would have serious ramifications on climate change due to the huge energy gamers consume. That’s 2.5 billion gamers all downloading and playing games digitally.

Figure 3.7_The Age of Earthquakes, 2015

There are many other considerations that need to be addressed before we are ready to undergo a full digital transformation, including data protection, true-ownership and the legal status of virtual goods. The paper will focus on the responses to digital clothing and avatars from

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EPISODE 4: METHODOLOGY 4.1 Rationale There is much excitement and speculation about digital fashion and avatars within popular culture, as discussed, but very little academic research into consumer attitudes and the potential for shifting mindset and behavioural habits. Due to the infancy of digital clothing and avatars within the fashion industry, this study offers preliminary research and forms a foundation for the future of digitalisation and research. The aims of this research is to investigate whether a digital transformation within the fashion industry can revolutionise consumption behaviours. The objectives of this research included: 1) To understand the scope of digitalisation from a fashion business and consumer level 2) To investigate if there is a harmony of thought between the stakeholders 3) The cultural and psychological impact digital clothing and avatars are having on consumers. The main methods chosen were interviews (4.3) and online survey (4.4) to collate qualitative and quantitative data, to underpin the current emotional and practical responses to digital fashion and avatars. As the study is based upon digital platforms and tools, it was clear that one should use methods applicable to social media networks. Particularly, research on instagram was extremely helpful due to the purpose of digital clothing being used for such visual platforms and being one of the most popular (Sloan, L and Quan-Haase, A. 2017; Shumaker, Loranger and Dorie, 2017); Not only does Instagram engage 1 billion monthly users, particularly with teens and young adults (Duggen, 2015; cited by Sloan, L, & Quan-Haase, A 2017), it has already been studied and ranked as the worst social media for public health (#StatusOfMind; RSPH, 2017). Therefore, in light of a digital transformation, instagram users need to be placed in the research spotlight. I, FASHION

Cited by the Government’s Social Research Group, D’Orazio considers research on social media as ‘qualitative data on a quantitative scale’ (GSR, 2016). Kawamura agrees that ‘qualitative and quantitative data inform each other and produce insight and understanding in a way that cannot be duplicated by either approach’ (2011). Therefore, I applied a mixed method approach that offers possibilities for ‘synergy and knowledge growth that mono-method studies cannot match’ (Padgett, 2009, p. 104) and provide opportunities to think creatively and to theorize beyond the quantitative-qualitative divide (Mason, 2006)’ (cited by Ivankova and Kawamura, 2015). The research plan was inspired by the Concurrent Mixed Methods Design in Feldon and Kafai’s perceptive study on avatars (2008) as shown below:

Figure 4.1_Concurrent Mixed Methods Design in Feldon and Kafai (2008) (Cited by Ivankova and Kawamura, 2015; pg 26) Page 36


Each method within my research covered grounds of creativity, sustainability and psychology to develop an understanding of their significance for stakeholders and any potential connection. This aimed to distinguish areas that seem more prevalent for consumers and fashtech pioneers to consider for future business models. Ethical considerations needed to be upheld throughout the entire research project, in accordance with UAL Code of Practice on Research Ethics (see appendix D). As it includes participants, it will require informed, written consent from interviewees so that I can audio record the interview for content analysis and discussion appropriate to the research (see appendix E). Survey participants will remain anonymous and, therefore, will not require written consent, yet it will be highlighted before said survey that their answers will be included within the content analysis. 4.2 Speculative Thinking There was an element of speculative thinking forming part of the research’s methodology. Speculative design and thinking allows the space to reveal alternative paths that may unfold from present day situations, ‘thus enabling democratic choices between the futures people actually want.’ (Macini cited by Dunne, 2008; pg 17). Not only did I want to understand the positive potential for a digital transformation within a fashion context in regard to sustainability and creativity, but expose any potential, negative psychological impacts that may occur through such a transformation: ‘Design research... should draw attention to how products [or people] limit our experiences and expose to criticism and discussion to their hidden social and psychological mechanisms.’ (Dunne, 2013; pg xvi). My decision to crossover into the Video Game industry was a considered and somewhat speculative approach to gathering primary and secondary I, FASHION

research within this field. It is important to emphasize that such consideration came with the assumption that video game consumers would respond in a similar way to fashion consumers. Due to established psychological frameworks on human nature, I felt this was low-risk assumption that I could take on substantial ground (Neef, 1986; Maslow, 1943; Coupland et. al, 2015). This speculative thinking was then taken through my collection of primary research, content analysis, discussion, and finally applied to speculatively designed options for alternative fashion business models as tools for a digital transformation. Whilst the business models presented are not the main objective of this research, the aim is to encourage future research in such areas to ensure that consumer welfare are of key importance within the evolution of fashtech and stimulate a hypotheses for action. By encouraging consumers and creators to think about the rise of digitalisation, it allows one to make decisions about the future of fashion and technology that are beneficial to new generations. 4.3 Interviews The first phase of primary research involved semi-structured interviews with a range of participants who have some knowledge or skills in digital clothing, avatars, and the importance of an online identity within the current fashion paradigm. I chose interviews as the foundation of my methodology due to their ability to understand the attitudes, opinions, and feelings of the target group (Kawamura, 2011, p. 72). I was influenced by a social network analysis approach to identify key players, starting with a curation of technologies used within gaming and digital fashion and their industry connections; The technique is credited to Jacob Levi Moreno in 1934 to identify informal leaders, social

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social rankings and, thereby, appropriate to this research (Bloor and Wood, 2006). A collection of software that can be used to create digital clothing and avatars was curated and shown in appendix C. This allowed me to identify the businesses and people who are currently having significant presence within the emergence of digitalisation. Throughout the interview process, this organically led to new participants through recommendation and word of mouth. I also wanted to interview those influenced by online presence, hence social media influencers, models and video game players were interesting stakeholders to consider. As they are already using digital technologies, digital images and, in some cases, digital currency, it seemed fitting to understand the psychology from such perspectives. I narrowed my list of potential interview participants down to 15, which I separated into three categories: Thinkers, Players and Creators (with some cross-over). Creators were those creating and bringing to life digital transformations, Thinkers were advocates and academics discussing the prevalence of digital fashion, and the Players were those using the tools for their online identity. Interviews were transcribed and documented in appendix G, minus three interviews which are not transcribed due to their spontaneity and only captured as exploratory interviews. I felt, however, they were relevant to include as the participant’s position and experience enrich this study. The interview questions focused around similar topics appropriate to the research, including sustainability, fast fashion, digital fashion, online identity, avatars and consumption behaviours. However, due to the different nature and roles of each interviewee, the questions were semistructured and catered specifically for each individual (example shown in appendix F) Surveys were used in ‘order to increase the likelihood that the information gathered will relevant to the [research] question asked’ (Davies and Hughes, 2014: pg 9). I, FASHION

Figure 4.2_

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4.4 Surveys

4.5 Content Analysis

Surveys were used in ‘order to increase the likelihood that the information gathered will relevant to the [research] question asked’ (Davies and Hughes, 2014: pg 9).

Data was analysed through the research strategy of grounded theory, defined by Glasses and Strauss as ‘the discovery of theory from data systematically obtained from social research’ (2008, pg 2). Going forth, this data may have wider applications for those researching the spaces between fashion, technology and consumer behaviour.

The online survey was important to the study as it focused more on the consumer perspective, without the subjective views of those that create the technology. Due to the premature nature of the topic it was difficult to use only close-ended questions; The research required participants to adopt a speculative mindset which they may not have been accustomed to and may have needed the opportunity to elaborate. A survey of closed and open-ended questions was the most useful way of collecting the required data and bringing forth deeper answers (appendix H). The questions needed to be precise and formulated to eliminate any confusion from the participants on the subject matter and achieve proposed objectives (Thompson, 2002). In order to produce the most representative sample of participants, a simple random sampling of 16-30 year old were targeted. The reason for this sample frame being that previous studies have shown this demographic are most likely to use and be affected by social media (RSPH, 2017; Method, as cited by Siegle, 2017). Universities, gamers, models and students were contacted as they proved to be the most cost and time effective way of producing a manageable population of approximately 100 participants that had relevance to the study. Surveys were sent through social media networks including Facebook, Instagram and Reddit which were fitting to the research as they reached the specified demographic. A total of 90 participant responses were obtained for analysis.

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Kawamura agrees that qualitative research is an inductive process of building from data to broader themes, to a generalised model or theory that can be applied to the objectives of this study (2011). Both qualitative and quantitative data were combined to enrich the research, and an interpretative and comparative gaze was cast to see if there were any similarities or distinct contrasts between the business-minded and the consumers. Nodes were applied, with the help of Nvivo (a data analysis software), to find themes. Initially 100 nodes were applied to the transcripts which were then categorised further into 7 broader themes (appendix I). Through comparison and interpretation, the survey results were applied to the themes to see if there were any similarities and irregularities which could present significant findings or lead to further discussion (appendix J).

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4.6 Limitations Due to time restriction and lack of access to digital garments and technology, this study would have benefited from an auto-netnographic approach. Netnography is an adaptation of an anthropological approach specifically altered for research on online behaviour and interaction. Auto-netnography, as defined by Kozinets and Kodzier:

then have been compared. Again, due to time and resource restrictions, it was difficult to define the demographic for such nascent technology and, therefore, it would be beneficial to revisit the study with such improvements: clearer age group, specific social media platforms, or digital fashion consumers of alternative economy business models that may emerge.

‘... Is an approach to netnography that highlights the role of the netnographer’s own online experiences. It captures and documents these experiences through careful personal observation of online participation, autobiographical attention to the interactions of various experienced “worlds”- both online and off/real’ (2009; pg 8) Many participants were unaware of digital clothing or avatars, which was a limitation to the study as many answered ‘unsure’ to a lot of the questions asked. If digital garments and avatars do become culturally mainstream, a return to this study and a longer observation on participants engaging with such digital tools may be more enlightening. Also, it is important to point out that the interviews would have held some subjectivity being that most interviewees were from industries supporting a digital transformation or fashion models who already adopt a bias mindset against models being over taken by digital avatars. Much like online presence, participants may feel the need to portray their ‘better’ selves which may have an effect on answers (Shumaker, Loranger and Dorie, 2017). Furthermore, the sample of participants for the survey was a little wide for the most representative result; the age range was too wide, as was the target audience. Two surveys might have helped with this – one for fashion consumers and one for video game consumers, which could

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EPISODE 5: FINDINGS & DISCUSSION From thematic analysis and the research data, five key themes have emerged: Physicality, Sustainability, Relatability, Identity and Authenticity. Many of the participants of the survey were unclear about what a digital transformation entailed and what digital clothing was. Being that it was the first time some participants had thought about such notions, it was difficult for many to respond. A lot of answers were extremely cautious and/or based on speculation. When contextualised within a video game setting, participants seemed to respond with more clarity as the purpose of virtual items within gaming is a normalised concept. This says a lot about the lack of awareness from a fashion consumer standpoint and it also raises questions about the potentiality of digital clothing and avatars within a fashion context in comparison to video games. As we live incongruous times, it was unsurprising to find a slight dissonance revealed within the data, meaning Irregularity and Uncertainty became one of the defining themes of the research. Wellbeing for humanity was also a recurring topic highlighted throughout the interviews and responses from the survey, which has led to a proposal of Mindful Virtuality. Whilst I wish to discuss both Irregularity and Uncertainty and Mindful Virtuality as individual themes, they have become the conclusive backbone to the research findings and will be discussed within the conclusion. *Visuals of quantitative statistics alongside significant quantitative quotes used for interpretative analysis can be found with appendix J and may be of assistance throughout the findings and discussion.

