Global – Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 is starting with an avant-garde event – a cross-disciplinary opera experience blending music, architecture and fashion in a bespoke digital venue in Web3.
Staged in the House of Synergos, a digital venue designed by Sybarite Architects in Decentraland’s Dragon City, the #Capital fashion-opera performance is as much an opera as a runway. This immersive work is a ‘tale of dematerialisation and symbolism’ that re-imagines the relationships and intersections between garments and music.
Sponsored by TONG agency, a collective of artists and designers collaborated to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life – Scottish composer Alastair White wrote the score, and Gemma A Williams curated the fashion collection featuring the designs of Chinese brand Chenpeng.
The opening number of Metaverse Fashion Week shows that with the correct dose of creativity and innovation, Web3 can be conducive to fashion experiences and sow the seeds of nascent artistic genres.
US – The Park Hyatt New York takes sleep seriously. The hotel is rolling out a patented tech-enhanced mattress designed to help guests fall asleep faster in selected Bryte Restorative Sleep Suites.
The five-star hotel has introduced Bryte Restorative Sleep Suites, a rest and relaxation haven amid the New York bustle. Overlooking Central Park, the 900-square-feet suites feature sleep-enhancing amenities such as Nollapelli Linens, sleeping masks and diffusers infusing rooms with a signature calming essential oil blend.
The suites are upgraded with a new centrepiece – the next-generation Bryte Balance restorative beds. Patented Restorative Intelligence turns the king-size beds into multi-sensory relaxation spaces, with personalisable, sleep-inducing sounds and soothing motions that promote deep sleep and minimise waking episodes. Returning guests can save their sleep preferences on the Bryte app and use additional features like Silent Wake Assist, a motion-based silent alarm clock for a gentler wake-up.
Global – A recent survey by Adidas has found that 51% of women are afraid of being physically attacked when they go for a run compared to 28% of men. To create awareness of this statistic, the sportswear brand made a film, The Ridiculous Run, showing the absurd lengths to which women have to go to feel safe while out for a jog.
The brand surveyed 9,000 runners across nine countries in order to understand men’s and women’s experiences and perceptions of safety while out on a run. The survey also revealed that 38% of women have experienced physical or verbal harassment and, of these, 56% have received unwanted attention or sexist comments.
The research indicates the need for a shift in attitude, but also action to create a safe environment – physically and mentally – for women to run. The study also revealed that while 62% of men recognise the issue, only 18% believe they have a responsibility to help women feel safe.
Adidas’ commercial illustrates the steps the brand is taking to address the issue and takes our report on Safety Fits one step further, showcasing how brands can offer support to vulnerable groups.
UK – Black-owned creative agency A Vibe Called Tech has teamed up with WePresent to explore the past, present and future of the Black experience in the metaverse through an artistic reflection by Afro-Hungarian artist Huntrezz Janos.
Janos will create four avatars symbolising who she would like to see in the metaverse. She is best known for creating augmented and virtual realities that transgress the oppressions of the physical world in relation to diversity and inclusion. Some of the characters to be created include a jewellery-laden basketball player – the digiballer – who stands for Black trans visibility, as well as a virtual therapist who works with patients in an ‘infinite zen garden’ where they meditate on clouds.
A Vibe Called Tech has also commissioned an essay by Williesha Morris on the issues facing the Black community in the metaverse, which include appropriation, misuse and financial discrimination. The essay will be accompanied by an illustration by digital artist Serwah Attafuah. As the metaverse continues to grow – a recent Bloomberg report estimates that companies will invest more than £650bn ($800bn, €738bn) in it by 2024 – questions about ethics and community bear more urgency. Adopting a people-first approach is important, as revealed in our Betterverse report.
France – Sustainably-minded fashion brand Pangaia has revealed its first Parisian location – a flagship pop-up space boasting an agile design and low environmental impact.
Pangaia commissioned Random Studio to design the semi-permanent space, located in the iconic Galeries Lafayette department store. The pop-up was conceived as a blueprint for the brand’s upcoming physical retail expansion. What sets it apart is a high adaptability, with a set-up that can be seamlessly replicated, scaled up or down, and adjusted depending on the location or the season. Each design feature can evolve alongside new collections – meaning that all visual merchandising elements can be retrofitted and re-used.
To reflect Pangaia’s commitment to textile innovation, Random Studio chose a lab aesthetic for the store, using display fixtures, clean-cut glass and aluminium. The centrepiece of the pop-up is the Innovation Table, a steel and glass cabinet displaying the journey of raw materials from the ground up and educating visitors on textiles.
Pangaia’s lab-like shop is only low-impact in terms of carbon footprint – the Hyperphysical Store’s educative, interactive and sensorial features elevate the shopping experience.
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