In today's swiftly evolving digital landscape, identity and self-expression have undergone a profound transformation, particularly for the generation like Gen-Z that grew up with the internet. Fashion, a traditional medium for conveying individual identity and expression, has seen a shift due to the rise of social media. The advent of platforms like Instagram and TikTok has cultivated a quasi-obligation for individuals, especially aspiring influencers, fashion bloggers, and content creators, to continuously redefine their fashion choices to seek validation and maintain a sense of novelty.
This constant evolution in fashion is spurred by individuals who accelerate consumer purchasing behavior through their diverse clothing choices, discarding items regularly to generate new and engaging content. Alarmingly, approximately 55% of the global younger generation, notably Gen-Z, expressed an inclination towards choosing an influencer career as per a CNBC article on Gen-Z audience, fueling a burgeoning economy but detrimentally impacting the environment. The prevalent 'make-sell-wear-discard' culture perpetuates hyper-consumerism and mass production, contributing to overflowing landfills and environmental degradation, ultimately exacerbating climate change.
However, within this era of hyper-consumerism, the technologically-dependent Gen-Z, proficient in seamlessly merging their physical and digital realities, presents a unique opportunity. This generation can harness digital realms to express their identity through fashion choices, a burgeoning concept currently explored by pioneers like Fabricant, Dress X, and Tribute Digital Fashion Brand. In India, the brand XR Couture is striving to capitalize on this opportunity, carving a niche in the Indian fashion industry. As a creative fashion designer, my collaboration with XR Couture involved extensive research and design development over four months to create their novel NFT Backed Digital Fashion Design collection. This collaboration has offered a glimpse into the futuristic possibility of a fashion designer, utilizing Gen-AI tools and state-of-the-art 3D clothing simulation software to produce digital wearables that don’t exist physically.