5.1 Physicality As digital clothing are immaterial garments, a hole of physicality is left behind. 61% of the participants who took part in the survey stated they didn’t consider digital clothing as ‘real’. Yet 38% said that it would be a positive feeling to wear digital clothes. 13% wear unsure but they were aware of the benefits of digital clothing and avatars. Gamers would claim this as spatial presence or game feel due to the interaction of items and experiences within the game. Video Game Players, Hillock, Fergueson and Dickson, certainly agree that what their avatars experience produces a physical feeling for them. This supports El Kamel’s argument that within a digital age we need to reconsider the definition of reality with a postmodernist mindset, and producing a new hierarchy of physical significance from items to emotions. Despite working with Clo3D software, pattern-cutter Nhina Svensson stills remains attached to the physicality of garments which she feels cannot be replaced. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of digital pattern cutting for sustainability, she confesses she would be upset if she would no longer be able to make a physical product. She claims, from a maker’s perspective, that fabric you work with has a huge impact on the decisions made throughout the design and making process. However, she describes digital clothing as a ‘medium’ which can be appreciated in its art form - much like an image of an astronaut landing on the moon, the viewer cannot experience the real thing yet still be moved by the image. Furthermore, if a limit to physicality was imposed for sustainability reasons, then this may result in an increased value for the physical product. Model, Abi Fox, enforces the importance of the physicality of the

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garment. A model’s job is to show the draping of fabric, the movement and feeling of the garment, which she argues cannot be achieved by digital avatars. Designers use a muse to bring garments to life, inspired by their image and ability to translate their vision. There are only a few, such as Nicolas Ghesquière, who dare to use video game characters as their digital muses. Whilst the merging of physical and digital is being explored, such as Lil Miquela’s outings with RL people, and Nicolas’ video game heroines, there is still an obvious distinction between the real and the digitalised. Islam-Roberts of BRIA, Murphy of The Fabricant and Thomke of Reactive Reality agree that the technology is still nascent, but advancing rapidly. If technology finally achieves such realistic results, which is most probable, then even Models will have to re-assess their purpose. Fox states that Models will need to show the importance of personality that ‘if used correctly it can be a powerful tool to help elevate your career and also gives you a voice to express your passions and concerns.’ Models and social media influencers will have to take ownership of their personas and use technology for authentic human interaction and building communities. Ayers, from Capcom, highlights the importance of camaraderie and human connection within the gaming world, which needs to unfold within a fashion context. This is already emerging within fashion with consumers consciously purchasing goods influenced by sustainability awareness and based on meaning rather than impulse (McKinsey, 2019); ‘to be’ instead of ‘to have’, in opposition to James’ selfish capitalism (2007). The hole of immateriality needs to be filled by the physicality of human connection and expression rather than the existence of physical products. Physicality becomes an holistic expression and retail therapy is, therefore, re-contextualised within this way; It is satisfied through the experience of the purchase and the purpose of the item, rather than the attainment of a physical garment. As stated by two anonymous participants. I, FASHION

“A main focus of fashion is expression. If digital clothing can achieve this, then it is somewhat real.” “I don’t see it as real clothing, but it is a real form of self expression and personal visual identity.” 5.2 Sustainability Both interviewees who specialise in digital clothing and avatars (including Murphy, Paiva and Islam-Roberts), and the survey results show an awareness to the potential of digitalisation in regards to the environment. Murphy truly believes that digital garments could tackle the sustainability and over-consumption issues we face in fashion. Out of the 90 participants who partook in the survey, sustainability was the second most important reason for digital clothing under virtual ‘tryon’. The third reason was to reduce their physical consumption, which again shows a conscious mindset is apparent within consumers between 16-30 years . Furthermore, 54.4% could see the positive potential for digital clothing effecting their physical wardrobes, using such words to describe their future wardrobes as: selective, inspire, experimental, experience, invest, functional, timeless, ethical, creative and diverse. Whilst many believe that conspicuous consumption and sustainability are contradictory, as discussed by Hammond et. al, digital fashion provides a new way consumers can engage with both motives of consumption and sustainability in alignment, as Lambton and Rose suggest: ‘under certain circumstances, conspicuous motives can promote sustainable consumption when considering status and levels of scarcity in sharing economies’ (2012). Digital fashion houses, therefore, set the precedence

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for alternative fashion SVEs where access to digital fashion can be purchased and showcased, and perhaps shared, within shared virtual environments. However, in support of Kate Fletcher, one participant from the survey rose concern about use of technology embracing present consumer culture: “I think people would be even more materialistic with digital clothing. Spend more money on having cool items, which essentially, are not real. They’re edited.” Within video games, players spend real money on virtual items (lendeu, 2018) which are controversial in that they are usually bought for status and aesthetics, rather than functionality. This is confirmed by interviewees Ayers, Dickson, Ferguson, Noon, and Hillock who somewhat understand the psychology of gamers as gamers themselves. Also, 74% of the participants who answered the video game section of the survey stated that fashion items within games are purely for aesthetics and have no other purpose for gameplay. When considering sustainability in such consumer choices, one must not only consider the sustainment of our consumption habits but the effort of the planet to allow us to purchase and download such items. Islam-Roberts argues: “…The net emissions for those digital clothes are less than the net emissions for physical ones… when we talk about sustainability, we have to think about, you know, the urgency of saving the planet. So anything else is secondary, just on balance, if these behaviours rapidly speed up, and the modes of consumption switch from physical to digital quickly, and that reduces emissions significantly. We’re, you know, we’re winning.”

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This is indeed true. As stated the carbon emissions for internet is, at present, less than the carbon emissions of the fashion industry. However, the survey shows that people do not connect the internet to the environment with 61% claiming they had never considered the carbon footprint of the internet. Technocentric thinking might lead us to believe that technology will be the solution to our environmental crisis, yet many are in the dark about the true cost of our digital dependence. 76% stated that digital clothing may have an effect on the environment, but whether that is good or bad, is it yet to be discovered. Transparency and education is paramount for consumers to make conscious decisions, particularly with new trends suggesting consumers purchase items with a sustainable mindset (McKinsey, 2019). Virtual experiences and items being solely accessible from the cloud has already concerned those within the gaming industry. If the volume of digital purchases was to increase, this may lead to a pivotal tipping point where the internet overtakes fashion’s impact. In order to not solve one problem to receive a new one, we met first decipher what energy source will be boosting the energy supply needed to fuel our digital presence. 5.3 Relatability At present, consumers do not relate to digital avatars: Only 4% considered digital avatars within fashion campaigns as extremely relatable and just 2% stated it inspired them to explore digital identities and realities. It forces the question to ask why designers and fashion brands are using avatars within their campaigns? Such behaviour mimics the psychological theories of fashion as early as Simmel (1943). Simmel suggested that fashion has always been built upon the dualistic tensions of social conditions to be individualistic but Page 43


also the imitate. Trendsetters or elite figures within the industry have purpose to present fashion-forward trends, whilst the masses have the tendency to follow suit. Therefore, such digital exploration may not be normalised amongst consumers at present, but with the reinforcement and encouragement from those with fashion influence, this may lead to a future shift in consumer attitude; 54.4% do see the potential of digital clothing which is significant start. The results present a common agreement between interviewees and consumers that digitalisation is beneficial for social media influencers. 27.7% see the potential for digital clothing only or social media influencers, due to their habit of wearing items for social posts. When applied to themselves, personally, the novelty of digital avatars and clothing is somewhat lost or hard to grasp. The lack of emotions from avatars is something of a recurring theme within the survey response. Interestingly, one model highlights the benefits of avatars as a unsurprising evolution, but one which still make them feel uncomfortable as a consumer due to the naturalness. Another answer: “It’s very of the now but I think it isn’t true fashion. Fashion is about individuals and humans expressing themselves through clothes. Having a digital avatar isn’t the reality of fashion.” The solution may be presented with the advancement of technology. As Islam-Roberts states: ‘the gaming aesthetic…is just not compatible with fashion expectations. It looks too gimmicky just yet… fashion needs to be incredibly realistic to be convincing.” On the other hand, when participants were asked to observe Shudu (the supermodel avatar) in the Balmain campaign, some believe that such creations perpetuate “unrealistic expectation on women’s standards.” I, FASHION

The realism of such creation caused a feeling of uncomfortableness. Murphy questions whether there should be an element of uncanny valley within fashion as too realistic may result in realistic expectations. The fashion and environments created by The Fabricant pushes the boundaries of reality to fantastical concepts, making digital fashion inspirational. This lies with The Fabricant’s ethical code to offer value through digital clothings rather than taking it away: “…there’s no real references. Everybody kind of sees it as a gimmick right now.” In most part, the companies dealing with digital creations do not consider the relatability but rather the fashion-forward thinking it implies. Or, as Murphy highlights with concern, the ability to make fashion even faster and use digitalisation as a marketing tool. I argue, that the lack of relatability may not be a negative aspect of digital clothing and avatars. With so much concern regarding the amount of time we spend of online, it would more concerning if we were to fully relate to a digital creation rather than our physical connections. As a society, we need to remember that humans seek belonging and interaction, as suggested by the psychological frameworks of Maslow and Neef, and, therefore, we need to plant one foot in the physical in order to sustain balance between realities. Going forward, companies such as Reactive Reality, I believe, have the key - to use one’s own avatar within virtual fashion spaces. This would ultimately remove a lack of relatability and also authenticate one’s persona within a virtual environment. It would assist the connection of the coaxial cable between ‘I’ and one’s virtual self, as stated by Kenzie and Hillis (1999), to offer an extension of self-identity and establish identity location. Womenswear design student, Aubrey Parnell, at Central Saint Martin’s Page 44


questions whether we would like to see ourselves reflected within fashion campaigns. If technology advances where one can develop their own avatar, then this is a highly probably speculation and something to consider for future research. 5.4 Identity Much like fashion consumers, fashion within video games are an expression of their online identity. Fashionable virtual items within games are for aesthetic purposes, as 74% of the survey participants suggest. 18% state that it is for online status, the second most important purpose, whilst a mere 3% claim virtual items are for functionality. This shows that the psychology of fashion is the same across physical and digital environments. 54% said they wouldn’t post a photo on social media if they didn’t like an outfit. Digital fashion solves this issue by allowing one to totally recreate their look with superimposed digital garments. In addition, the top reason for considering digital clothing would be for virtual ‘try-on’ which allows consumers to try new looks on their virtual self in a safespace. As Murphy suggests, this adds value to users lives. It is also in line with video games theorists who argue avatars are vehicle for safe identity exploration, without the risk of cultural repercussions (Yee, 2002; Solomon and Wood, 2008; Kozinets and Kedzior, 2008; Bryant and Akerman, 2008). Digitalisation is the new form of self-expression. With this in mind, fashion businesses must be encouraged not to exploit consumers in the same way fast fashion took hold, much like Bogost has forewarned with his Cowclickr experiment and parody of society. As previously stated, it may encourage those to consume more if digital items were accessible for online identities.

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However, their is some irregularity within the survey results which show that consumers still have the desire for human touch and uphold physicality as the most important reality. The majority of the survey, despite seeing digitalisation as a new way of expression, they do not see it as the most comfortable way of expressing oneself. The unclear outcome from the survey answers shows that consumers are not ready to fully commit to a digital transformation in regards to expression. This may be due to the disconnection between oneself and the virtual self. Murphy argues: “You always have an excuse, like, Oh, that’s not me, that’s my virtual me. But at the same time, we do have a connection to that virtual body. So... it creates a safe space for you. Let’s say, for me, like, I’m a white heterosexual male, within the boundaries of, you know, just having to be a man within this concept we have.” By adopting a virtual self, one may be allowed to break down boundaries of social constraints and find communities in which they feel they can express themselves freely (Yee, 2002; Solomon and Wood, 2008; Kozinets and Kedzior, 2008; Bryant and Akerman, 2008). Not only is this present within game environments but through subcultures formed on Twitch and Tik Tok. Such fictional engagement may lead to self-reflection (Tronstad, 2008). Artist and Designer, Sadie Clayton, agrees. In her work, she styles AI Robots as an art form which expresses the connection between humans and technology. She believes that one can understand internal ideas through digital images. Clayton is not the only one interviewed who believes that adopting your virtual self could be a holistic journey, much like Mukulova stated with her term ‘balanced fashion’. Aubrey and Muter-Hamilton agree that digitalisation not only acts as a form or self-

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expression, it can allow inner-expression for therapeutic and well-being purposes through unlimited artistic expression.

visual identity, fueled by an unlimited supply of digital options leading to increased pressure of online status within the fashion community.

Murphy and Parnell both claimed to be emotionally charged in a positive way when they were allowed to see themselves in 3D form, as a third person perspective. Again, this relates back to Hillis’ connection of the aspects of identity across physical and virtual worlds (figure 3.5), and, also, Kozinets and Kedzior re-embodiment theory where one can reembody their virtual self as an extension of themselves. Not only that, this is an example of spatial presence and game feel usually associated within video games, where the author forms an emotional attachment to their online other (Hillis, 1999; Kozinets and Kedzior, 2008; Swink, 2009; Madigan, 2016; Mukulova, 2018; Nobbs, 2019)

5.5 Authenticity

Futhermore, a significant amount do state that wearing a digital garment online would be a positive feeling of game feel. The figurative cables attaching our multiple identities may be becoming shorter as our image is crossing into virtual realms, encouraged by such game/fashion players as The Fabricant and Carlings digital collections. Yet, observing the answers and mannerisms of some participants through the research, it is quite clear that many consumers are not as enthusiastic about the evolution of identity within online spaces as the creators or those with a technocentric standpoint. Many questioned the authenticity and the effects on mental well-being that is already of concern within our social-media-driven society (RSPH, 2017). El Kamel points out that the fragmentation of the self may lead to a schizophrenic nature for purely hedonistic reasons. A digital transformation may be the new representation for the digital generation, yet such ‘multiphrenic nature’ ((Hillis, 1999; Kozinets and Kedzior, 2008; El Kamel, 2008) may place more importance on

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With well-being in mind, authenticity of images is important when it comes to digitalisation. Due to past behaviours of photoshopped images within fashion campaigns and social media influencers being targeted for portraying unrealistic lifestyles, consumers are, rightly so, hesitant about increased digitalisation (Buckingham et.al, 2012). When questioning authenticity, there are distinct differences between the fashion and video game industry. Ayers states that authenticity is of value within gaming due to their commitment to a specific game: “Video-game fans are not keen on things in the game that appear to be non-authentic to the universe or narrative and will reject something that feels like it may be shoehorned in by an external brand.” This may be due to the fictional narrative of games that contextualises the capabilities and behaviour of players (Tronstad, 2008). Also, time is a key definer of value to gamers. As discussed, metaverses only allow players access to virtual items through time spent in the game and players will invest time in creating their avatars, which becomes invested creations of oneself (whether that is a true likeness of themselves or a fantastical version) (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler; El Kamel, 2008). When speaking about mainstream fashion evolving digitally, some consumers find the notion unsettling. Descriptive words used from the survey included: fake, fraud, uncomfortable, unnatural, untrustworthy and lying.

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However, Islam-Roberts argues about the assumed lack of authenticity: “…You’re making an assumption there that physical means real, and it means honest. But actually, it very rarely does… this whole subject is looked at in far too simple manner. People just, for some reason, tend to think if it’s digital, it’s fake. If it’s physical, it’s real. The Fashion industry’s being the lines through imagery for ever. Creating digital avatars are far more honest than anything physical that you’ve ever seen.”

Personality is of key importance to gamers, models and consumers, as the results suggest. This is something which needs to be challenged when avatars are given personalities, such as Lil Miquela. As one of the interviewees stated, avatars have a persona as much as social media influencers and, therefore, it is a scripted performance. As the digital item or avatar is of an ‘obvious representation of self in the game’ (MacCallum-Stewart and Parsler, 2008), the responsibility lies with the source, or the location of identity (Hillis, 1999), to remain transparent and neutral.

Parnell agrees with Islam-Roberts and say they are ‘authentically fake’, much like gamers see video-games as fictional worlds. Therefore, digitalisation becomes somewhat of an oxymoron. Murphy encourages story-telling; despite the debate of authenticity, the story behind digitalisation serves meaning and value. He argues that in order for a digital fashion house to succeed then they have a responsibility of the technology on human well-being by creating positive stories through digital fashion. Digital artists and designers need to take charge of their messages and many considerations need to be addressed. For instance, as Parnell asks: Should avatars age? Or should they, like real-life models, be fleeting in their youth and only available for a limited time? One participant suggested: “Creating an avatar is completely fake. Maybe it’s something the consumer would get used to but I think there should be a disclaimer.” This is similar to the recent guidelines set in place of social media influencers who endorse brands and are encouraged to state it is a paid partnership. I, FASHION

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EPISODE 6: CONCLUSION The main aim of this research has three objectives which this conclusion addresses in response to the thematic analysis. 1) To understand the scope of digitalisation from a fashion business and consumer level 2) To investigate if there is a harmony of thought between the stakeholders 3) The cultural and psychological impact digital clothing and avatars are having on consumers. The lack of awareness of digital clothing and avatars by a proportion of the participants was limiting but also enlightening to the research. The results may have lacked a certain clarity, yet the uncertainty reflects a psychological insight into consumer’s apprehensive attitudes towards a digital transformation and its impact on consumption. Hence, I conclude with the themes of Mindful Virtuality and Irregularity and Uncertainty to address objectives 2 and 3, and to inspire further research. Objective 1 will be addressed in episode 7: Fashion Metaverses, to present concepts for future business models acknowledging the themes and concerns discussed.

The discovery of Defaults and Noobs found within young video gamers is alarming and something to consider should younger fashion consumers start to play with fashion expression in virtual environments. The status of virtual fashion within video games was confirmed by game players stating fashion and status are the two most significant purposes of virtual fashion for players. In addition, most answered that fashion has no reflection of the player abilities. If this is so, then it is questionable why young players feel the need to buy skins for their avatars other than to establish themselves within a pressurised social hierarchy. After further investigation, I came across YouTube videos of Defaults being targeted by other players. Interviewee and game player, Hillock, refers to this as a ‘free kill’; their default skin presents them as Noobs (new players to the game) and, therefore, they become easy prey for other gamers. In a school environment, their default skins represent much more; their inability to purchase virtual items, which then becomes an issue of class (Hernandez, 2019). Further research is highly encouraged within this field of defaults, virtual skins and consumption status.

6.1 Mindful Virtuality In light of such concern for psychological well-being associated with a digital transformation, I offer the term Mindful Virtuality. It is true that fashion has been devalued by the disposability of fast fashion and leads us to question the social status of ‘having’ that encourages our current consumption habits. A digital transformation not only brings forth concern of immaterial consumption and ‘having’, but also ‘being’. Therefore, we need to approach a digital transformation - the meeting of virtual and physicality with mindfulness and ethical considerations for future consumers. I, FASHION

Video 6.1_Bullying default skins on Fortnite (21,893,306 views) Source: youtube.com PRESS TO PLAY Page 48


Furthermore, as discussed within video games, the players experience and ability to customise their avatars is down to the capabilities offered by the video game designers (Tronstad, 2008). Presently, the democratisation of fashion is a cultural and environmental issue due to the accessibility of physical fast fashion. But what will the democratisation of fashion look like within digital worlds? Responsibility lies with those that create virtual garments to offer open-source content to eliminate exclusivity and diminish pressure usually associated with materiality (Hammond et.al, 2019). In the interview with pattern-cutter, Nhina Svensson, she mentions Swedish company, Atacac, who is addressing such issue with licensed Sharewear patterns and offering potential for customisation.

She also discusses the stages of the digital design process to present opportunities for stakeholders (particularly the fashion house/brand) to implement decisions regarding the extent of digitalisation (for instance, the use of physical models or avatars at certain stages). This is visualised below (figure 6.3) including the examples of software that may be used at each stage to produce digital outcomes/assets.

Figure 6.3_Basic Digital Design Process set by the Fashion House/Brand

Figure 6.2_Shapewear open-soure by Atacac Source: atacac.com I, FASHION

There is some positivity to be found within such an evolution. Namely, digital fashion offer virtuality for environmental sustainability if we mindfully consider the ramifications of a digitalised society on natural resources. Also, digitalisation becomes the new representation for a digital generation and there is potential for such digital tools to mindfully Page 49


allow self-expression, inner self-expression, safe communities outside social expectation and expand diversity. Guidelines may need to put in place, much like those established within the gaming industry such as: gamification incentives of ‘time and reward’, disclaimers and signatures to show that the items and avatars are of a creation, limited collections for limited time to reduce longterm status and ownership, shared virtual spaces for communities and subcultures. Transparency has become a desired requirement to encourage sustainable practice and, therefore, if a digital transformation is be marketed as the sustainable option for fashion consumers, then consumers need to be educated about the environmental cost of the internet through their purchases. Furthermore, whilst freedom of speech is a democratic imperative, it is encouraged that digitalisation should adopt the same regulations as human identity so that one cannot be masked by their virtual creations. The primary and secondary research suggest that virtual and physical are connected through expression, self-reflection and re-embodiment. Virtual is connected to physical; they are fragmented but not detached. The creator and creation must therefore abide by the same social expectations as RL for mindful virtuality to exist and present a balanced digital future (Mukulova, 2018). 6.2 Irregularity & Uncertainty Those supporting a digital future are positive about the potential for digital fashion and identity to change our materialism and consumption behaviours. However, others worry that digital assets will not change consumption behaviours, but only provide an alternative economy to meet our overconsumption needs. The irregularity and uncertainty

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present within the survey results was a significant indicator that consumers are teetering on the edge of the physical, unsure whether to step into this brave virtual world. It is hard to say, at present, whether consumers will fully adapt digitally and whether this will revolutionise consumption for the better or worse. Survey participants state that they would never consider digital clothing only for an instagram photo. Digital collections and fashion houses such as Carlings and The Fabricant are offering digital items for such reasons. Despite both sides agreeing digital clothing is for the benefit of sustainability, it seems that consumers are wary of purchasing digital assets. Like stated previously, this may be due to society’s attitude towards social media and fast fashion, which combined has incurred high pressure and social expectation. Digital fashion platforms must find new ways to communicate the benefits of digital items or find new ways to monetise the digital experience. This research may be premature and it would be interesting to revisit in the future when technology has advanced. The research shows consumers lack relatability to digital beings, but would this change if creating avatars within the fashion industry has moved beyond business to the hands of the consumer? In conclusion, we are still a reflection of our paradoxical time. We have a solution but we are hesitant to adopt it. We have one foot in the physical and one foot in the digital. We are not fully transformed. This paper has highlighted concerns for future businesses and consumers to consider with mindful virtuality. In the spirit of speculative thinking, we must revise and re-question: How much are we willing to digitally transform? How far must we digitally transform to revolutionise our consumption behaviours?

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EPISODE 7: FASHION METAVERSES This research raises important questions considering fashion increasing emergence within digital environments. After drawing attention to the similarities between video games and digital fashion, the following pages present three concepts for business models inspired by video games and combined with Metaverses. Each Fashion Metaverse seeks to address some of thematic findings produced by this research. I collaborated with Reactive Reality who have produced my very own true-to-life avatar through photogrammetry. At present, the Picto3D app is not ready for consumer use but something which Thomke of Reactive Reality informs me they are working towards, as well as creating movement within the avatar to heighten its realism. The decision to produce a real-to-life avatar was based upon the issues of relatability and authenticity in responses to digital avatars. The ability for consumers to use their own avatar-self and be in control of their online image is something of importance for mindful virtuality. It is also quite a personal decision based up on being a model within the industry who has generally had little control over her digital image.

FASHION METAVERSES i. Present: Fashion MMO & Gamification ii. Future: Avatar Agency iii Further Future: Fashion SVE & Rental

These suggested Fashion Metaverses are an offer for further exploration and can be adapted through further research and technology advancement. They will extend from the previous time-line discussed with the literature review and contextualisation, to present realistic and speculative models that could exist in the present, future and the further future, if business and consumer mindset were to adapt accordingly.

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i. Present

FASHION MMO & GAMIFICATION

Concept:

Express yourself by dressing your own avatar and earn fashion credit. Digital garments will be accessible from fashion houses such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel and Balmain. Change your avatar’s outfit and the virtual environment, so you can really find that perfect outfit for the occasion and show off your style to other fashionista avatars. Earn points for each upload. Earn double if you upload onto social media. If you obtain enough fashion credit, you will be gain access to purchasing the outfit in real life.

Themes Addressed: • Sustainability - through investment of time, it encourages the user to purchase digitally before buying physically. This will increase the value of the physical product. • Identity - This creates a safe space for identity expression and user may explore bolder fashion. • Authenticity - revealing transparency of a digital wardrobe without the pressures to update physical wardrobes for social media. • Relatability - Make your own style campaign with You as the model PRESS TO PLAY

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Considerations: • This may encourage a notion of ‘better lives’ and ‘better wardrobes’ online, and result in a form of escapism or fragmentation of self. • Encouraging a new form of conspicuous consumption. • Reduces the physicality of garments. • Pressure from social hierarchy online and in RL, and may not encompass mindful virtuality. • Democratisation of luxury items as digital assets may devalue the fashion houses. Page 52


ii. Future

AVATAR AGENCY

Concept: Produce digital avatars of real-life models to be used for the purpose of online e-commerce stores, social media, as well as being able to be used throughout the digital design process. They will become the face of the brand from design to post-production, from makers to consumers. 3D images of models will be licensed as additional, sustainable assets within their model portfolio. RL models no longer need to travel and try on copious amounts of items but can offer their avatar version to eliminate cost, travel and time. Themes Addressed: • Sustainability – models no longer need to travel if companies are using their digital avatar. This reduces carbon footprint. Models can also use their digital avatar across as many businesses as their want simultaneously depending on the wishes of the Model and their agency. • Authenticity & relatability – in light of consumers response to digital avatars such as Shudu, digital avatars based no real life models should offer a more realistic connection due to the authenticity of identity location. The question still remains: what are the requirements of a model in our present or future culture? • Identity – from a Model’s perspective, their identity as a model can still be intact and they would need to focus on their RL identity as ambassador of brands. They have more control of their online image by taking the reigns of their dialectic other.

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Considerations: • The use of a digital avatar can make it easier for companies to produce and market as many garments as they wish: faster, quicker and cheaper than using a RL model. Limits need to be set within model contracts to restrict the amount of garments ‘dressed’ on their digital avatar. • For authenticity and relatability models must show their personality, which cannot be achieved by avatars. Therefore, as part of the contractual agreement, RL models must be used within the campaign before their digital avatar is used for online purposes. They will become the spokesperson of the brand. • Creative teams within brands/fashion houses will lose the social and tactile aspect of dressing and shooting RL models. Will creativity and jobs become progressively more obsolete? • Real life models may still need to be used within the making of physical garments for tactile experience, even if using digital software (i.e. Clo 3D). This is subject to the design house. • To what extent should a digital avatar be manipulated? In light of transparency and awareness of edited images, can digital avatars of RL models be digitally edited - for instance, for size purposes? Parameters may need to be placed for true representation and authenticity.

iii. Further Future

FASHION SVE & RENTAL User 1

User 1’s Uploaded Wardrobe other users can virtually try-on and physically rent.

Communication between Users User 1: That dress would look great with... User 2: Can I rent this? You have great style

User 2 I, FASHION

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Concept:

Start a virtual fashion community with your wardrobe and rent it physically. A shared virtual environment within the access economy where users can communicate and have access to other user’s wardrobe. Using your own avatar, try on other users garments, see the fit, style your outfit and then rent! Let other users give style advice or offer garments of their own to complete the perfect look. Express your style, digitally.

Themes Addressed: • Sustainability – The ability to try on other’s wardrobes before physically renting them removes the issues surrounding fit. It allows users to upload their own wardrobes that include fast fashion – therefore extending the capabilities of rental models to address fast fashion as well as luxury items. • Identity – users can express themselves virtually. It is a styling platform and social network where users can form communities based on sharing wardrobes and styling advice. Fashion here offers communication and an ability to connect with themselves and others. • Relatabilty – one can style themselves online. Also there is a real to ability to other users and their avatars due to a common space for mutual purpose. • Physicality – Physical wardrobes are digitalised but can then be rented physically – creating circularity between physical and digital to extend the life of garments • Authenticity – If avatars are true-to-life then this produces authenticity. However, this would need to be monitored by those in control of the platform, including location identity and edited avatars.

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Considerations: • Authenticity as addressed above • Would this reduce consumption behaviour or encourage further consumption for the demands of a styling platform and online presence (i.e. Would users buy more to show off their style online without the purpose of renting) • Physicality – you cannot see the feel of the garment online and miss the tactile experience of garments • Eliminates socialisation with friends in RL setting. • Depending on the use of the platform, this may lead to fragmentation or multiphrenic natures if users were happier dressing their online avatars over real life.

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GLOSSARY

URL LINKS

• Avatars - online characters or icons representing a person within an online environment • Default - a player who has the standard virtual skin and has not been customised. • Digital Clothing - clothing that can only be ‘worn’ online by superimposing onto images • Digitalisation - the process of becoming digital • Fashtech - fashion and technology combining • Gamification - the process of adding game-like elements to something to encourage participation • Game feel - interaction with virtual items that has an effect on the real life player • Metaverse - parallel universes (2D and 3D) • Mindful Virtuality - the practice of mental well-being when digitally transforming. • MMORPG - Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game • Noob - A new player to a video game • SVE - Shared Virtual Environment of users/players • RL - Real Life • Spatial presence - the psychology of immersion or presence within virtual worlds • SMI - Social Media Influencer • Stakeholders - Those that are connected in some way to the business or desgin process, including technicians, fashion houses and consumers. • Virtual Items/Skins - aesthetic items that can be won or purchased within certain video games to decorate and customise weapons • Virtuality - the meeting of virtual and physical • URL - World Wide Web Page

A list of url links to the figures included within the research in case of digital malfunction.

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Video 3.1 reADRESS_THE _FUTURE campaign film for Carlings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sothlpxa6V0 Video 3.2 Lilsimsie CC Shopping Haul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r7Gml96hJQ Figure 3.2 Lightning in Louis Vuitton Campaign https://uk.louisvuitton.com/eng-gb/articles/series-4-lightning-avirtual-heroine Video 3.3 Lil Miquela’s Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/lilmiquela/?hl=en Video 6.1 Bullying Default’s Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAzwzusK8HI Fashion Metaverse: MMORPG and Gamification - My Avatar created through the Picto3D app and digital technicians at Reactive Reality. https://vimeo.com/374903228

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APPENDIX A: INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODELS MAP

APPENDIX B: COSPLAY

Source: wrap.org.uk

Source: dailycosplay.com

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APPENDIX C: BASIC COLLECTION OF SOFTWARE TO CREATE DIGITAL ASSETS

APPENDIX D: UAL CODE OF PRACTICE ON RESEARCH ETHICS University of the Arts London Code of Practice on Research Ethics

The University is committed to supporting good practice in research and scholarly activity; it considers it to be fundamental that research should be conducted in accordance with ethical principles. This document defines the scope of the University’s Code of Practice on Research Ethics, sets out the guiding principles, and outlines the obligations and responsibilities for conducting research in an ethical manner. This document is part of the University’s framework for supporting good practice in research which includes the following information: • UAL Code of Practice on Research Ethics [this document] • UAL Guidance for Research Ethics Approval • UAL Code of Good Conduct in Research • Constitution and terms of reference for UAL Research Committee and Research Ethics Sub-Committee • UAL Health and Safety policy • UAL Equality and Diversity Framework • UAL Disciplinary Code

1. Definition of Research

1.1 For the purposes of this Code of Practice, research is defined as any form of systematic, critical and/or creative enquiry that aims to contribute to a body of knowledge. It includes scholarly activity which analyses, synthesises and provides interpretations of ideas and information with the aim of contributing to the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines.

2. Applicability of the Code of Practice

2.1 This Code applies to all research undertaken under the formal auspices of the University. It applies to all research associated with the University irrespective of the source of funding or the physical location of the work. It applies to research carried out by staff and students in the course of their duties and relations with the University. Work conducted as part of professional practice carried out beyond the academy is the responsibility of the practitioner. 2.2 The Code applies to pedagogic enquiry and interventions which are beyond the normal agreements for educational purposes between teacher, student and institution.

3. Guiding Principles

3.1 The guiding principles of this Code are respect for persons, justice, and beneficence; these constitute a systematic regard for the rights and interests of others in the full range of research relationships and activities.

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APPENDIX D 3.2 Respect for persons recognises the capacity and rights of all individuals to make their own choices and decisions. It refers to the autonomy and rights to selfdetermination of all human beings, acknowledges their dignity, freedom and rights. An important component of this principle is the need to provide special protection to vulnerable persons. 3.3 The principle of justice obliges the researcher to distribute equally the risks and benefits of participation in research. Any risks to persons participating in research must be weighed against any potential benefits – to the participants or the researchers, and also the wider benefits to society of the knowledge gained. As with the principle of respect for persons, there is a need to protect vulnerable groups. 3.4 Beneficence is the principle of doing good in the widest sense. It requires researchers to serve the interests and well-being of others. In so doing, researchers comply with the principle of neither doing, nor permitting, any foreseeable harm as a consequence of research activities. This is the principle of non-maleficence, it is the principle of doing no harm in the widest sense.

4. Obligations and Responsibilities

4.1 It is the responsibility of researchers to conduct their research in line with the guiding principles set out above. Compliance implies giving due consideration to the ethical dimensions of any research undertaking, and this, in turn, implies that the researcher undertakes an assessment of risk in relation to these guiding principles. The University provides guidance on the assessment of risk in the UAL Guidance for Research Ethics Approval. 4.2 Researchers are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with the University’s procedures for scrutinising, approving and monitoring research activity and for complying with them. 4.3 Researchers are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity in conducting, publishing or exhibiting the outcomes of their research. This includes formally acknowledging the contributions and assistance of others, collaborating partners, honouring contractual agreements, copyrights, and the ownership of intellectual property and avoidance of any practice likely to mislead as to the origin, validity, novelty or ownership of what is presented. 4.4 Researchers must consider other rules of conduct that may apply to their research and ensure compliance. For example particular codes of practice and rules of engagement apply to work in archives, museums and galleries. Research in areas that are security sensitive must mitigate the risks to the researcher involved in accessing and/or storing and/or disseminating material that may be regarded as promoting or endorsing terrorist acts. Work in hospitals and other medical institutions requires proposals for research to be approved by an ethics committee approved by the Department of Health.

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4.5 Research undertaken at UAL draws on a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Researchers are expected to comply with the standards of professional practice, the disciplinary understandings, the ethical frameworks and guidelines which apply to the work being carried out, for example as a consequence of the methods employed, the expectations of the funding body, or as a result of the researcher’s affiliation with a subject association or professional body. 4.6 In research involving active participants, in order to realise the guiding principles, several specific requirements are essential. The prior informed consent of a potential participant, and the requirements for this consent to be legally valid are set out in the UAL Guidance for Research Ethics Approval. 4.7 Where research gathers information from individual persons from which they can be identified, there is an obligation for the researcher to respect the person’s privacy, rights to confidentiality and if the information is recorded in any medium as data the researcher must address data protection and comply with the Data Protection Act. Issues of confidentiality and privacy are distinct from each other and from data protection. Researchers are responsible for considering each of these in their assessment of the ethical dimensions of their research. 4.8 Researchers must acquaint themselves with legislation that is relevant to their research. Among the laws with general requirements are the Care Act, the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Equality Act, the Computer Misuse Act, the Children Act, the Mental Capacity Act, the Human Tissue Act, Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, the Obscene Publications Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, and legislation regarding working with participants unable to give informed consent, safeguarding children, the welfare of animals, uses of human tissue, and regulations about health and safety. 4.9 Contractual arrangements about the publication, dissemination, and exploitation of research including any non-disclosure agreements and intellectual property rights must be clearly set out prior to the conduct of the research. 4.10 The independence of research must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or partiality must be explicitly declared.

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APPENDIX E: INTERVIEW CONSENT FORM I am also aware that excerpts from the survey and/or interview may be included in the thesis and/or publications to come from the research, with the understanding that quotations will be either anonymous or attributed to me only with my review and approval. I was informed that I may withdraw my consent at any time without penalty by advising the researcher.

INTERVIEW CONSENT FORM

Research project title: Appearance/Reality (name tbc) Research investigator: Jade McSorley, Postgraduate Student MA Fashion Futures Research Participants name: Date: PROJECT OVERVIEW To research and speculate the potential to rent digital garments in response to an evolving society undergoing a digital transformation and changing consumer behaviors. The aims and objectives of this research will seek to uncover environmental and cultural implications of digital clothing for online personas; To understand their significance, and offer considerations for an emerging fashion business model.

With full knowledge of all foregoing, I agree, of my own free will, to participate in this study. ____ Yes ____ No I agree to have the in-person interview and any follow-up telephone conversations audio-recorded. ____ Yes ____ No I agree to the use of anonymous quotations in any thesis or publication that comes of this research. ____ Yes ____ No I agree to the use of direct quotations attributed to me only with my review and approval. ____ Yes ____ No Participant Name: __________________________________(Please print) Participant Signature: _______________________________ Date: ____________________________________________

YOUR INVOLVEMENT In participating in this research you will be interviewed by the researcher for a period of 75 mins. You will be discussing the topics related to the research project subject to your expertise: physical/digital identity, fashion rental, digital garments, fashtech, the significance of fashion within the video gaming industry, and the psychological impact when digital identities meet digital clothing. The interview will adhere to UAL’s Code of Practice for Research Ethics. By signing this consent form you understand and agree the following: •

• • •

Participation in the interview is entirely voluntary and there are no known or anticipated risks to participation in this study. You may decline to answer any of the questions you do not wish to answer. Further, you may decide to withdraw from this study at any time. All information you provide will be considered confidential unless otherwise agreed to, and the data collected will be kept in a secure location and confidentially disposed of in five years time. Your name and the name of your organization will not appear in any thesis or publication resulting from this study unless you provide express consent to be identified. You will have the opportunity to review a draft of the edited interview and will be invited to correct, amend, or delete any of the information included.

CONSENT FORM By signing this consent form, you are not waiving your legal rights or releasing the investigator(s) or involved institution(s) from their legal and professional responsibilities. I have had an opportunity to ask any questions related to this study, to receive satisfactory answers to my questions, and any additional details I wanted. I am aware that I have the option of allowing my interview to be audio recorded to ensure an accurate recording of my responses.

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APPENDIX F: SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW GUIDANCE EXAMPLE Interview Guidance Date: Research Participant: Ian Dickson – Square Enix Category: Interview – ‘Thinkers’ 1. (Establish Rapport) [shake hands] Introduce myself and the research participant, my purpose for the interview, including a brief description of the research aims and objectives.

Key Words Fashion Sustainability Influencers Digital Identity Digital Avatars Digital Clothing/Garments Future of Fashion Rental Fashion’s Future Video Gaming – Digital garments, Identity, skins Community Consumerism – Material/Immaterial Cosplay

To research and speculate the potential to rent digital garments in response to an evolving society undergoing a digital transformation and changing consumer behaviors. The aims and objectives of this research will seek to uncover environmental and psychological implications of digital clothing to understand their significance, and to offer guidance and considerations for an emerging fashion business model. Research into Video Gaming will aim to enrich this research, by developing knowledge on existing fashion-related consumerism amongst gamers and its effect on the individual and the gaming community. 1. (Purpose) I would like to ask you some questions about your work and experience within the fashion industry and to share your knowledge and thoughts surrounding the role of technology within fashion. 2. (Motivation) I hope to use this information to help enrich my research and possible outcomes. 3. (Time Line) The interview should take about 1 hour 15 minutes. You can stop at any point and please feel free to ask questions throughout if you should need. 4. (Consent) Are you happy for this interview to be recorded for research purposes only? (Transition: Let me begin by asking you some questions about yourself, your job role and why you feel passionate about the role you are in) A. Setting the scene (10 minutes) 1. Can you give me a summary of your job role? 2. In terms of fashion, how significant is fashion to you both personally and as part of your job? 3. What is fashion’s purpose within the gaming community and can you give an example?

14. How intune do you feel with your digital persona expressed through social media and your physical self? Do you think they exist separately or together? 15. How do you use social media as your own form of self-expression? 16. How much do you feel you use social media for yourself or for others? 17. Do you feel more in control of your image within social media, in comparison to being a fashion model? 18. There is a rise fo Digital Avatars being used in fashion campaigns. Do you see their presence becoming more significant? How might this have an influence on its consumers? 19. Selfridges is launching a phygital campaign where digital meets physical. Why do you feel they have such a marketing campaign and what do you feel they are trying to promote? 20. Do you feel there may be a need of humanity and human connection within a digital space? E. Digital Clothing There is much to be said about digital clothing as a solution to fashion’s impact on our environment. 21. How do you feel about this? Do you believe that digital clothing is the future of fashion? 22. How do you think you may feel wearing digital clothing? And how might your followers respond? 23. In terms of ownership, how do you consider the acquirement of digital fashion if it is not psychically tangible? Does this lesson the value of the item? 24. Which social and environmental impacts do you think may stem from the rise of digital clothing? 25. For what purpose might you consider digital clothing? 26. How do you think digital clothing and digital avatars might shape the fashion industry, in particular, fashion models? Do you think this is positive or negative? 27. What legislation or guidelines do you feel need to be set in place if digitalisation was to become part of fashion and every day life for consumer protection and welfare? F. Wrapping Up (5 mins) 1a. Can you see yourself wearing digital clothing? 1b. Where can you see yourself wearing it and for what purpose? 2. How would you like to see social media being used in the future if we become more concerned with our digital presence?

B. Digital Personas (15mins) 4. Influencers play a huge role within fashion and its consumers and use technology as vehicle of communication. Do you see any similarities between the gaming industry and fashion, in regards to Streamers? 5. What is the purpose of gaming communities? 6. What is the significance of digital avatars and is personalisation important within the gaming world? And Why? 7. Do you feel it is representative of reality or do you think avatars within games have presented an opportunity to present unrealistic versions of the real self? 8. Where do you see the role of Streamers changing in the future? 9. How do you see the evolution of avatars progressing in the future of video games?

Any question or last thoughts?

There is a shift occurring in consumer trends and attention being paid to sustainability, hence the rise of digital clothing. This is something which is already present within the gaming industry, such as the ability to purchase virtual items. C. Consumer Behaviours (10 mins) 10. Can you explain a little more about this? 11. What is the purpose of ‘skins’ and virtual items both from a marketing and consumer level? Is it important to address within your job role? 12. Do they serve any psychological purpose to the gamer, and those observing the action? 13. Do you think that avatar behaviour can have a direct impact on real life choices and behaviours? (i.e. Cosplay) 14. Does what a gamer ‘owns’ have an impact on the response from other gamers? 15. There is huge demand for immaterial items within the gaming industry. If brought into a mainstream context, do you think this will change people’s perception of value and consumption behaviours?

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APPENDIX G: INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS

To Access Interview Transcriptions and Exploratory Interview Notes you must insert the password: DIGITALLYTRANSFORM

I, FASHION

Brookes Islam-Roberts, BRIA Ian Dickson, Sqaure Enix Brian Ayers, Capcom Jodi Muter-Hamilton, Black Neon Digital Kerry Murphy, The Fabricant Nhina Svensson, MA Pattern Cutter and Garment Technology, LCF Aubrey Parnell, BA Womenswear, CSM Joel Fergueson, MA Video Game Design, LCC Reece Hillock, Student and Video Game Player Anonymous, Avatar Creator Alex Noon, Arreks Gaming Ltd. Abi Fox, Fashion Model Sadie Clayton, Artist and Design with AI Dimitri Paiva, Virtue Creative Agency


APPENDIX H: SURVEY QUESTIONS & QUANTITATIVE DATA 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

Digital Transformation & Consumers

How important is owning lots of clothes to you? 90 out of 90 answered

90 responses

3.0 Average rating How important is fashion to you?

13%

17%

36%

23%

8%

12 resp.

16 resp.

33 resp.

21 resp.

8 resp.

1

2

3

4

5

90 out of 90 answered

3.9 Average rating 1%

7%

18%

41%

31%

1 resp.

7 resp.

17 resp.

37 resp.

28 resp.

Not important

1

2

3

Not important

4

5

Which type of shopping do you prefer?

Extremely important

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

I, FASHION

Extremely important

1/36

In Store

64%/ 58 resp.

Online Shopping

33%/ 30 resp.

Personal Shopping Experience

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

2%/ 2 resp.

2/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Which, if any, would you be open to exploring as a shopping experience in e orts to being more sustainable as a consumer?

Digital Transformation & Consumers

How much do you consider social media when choosing outfits? 90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

4

5

Renting Physical Garments

Digital Customisation of Physical Garments

44%/ 40 resp.

None of the above

21%/ 19 resp.

Digital Customisation of Digital Garments

16%/ 15 resp.

Renting/Buying Digital Clothing* (for online purpose, such as social media)

2.2 Average rating

54%/ 49 resp.

18%

16%

21%

23%

11%

8%

17 resp.

15 resp.

19 resp.

21 resp.

10 resp.

8 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

Not at all

All the time

15%/ 14 resp.

Have you ever not posted a photo on social media because you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the outfit you wore? 90 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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3/36

Yes

54%/ 49 resp.

No

42%/ 38 resp.

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use social media

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

3%/ 3 resp.

4/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

Have you ever posted an outfit more than once on social media?

How invested are you in your online presence?

90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

Yes

77%/ 70 resp.

No

17%/ 16 resp.

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use social media

3

2.4 Average rating 11%

13%

25%

30%

14%

5%

10 resp.

12 resp.

23 resp.

27 resp.

13 resp.

5 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

4%/ 4 resp.

Not at all

Very invested

How much more comfortable do you feel expressing yourself through fashion on social media than real life? 90 out of 90 answered

1.4 Average rating 44%

15%

14%

11%

10%

4%

40 resp.

14 resp.

13 resp.

10 resp.

9 resp.

4 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

No more comfortable https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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Much more comfortable 5/36

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

6/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

What would your reason be for considering digital clothing?

Would you consider buying digital clothing only for photos, (ie. For instagram)?

90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

4

5

To â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;try onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new looks

73%/ 66 resp.

To reduce the environmental impact of fashion

48%/ 44 resp.

To reduce my physical consumption

36%/ 33 resp.

To be able to wear a garment once and be not ending up in physical landfills.

31%/ 28 resp.

For my creative output

26%/ 24 resp.

1

2

No

70%/ 63 resp.

Maybe

20%/ 18 resp.

Yes

3

10%/ 9 resp.

How much would you consider digital clothing a vehicle for self-expression? 90 out of 90 answered

6

7

8

9

For my self-expression

25%/ 23 resp.

For my online presence

13%/ 12 resp.

To create new and improved identities

Other

2.4 Average rating 16%

11%

23%

23%

18%

6%

15 resp.

10 resp.

21 resp.

21 resp.

17 resp.

6 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

10%/ 9 resp.

3%/ 3 resp.

Not at all https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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7/36

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

Extremely 8/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

Do you consider digital clothing ‘real’ if it is immaterial?

Do you think buying digital clothing might reduce your need to buy physical clothing?

90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

Not at all. If you can’t touch it then it cannot be real.

61%/ 55 resp.

Definitely. It is still real within a virtual space.

28%/ 26 resp.

Other

3

1

2

10%/ 9 resp.

3

46%/ 42 resp.

Maybe

43%/ 39 resp.

Definitely

How much do you see digital clothing as another way to shop fashion?

Do you think digital clothing may have an e ect on the environment?

90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1.7 Average rating

1

20%

23%

30%

20%

6%

18 resp.

21 resp.

27 resp.

18 resp.

6 resp.

2

3

0

1

2

Not at all https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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Never

3

10%/ 9 resp.

Yes

75%/ 68 resp.

Don’t know

16%/ 15 resp.

No

7%/ 7 resp.

4 Definitely 9/36

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

10/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Have you ever considered the carbon footprint of the internet?

Would you buy from a brand who is using digital avatars as models? 90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

No

1

1

61%/ 55 resp.

Yes

2

Digital Transformation & Consumers

2

38%/ 35 resp.

3

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know

44%/ 40 resp.

Yes

33%/ 30 resp.

No

22%/ 20 resp.

How relatable do you consider campaigns using digital models? 90 out of 90 answered How much these campaigns inspire you to explore digital identities and realities? 90 out of 90 answered

1.6 Average rating 26%

22%

28%

14%

3%

4%

24 resp.

20 resp.

26 resp.

13 resp.

3 resp.

4 resp.

0

1

2

Unrelatable

3

4

1.7 Average rating 25%

25%

17%

20%

8%

2%

23 resp.

23 resp.

16 resp.

18 resp.

8 resp.

2 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

5 Extremely Relatable

Not at all https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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11/36

Curious

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

Very inspired 12/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Do you, or have you, ever played video games?

Digital Transformation & Consumers

What is your purpose of fashion as a player?

90 out of 90 answered 61 out of 90 answered

1

If Yes, please continue with the survey

67%/ 61 resp.

1 2

If No, please head to section 5

3

What is the purpose of fashion within video games for digital avatars?

4

61 out of 90 answered

2

3

4

For Aesthetic

73%/ 45 resp.

Increase player status

18%/ 11 resp.

For a digital retail experience

4%/ 3 resp.

For Function

3%/ 2 resp.

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

I, FASHION

42%/ 26 resp.

For my self-expression

37%/ 23 resp.

32%/ 29 resp.

2

1

It helps with my online identity as a game player

5

13/36

To feel part of a gaming community

8%/ 5 resp.

I enjoy Cosplay

3%/ 2 resp.

Other

8%/ 5 resp.

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

14/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

Digital Transformation & Consumers

How important is personalisation of your digital avatar to you?

How much do you consider fashion a reflection of the players abilities?

61 out of 90 answered

61 out of 90 answered

2.4 Average rating

1.4 Average rating

9%

18%

27%

21%

14%

8%

36%

23%

13%

23%

0%

4%

6 resp.

11 resp.

17 resp.

13 resp.

9 resp.

5 resp.

22 resp.

14 resp.

8 resp.

14 resp.

0 resp.

3 resp.

0

1

2

3

4

5

0

1

2

3

4

5

Not at all

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

I, FASHION

17/09/2019

Not at all

Very Important

15/36

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

Very

16/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

How much do you use real or in game currency on virtual items?

Could you estimate how much you have spent on virtual goods in the last year?

61 out of 90 answered

61 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

4

None

60%/ 37 resp.

A little

29%/ 18 resp.

Frequently

8%/ 5 resp.

A lot

1%/ 1 resp.

1

2

3

4

5

6

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

I, FASHION

17/36

0-£25

80%/ 49 resp.

Rather not say

8%/ 5 resp.

£200-more

4%/ 3 resp.

£25-£50

4%/ 3 resp.

£50-£100

1%/ 1 resp.

£100-£200

0%/ 0 resp.

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

18/36

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Digital Transformation & Consumers

What's your age range?

What country were you born in?

90 out of 90 answered

90 out of 90 answered

1

2

3

4

5

25-27

23%/ 21 resp.

28-30

23%/ 21 resp.

22-24

21%/ 19 resp.

16-18

18%/ 17 resp.

19-21

13%/ 12 resp.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

I, FASHION

19/36

United Kingdom

76%/ 69 resp.

Australia

3%/ 3 resp.

Canada

3%/ 3 resp.

India

3%/ 3 resp.

Antigua and Barbuda

1%/ 1 resp.

Bulgaria

1%/ 1 resp.

China

1%/ 1 resp.

Germany

1%/ 1 resp.

Greece

1%/ 1 resp.

Hong Kong

1%/ 1 resp.

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11

17/09/2019

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Ireland

24 12

Singapore

South Korea

Spain

United States of America

Vietnam

Afghanistan

Albania

0%/ 0 resp.

Algeria

0%/ 0 resp.

31 19

32 20

Andorra

Angola

Argentina

23

Armenia

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Bahrain

0%/ 0 resp.

Bangladesh

0%/ 0 resp.

Barbados

0%/ 0 resp.

Belarus

0%/ 0 resp.

Belgium

0%/ 0 resp.

Belize

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Benin

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Bhutan

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0%/ 0 resp.

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0%/ 0 resp.

34 22

Bahamas

0%/ 0 resp.

33 21

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

30 18

Azerbaijan

1%/ 1 resp.

29 17

0%/ 0 resp.

1%/ 1 resp.

28 16

Austria

1%/ 1 resp.

27 15

0%/ 0 resp.

1%/ 1 resp.

26 14

Aruba

1%/ 1 resp.

25 13

Digital Transformation & Consumers

1%/ 1 resp.

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17/09/2019

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Bolivia

0%/ 0 resp.

49 37

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Botswana

Brazil

Brunei

Burkina Faso

Burma

Burundi

Cambodia

Cameroon

Cape Verde

Central African Republic

48

Chad

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Croatia

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Cuba

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Curacao

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Cyprus

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Czech Republic

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Denmark

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0%/ 0 resp.

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59 47

Cote d'Ivoire

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58 46

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

57 45

Costa Rica

0%/ 0 resp.

56 44

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

55 43

Comoros

0%/ 0 resp.

54 42

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

53 41

Colombia

0%/ 0 resp.

52 40

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

51 39

Chile

0%/ 0 resp.

50 38

Digital Transformation & Consumers

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61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

3

0%/ 0 resp.

Dominican Republic

0%/ 0 resp.

74

Dominica

0%/ 0 resp.

75

East Timor

0%/ 0 resp.

76

Ecuador

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77

Egypt

0%/ 0 resp.

78

El Salvador

0%/ 0 resp.

79

Equatorial Guinea

0%/ 0 resp.

80

Eritrea

0%/ 0 resp.

81

Estonia

0%/ 0 resp.

82

Ethiopia

0%/ 0 resp.

83

Fiji

0%/ 0 resp.

84

Finland

85 0%/

Digital Transformation & Consumers

73

Djibouti

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0%/ 0 resp.

France

0%/ 0 resp.

Gabon

0%/ 0 resp.

Gambia

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Georgia

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Ghana

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Grenada

0%/ 0 resp.

Guatemala

0%/ 0 resp.

Guinea

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Guinea-Bissau

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Guyana

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Haiti

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Holy See

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

86

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

Digital Transformation & Consumers

17/09/2019

Honduras

0%/ 0 resp.

Hungary

0%/ 0 resp.

Iceland

0%/ 0 resp.

Indonesia

99

100

101

0%/ 0 resp.

Iran

0%/ 0 resp.

Iraq

0%/ 0 resp.

Israel

0%/ 0 resp.

Italy

0%/ 0 resp.

Jamaica

98

102

103

104

105

106

0%/ 0 resp.

Japan

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Jordan

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Kazakhstan

0%/ 0 resp.

107

108

109

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Kenya

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Kiribati

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Kosovo

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Kuwait

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Kyrgyzstan

0%/ 0 resp.

Laos

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Latvia

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Lebanon

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Lesotho

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Liberia

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Libya

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Liechtenstein

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Lithuania

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APPENDIX H 17/09/2019

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17/09/2019

123 111

Luxembourg

Macau

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malawi

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Malta

Marshall Islands

Mauritania

Mauritius

https://jademcsorley.typeform.com/report/ozSi5p/V1KwZ2A5GiMChqFv?view_mode=print

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Morocco

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Mozambique

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Namibia

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Nauru

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Nepal

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Netherlands

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Netherlands Antilles

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134 122

Montenegro

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133 121

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

132 120

Mongolia

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131 119

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

130 118

Monaco

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129 117

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

128 116

Moldova

0%/ 0 resp.

127 115

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

126 114

Micronesia

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125 113

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0%/ 0 resp.

124 112

Digital Transformation & Consumers

Mexico

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135

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17/09/2019

148 136

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

North Korea

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Palau

Palestinian Territories

Panama

Papua New Guinea

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Qatar

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Romania

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Russia

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Rwanda

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Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Saint Lucia

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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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159 147

0%/ 0 resp.

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158 146

Portugal

0%/ 0 resp.

157 145

0%/ 0 resp.

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156 144

Poland

0%/ 0 resp.

155 143

0%/ 0 resp.

0%/ 0 resp.

154 142

Philippines

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153 141

0%/ 0 resp.

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152 140

Peru

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151 139

0%/ 0 resp.

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150 138

Paraguay

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149 137

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Samoa

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17/09/2019

0%/ 0 resp.

173 161

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Sint Maarten

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

Somalia

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Sweden

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Switzerland

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Syria

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Taiwan

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Tajikistan

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Tanzania

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184 172

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183 171

Suriname

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182 170

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181 169

Sudan

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180 168

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179 167

Sri Lanka

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178 166

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177 165

South Sudan

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176 164

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175 163

South Africa

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174 162

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Thailand

17/09/2019

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198 186

Togo

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

191

192

193

194

195

196

197

Turkey

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Turkmenistan

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Tuvalu

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Uganda

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Ukraine

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United Arab Emirates

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Uruguay

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Uzbekistan

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Yemen

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Zambia

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Zimbabwe

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202 190

Venezuela

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201 189

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200 188

Vanuatu

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199 187

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197

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APPENDIX H CONTINUED: OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS

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APPENDIX I: QUALITATIVE DATA & CONTENT ANALYSIS FROM SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS Table 1 Thinkers Brian Ayers

Brooke RobertsIslam

Role PR Manager

Fashtech Journalist & Innovation Agency

Company Capcom

Techstyler & BRIA

Key Nodes

Further Quotes

Themes

- Authenticity Value with Gaming

Videogame fans are not keen on things in the game that appear to be non-authentic to that universe or narrative, and will reject something that feels like it may be shoehorned in by an external brand.

Authenticity

- Personalisation is Hugely Important but Game Dependant. Both for revenue (marketing and publisher) and online identity (gamer)

ome skins are rarer than others, and it can offering bragging rights to a player if it's a particularly lesser-spotted costume or colour variant. If the skin is part of a game's reward system (i.e. a piece of content rewarded for high level or skillful play) it can be even something of a badge of honour.

Physicality

- ‘Community is popular - shared interests, camaraderie, human connection etc’

Sustainability

Despite the growing emphasis on digital presence, it does feel like there's somewhat of a renaissance towards more activities that involve face to face, human interaction. Boardgame culture has seen has a huge spike of popularity over the years, and this is primarily a social experience…inyl sales started to grow again, and even cassettes started to make a comeback

Relatability

- Environmental Crisis needs to be addressed Technology/Digital Clothing is a sustainable solution (can’t be a philosophical argument)

I dont see how, you know, owning less stuff could ever be bad. No, I just, I simply don't that that's, I think, you know, if people own, you know, 15,000 digital assets in terms of clothing, yeah. And that the carbon emission radiated with the creation of those is not excessive. Mm hmm. So, the net emissions for those digital clothes are less than the net emissions for physical ones. I just don't see, you know, because really, when we talk about sustainability, we have to think about, you know, the urgency of saving the planet. Yeah, yeah. So anything else is secondary, just on balance, if these behaviors rapidly speed up, and the modes of consumption switch from physical to digital quickly, and that reduces emissions significantly. We're, you know, we're winning.

Identity

- Digital as more authentic as photo shopped images

the thing is, that you're making an assumption there that physical is means real, and it means honest. But actually, it very rarely does. Is Gisele Bunchen real and honest? No, she's got fake boobs. Every time she's in a shoot, she's got her face. photoshopped. Yeah, it's not necessarily her fault. But this, there's this whole subject is looked at in far too simple manner. People just, for some reason, tend to think if it's digital, it's fake. If it's physical, it's real. Mm hmm. The Fashion industry's being the lines through imagery for ever. Yeah, in some cases, I've actually, on my panels, and in events that I've held, I've had people speaking that are creating digital avatars that are far more honest than anything physical that you've ever seen.

Authenticity

- Video Game Fashion is too gimmicky/gamified and needs to drawn from Fashion to make digital clothing convincing

the gaming aesthetic, and the kind of gamified look of clothing and avatars is just not at all compatible with fashion expectations. It looks too gimmicky yet. So fashion needs to digital fashion needs to be incredibly realistic to be convincing.

Mindful Virtuality ethics and & virtue

- Digital Persona as a new subculture

Digitalisation as the new Self-Expression

I, FASHION

So I guess maybe it'll be a fusion of what people are doing physically and digitally. Yeah. And I think anything that lets people express themselves to a more degrees good.

1


APPENDIX I Ian Dickson

PR Manager

Square Enix

I felt that it fit more into the narrative of what was happening on screen, as opposed to an extension of my real life.

-Digitalisation as Fantasy v Representation (Real v Escapism)

I think a lot of people it's escapism, I think a lot of people use it, because maybe it's a an insecurity thing, or maybe it's you know, they want to maybe they're not happy with how they are in real life. So they wants to, they want to project an almost desirable version of themselves. So they'll customize their outfits to look, you know, different to how they will actually normally dress.

- Virtual aesthetic items are hugely important Persona - Video Gaming as Experience and your avatar performs for you

when you have hundreds of people in one place, your aesthetic becomes a real thing, the real important thing, because this is your persona in the game. But with hundreds of other people and you want to look different, you want to dress yourself up as you see fit as you want to be perceived.

Personality is important - Streamers & Influencer similarities Time is Value - progression through a game (Reward)

final fantasy 14 is like a really good example. And a really good kind of focus point for this kind of thing. Yeah, because it's not only about fashion, or, you know, appearance, but it's all about, you know, it's also about showing progress and showing your capabilities. So for example, there may be a certain helmet or, you know, robe or piece of armor or hats, that you can only achieve through doing, you know, 50 hours of missions or something. And then you wear that, like a trophy to show off your prowess. Like, you know, I've earned this thing. And this is a badge of honor that, you know, when I'm walking around in this digital world, other people can see me and go, Wow, that person has, you know, must be really good, because they've done this crazy thing.

Game characters have been used for commercial marketing in the past - Lara Croft in Lucozade Concern of cloud for gaming. Do we ever own anything? Cosplay Persona as investment Jodi MuterHamilton

Platform for Visionaries with positive impact

Black Neon Digital (also incl. Fashion Roundtable)

Digital image is a creation - model and avatar similarities Skeptic to Digital Clothing - wants to feel and touch Importance of human connection Responsibility to set the guidelines for next generation - more digitalised Connection needs to clear and the value of clothing needs to reinstated Tech can help communicate the connection between people and the planet - same language

it to completely break down the barriers to kind of create a universal language of understanding. So like, no matter who you are, when you open HTML code, it's the same language, wherever you to the universal language.

Radiate whats inside you

the point is that, if you if you address what's in inside and understand, and then you can make more informed choices about externally like what's outside of me, right for you, like thinking about internal self,

Digital world as escapism?

I, FASHION

2

Often it's like, Okay, I'm going to create this character, which is a character I want to see during this stuff. And although I'm playing, I still see it as they are a separate entity to me.


APPENDIX I Digital perosna needs to impact real life in positive way Digital as Hollistic - Sustainability - Digital State

Joel Ferguson

MA Video Game LCC & University of Design & Digital Falmouth Advertising Lecturer

To me in sustainability conversation is all about the people and the planet. And I just think the tech can help progress in a way that we can then make things clear about how how we communicate about things, how we have methodologies, how we have structures, and ultimately, like come to a framework where you can speak the same language, even if it's not English today.

I'd be interested in playing a game that I could explore that on a level like a mega, like a real level, you know, if that has validation and something that is already a belief system of some degree. And this is the light transcendence like meditation. Yeah, you know, how can you put that into what you're trying to achieve?

MMO - Free to Play business models with micro transactions Virtual items as faster fashion Game Dependant - Video Game Trends Spatial Presence GAME FEEL

perhaps the question is that you're looking for is, is special presence becoming more important, than actual reality presence?

Aesthetic items give perception of time spent in the game - skills, knowledge and experience. Virtual Items - physiological impact on players and community

It's, it's very, it's a very, very similar engagement, it's, it's fashion in games, I would say is very often, it's not always performance for other players. either, because either you have an item that looks a certain way, and it provides a certain status, or you have an item, which is widely, widely considered to be the most good looking item

Persona as investment

is a game called Path of Exile, and there is a streamer and his name. mean, this is just a possibly just an anecdote, but kind of confirms what you're saying. He's got this really weird name, it's demigod-ken-lol. Yeah, he just collects really rare items in this game. Yeah, that's all he does. He spends, you can't actually buy any in game currency in public. So you can only buy cosmetic items. So he spends his time playing the game to get currency so that he can either craft the best items in the game or collect the rarest items in the game. Legacy items, for example, items, which the icon in game has a different appearance to because it's been updated over the years.

Community - play with friends Virtual items are limited on available within the story line Creators Kerry Murphy

Founder

The Fabricant

DEEP - faster fashion Creativity and Expression Digitally

I, FASHION

we need to create some type of experience and safe space for people to be able to experience it in a different way.

Responsibility of the technology on human wellbeing

they're with us. So the responsibilities for the creators right now. Yeah, and I think we're really taking that responsibility. And we're really focusing on the sustainability side, and, and that mental health aspect to create value for people.

Digital fashion can create value for people in their lives - experiences

digital fashion actually create value for lives instead of takeaways, value. And that's a hard one to answer because there's no real references. Everybody kind of sees it as a gimmick right now.

3

And when when you look at the market opportunity, it's about making fast fashion even faster. And that's kind of where, where I'm a little bit scared that digitises stations are actually start making things worse.

if we change to change the culture, we need to change the experience.


APPENDIX I Tackle sustainability and consumption issues of fashion And what is that narrative that we would put around it? - Story is important (meaning, value)

So we really have a little bit of this gamified aspect to it from a fashion perspective. And then beyond that, as well. So life combo virtual, we just start need to start seeing what kind of experiences start coming up

right now, it's not scalable. Try it out and see what happens. Do you feel when you see yourself in third person doing awkward things? So it's just, it's a, it's a new way of, to look at yourself. I'm third person perspective. You always have an excuse, like, Oh, that's not me, that's my virtual me. But at the same time, we do have a connection to that virtual body. So it creates, it creates a safe space for, you know, let's say, for me, like, I'm a white heterosexual male who was kind of always Lyft, within the boundaries of, you know, just having to be a man having to be this concept we have. Potential to create communities

don't identify themselves within the, you know, heterosexual world, that they do have a little bit more safe space to communicate themselves or identify themselves or find that find the communities where they do, you know, really recognise themselves

Importance of collaboration and skill sets 3D scan to potentially stop the ageing process for models So the responsibilities for the creators right now. Yeah, and I think we're really taking that responsibility. And we're really focusing on the sustainability side, and, and that mental health aspect to create value for people. Nhina Svennsson

MA Pattern Cutter CLO 3D Student

London College of Fashion

Clo 3D useful for production - sustainability practicality

if you created digitally, you would still have that some part of physically fit as well.

quite a lot of fabric you work with has a huge impact on that finish garments’.

New representation for the digital generation

I stop spending so much money to make something physical, don't care about and then the end, I just want a photo. So like I said, just go straight from sketches to the photo and use the computer instead of that. streamlining that process

How do you want to represent yourself online? Like, because we spend, especially like my generation, I mean, we spend so much time online, and then we have these versions of ourselves that people see across the world. And instead of making something that is just twisted, physical version of ourselves, like, Why can it be what are essences character, like a funny thing, or like maybe this is partially human, maybe it's not human at all, the kind of machine that so something that feels more akin to what you are inside?

Should we be seeing ourselves in advertisements?

Oh, my God, I didn't know I was like that. And a lot of the reaction was too much better than I thought. But it is interesting like to think about you only ever saw yourself. Would you ever wish to be someone else? I think you were because it's human nature, maybe. But it might eliminate some of it.

Still importance of human touch as maker. ’I personally would feel like a little bit sad if I never got to see the physical product as well.’ 3D software for clothes still has a way to go limitations Aubrey Parnell

BA Womenswear (using 3D software)

CSM

Understanding and seeing yourself through technology - ie 3D scans - therapeutic Digitalisation as inner self-expression (True Self?) Digitalised images are authentically fake - so how can we take the images beyond?

Moral questions surrounding digital avatars

I, FASHION

4

as a maker would really miss that tactile feeling. But we can still enjoy it as a medium.


APPENDIX I Feels like he is living in the matrix - ‘I can model anything.’

And I walk down the street and look at the leaves and like things, and I'll be like, Oh my gosh, I feel like I'm in a simulation. I have like a matrix moment every day, like cracking the paper. And I'm like, wow, they did that crack really nicely.

Will digital avatar’s age? Thinks there show be a limit to their presence. What is the Legacy?

I think what you get with physicality is that you have legacy and you have history

Use face filters to alter our images Value & Poetry of Digital creations - like Models they can be fleeting… Anonymous

Avatar Creator

Avatars are new marketing tools - but wont replace Models - human connection is important for authenticity

I think a human connection is extremely important, it adds authenticity.

3D garment design has the ability to completely overhaul the fashion industry and completely solve huge issues with waste and sustainability.

I think there are many upcoming tech options that may affect the way e-commerce images are created, digital models may be one of them. It really depends on if the consumer is comfortable with that though.

I think identity is becoming more and more personal. I’d really love to see a day and age where we can be whoever we want to be. - Selfexpression to the max Avatars are a persona as much as social media influencers - its a performance

2. Influencers play a huge role within fashion and its consumers and use technology as vehicle of communication. What are you thoughts on this in regards to the emergence of digital influencers and models? I don't think there's much difference, at the end of the day its a persona, whether real or not, it operates in pretty much the same way.

3D design and photoshop is similar- transparency is maybe needed? We already use face filters to change our images

There are things human models can do that digital models can't, but there are many things digital models can do a lot better.

People want to feel connected with their characters, they want them to represent who they are – so for that reason, digital personalisation is arguably one of the most important factors.

ultimately whatever they chose, becomes a representation of them in game.

Players Alex Noon

Streamer & CoDirector

Arekkz Gaming Ltd

Authenticity is important within Streamers Fashion is hugely important Time is Value - Investment in Persona

the amount of time you sink into a character becomes increasingly more valuable, and personal. If you’ve built a digital persona over thousands of hours, and countless updates – every little detail in that character is an investment.

Virtual items as faster fashion Used to immateriality as a culture

In games, one of the simple rules is that you can’t “buy power”. While the notion of microtransactions might not be something everyone likes, people will generally agree that if the items sold only alter your appearance and nothing else, then it’s fine. The second people are able to physically pay for a statistical advantage, that’s when things go bad. So in games – digital cosmetics are fine.

Community

I, FASHION

5

I personally like the graffiti thing, like So my kind of reflection, like, on a fine with someone coming in flowers growing. And so it's and destroying all that so I can start really interesting, like, these again. things are going to exist, maybe long after I'm gone, you know, but there's something that's a fleeting in nautre and so I don't know, maybe there has to be something that mimics that. And maybe there's a legislation about how long something can exist or something. Because it's like, I think with fleeting feeling like it's so nice to get because it's a short time.


APPENDIX I Abi Fox

Reece Hillock

Model (25.4k instagram followers)

Gamer

Women NY

Student

Image & Persona as investment

As a fashion model I am payed to conform to a clients idea of what they want me to look like or who I should be. Within my own social networks I am in control of my own image as posting is down to me.

Importance of physicality of clothes on a human

In some ways it’s exciting for the next generation as people have voices like they didn’t used to. However it can be detrimental to some people’s mental health if exposed constantly to a virtual world that is unattainable. I think people can loose their sense of identity if introduced to a virtual world too soon into adolescence.

Digital Clothing as less impactful on environment

Both. Negative if you are encouraging people to have a new outfit for every event resulting in large amounts of waste. Positive if you encourage people to re use their clothes, borrow or rent, and generally just gain a new perspective on shopping and an individuals consumption.

Personality is important - influence for good

I still feel that there’s a long way to go for clients to portage an accurate image as photoshop is still heavily used and this whole concept doesn’t sit well with me.

Community - play with friends Defaults and Noobs - Targeted - brought back to the playground

A free kill. I find so it's just like an easy like, way to get points.

Concern on Image in Game - to out of game GAME FEEL

Yeah, it's like a second personality in a way, or an extension of your own that you can, kind of like, choose what you want it to be. 

Time is more Value over buying - progression through a game (Reward) & Investment of Persona

It's just you have to like put the hours in into the game. like for you to be able to customise your character how you want it.

Buy crates as gambling ‘pay to win’ Game Dependant UNTRANSCRIBED

Additional/ Untranscribed Arjun Thomke

Director of Business Development

Reactive Reality

Sadie Clayton

Designer & Sculptor Sadie Clayton (works with Robots and well-being using AI communication)

Create your own avatar for try-on

Well-being - coexisting with techology

Understanding yourself through the ideas of digital images (robots, AI) Art as a means of inner expression and reflection onto self Digital fashion can create value for people in their lives - experiences Dimitri Paiva

Art Director (reADDRESS_THE_ FUTURE)

Virtue Creative Agency by Vice

Digitalisation as the new Self-Expression

Combat Sustainability - waste from disposable society Digital clothing as potential to communicate inner beliefs

I, FASHION

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Disagree. You can bring personality to a photo with an actual human model. The consumer can connect to that person. You can’t achieve that with a digital avatar.

Digital clothing is still promoting over consumption because it’s still sparking interest and a need to buy new clothes. I think more needs to be done on actually changing the mindsets of a consumer and encouraging them that reusing, lending and renting clothes is the best way forward to achieve more sustainability within fashion. It’s an odd concept to me that people would purely just use digital clothing for an online presence. It’s still enhancing a perceived lifestyle which is the key problem.

if used correctly it can be a powerful tool to help elevate your career and also gives you a voice to express your passions and concerns.

I think it definitely has instilled unrealistic images. There are so many apps readily available to photoshop any image that it’s hard to know what is actual reality now.


APPENDIX J: COMPARATIVE STUDY OF QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESULTS IN RELATION TO THEMES (ESTABLISHED IN APPENDIX I] Table 1

Fashion-Focused (90 Participants) Authenticity

Creating an avatar is completely fake. Maybe it’s something the consumer would get used to but i think there should be a disclaimer.”

Physicality

I worry it would take away the sense of connection with the garment and only focus on the visual

I like the texture and feel of real clothing and expressing myself in person

A main focus of fashion is expression. If digital clothing can acheive this, then it is somewhat real.”

Sustainability

“I think yes it could be better for the environment but it will be easier for companies to edit photographs so that models are all the same and not actually how they are in real life, affecting more the mental side of consumers, which I think is as big of an issue as the environmental issue today.”

“Why not?! It’s a great idea - imagine the carbon saving just from a few A list clueless and their entourage for the sake of a few photos being flown from all over the world. Makes sense on every level as long as they are represented accurately and clearly labelled as a digital created image to avoid vulnerable groups seeing this and thinking its reality.”

I think people would be even more materialistic with digital clothing. Spend more money on having cool items, which essentially, are not real. They’re edited.”

27.7% see the potential for digital clothing only for social media users.

It perpetuates an unrealistic expectation on women’s beauty standards.”

Relatability

Identity

Mindful Virtuality ethics and & virtue

I, FASHION

“I dont see it as real clothing, but it is a real form of self expression and personal visual identity.”

54.4% see the potential of digital clothing affecting their physical wardrobes

I believe that digital models are an evolution which was bound to happen with the pace of social media and the influence it has, as well as the power of technology today. However, there is something about digital model campaigns which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable... they have no emotion, no true expression and the beauty which we see is not something I can feel in awe for as it is in no way natural.”

“I dont see it as real clothing, but it is a real form of self expression and personal visual identity.”

“I think yes it could be better for the environment but it will be easier for companies to edit photographs so that models are all the same and not actually how they are in real life, affecting more the mental side of consumers, which I think is as big of an issue as the environmental issue today.”


APPENDIX J Fashion-Focused (90 Participants) Irregularity & Uncertainty

I, FASHION

I believe that digital models are an evolution which was bound to happen with the pace of social media and the inďŹ&#x201A;uence it has, as well as the power of technology today. However, there is something about digital model campaigns which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable... they have no emotion, no true expression and the beauty which we see is not something I can feel in awe for as it is in no way natural.â&#x20AC;?


APPENDIX J

Fashion-Focused (90 Participants)

Video Game-Focused 68% of 90

Authenticity

Physicality

Sustainability

Relatability

“Its very of the now but I think it isn’t true to fashion. Fashion is about individuals and humans expression themselves through clothes. Having a digital avatar isn’t the reality of Fashion.”

Identity

Mindful Virtuality ethics and & virtue

Fashion-Focused (90 Participants)

Video Game-Focused 68% of 90

Irregularity & Uncertainty

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APPENDIX J How do you think wearing a digital garment, if anything, might make you feel and why?

How do you think that digital clothing might affect your physical wardrobe?

Postive

Negative

Postive

Negative

Special

Fraud

Inspire

Fashion is more about how I feel in real life, than online

Creative

Fake

Selective

Sad that my physical wardrobe isn’t as good

Unique

Odd

Reduce size

‘doing good’

Weird

Look through’ wardrobes

Cool

Strange

variety

Different

Unnatural

Plan ahead

Experimental

Hollow

Return less

Fashion-forward

Uncomfortable

Bolder outfits

Confident

Nervous

Better profile

Proud

Pressure

Space in physical wardrobe

Invigorate

Untrustworthy

Experience

Positive

Pretending

Experimental

Expressive

Photoshopped

Influence on fashion trends

Sure

Lack of Human

Ethical & Sustainable

Fun

Unsatisfied

Invest

Functional & Timelss

Lying

Functional & Timelss

Reduce consumption

Reduce consumption

Creative

Creative

Diverse

Diverse

I, FASHION


GAME OVER.

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I, FASHION: Can A Digital Transformation Revolutionise Fashion Consumption?  

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