Meet Amber Jae Slooten, the designer behind the world’s first digital dress on the blockchain

This is the story of a fashion designer who decided not to make clothes. At least a physical one.

Instead, she helped revolutionize an industry seen as a major global polluter.You can change your style and identity in endlessly creative ways without impacting the planet’s resources. A hyper-realistic clothing world in digital space.

Meet Amber Jae Slooten, now 28, who founded Fabricant, the Dutch-based digital fashion house behind the design and sale of the world’s first digital-only dresses on the blockchain – iridescent.

“We waste only data and only use imagination.”

The world’s first digital dress, iridescence
Image Credit: Rainbow Colors

The mission of “The Fabricant” is similar. In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Slooten said: The whole world stopped because it sold for $9500 (almost Dh35,000). Everyone is like, “What are you paying for a dress that doesn’t exist?” ”

But in a world where we spend most of our time online, this could be the answer to digital self-expression. Need a new #OOTD or outfit of the day for social media? Choose a digital dress for your photo or avatar instead of a risky one-piece purchase. Even better, expect endless choices of style in games, custom Snapchat characters, Instagram, cruising in the metaverse, and all the new digital spaces we live in today, even video calls.

Slooten said: Even if millions of people see you wearing it online, do you need to have it in physical reality? No physical clothing required….”

Case in point, we’re doing a Zoom call and she’s wearing NFT (Non-fungible Token) earrings as a filter in a video from her latest collection. They’re shiny metal ones that hang almost up to your shoulders and move every time you tilt your head. increase.

Slooten said: And seeing me through a digital lens means I can wear digital items, right? This is how we see the future. We will all see things through digital lenses and glasses…”

What we don’t wear – For the next 50 years, we can still wear all the clothes on this planet without having to make physical clothes. , is the fact that this no longer works. Nothing gives us an answer to wanting to express ourselves, wanting to show our identity, but not having an impact on society. The planet it now has.

– Amber Jay Sloten

How can I wear a digital dress?

You own the NFT, and the dress is digitally rendered in your photo by the company you purchased it from.There are also digital “wearables” that can be used as filters in your videos, or as accessories for your digital avatar in the Metaverse space. I have. Read here to know what is NFT

She said, “We can still wear all the clothes on this planet without having to make physical clothes for the next 50 years using things that we don’t wear. What we have to bear is the fact that this no longer works, what gives us the answer to wanting to express ourselves, wanting to show our identity, but not having an impact on society. Nothing, the planet it has now.

It also opens the door to the world of fashion design for everyone. she said: I mean, how do you dress that version of yourself? Especially if you’re into fashion, you don’t have to launch a physical label, you can do it digitally. It is my wish for young designers to be able to express themselves and make a living with it, as we do. ”

Games, self-expression, college inspiration

Amber Jae Slooten Digital fashion designer and co-founder of Fabricant

Amber in the dress her mother sewed for her birthday.
Image Credits: Courtesy

Where did her journey begin? Growing up in Arnhem, a small city in the eastern Netherlands, her mother sewed many dresses. she says: I was so fascinated by identity and what it meant. ”

She was also a millennial kid on the cusp of the digital revolution. She also played virtual reality games such as SIMS, Second Life, and IMVU, where players created their own digital avatar of her, lived as a citizen in these worlds, and built a fulfilling life. , complete with family, work and daily life.

Characters from the virtual reality game IMVU –

She said, “In IMVU, I could change my avatar, dress it up, buy clothes, make my own clothes. I was actually downloading all sorts of weird hacks to create my looks.”

But when she was a fashion design student at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, her past games inspired her to first come up with the idea of ​​digital fashion design. “As a young designer, you think, ‘Oh, glamorous fashion is going to be great, it’s going to express yourself and make beautiful things. I realize there are serious implications in the way I treat them, such things have broken my reality….

“That’s when I started experimenting with digital fashion, because there was a minor in our school who was teaching me how to match clothes in 3D.” , I was able to see what it would look like when created. “When I first used this software, I remember being able to drape a digital fabric over it and bend it around the doll. I sell it to a cloth store, but I was able to create it in the digital realm…

“I remember thinking, why do we still need to make it in real life? Why can’t we put it digitally on a character or in a virtual space?”

become a digital fashion designer

Pursuing this field has been a great challenge. She faced laughter and disbelief at every turn. She said, “They said it’s ridiculous why would you do that…get your head off these VR glasses, it’s never going to happen…”

But she was adamant and went to her teacher about her final evaluation as a fashion student, which was a fashion show. We want to show you that this can be done without physically producing clothes. ”

She became the first person to graduate from college with a non-physical collection: a 3D fashion show in virtual reality.

For her 3D work, she worked with students in that department to use motion capture technology to record the model’s movements and simulate the clothing on it. “The design process is very different,” she says. “Creating the sculptural idea of ​​moving around the body and using digital fabrics to do that is very important.”

Presented at the graduation ceremony, the collection caught the eye of current Fabricant co-founder Kelly Murphy. He’s an expert in his 3D modeling, owns his own advertising studio, and was intrigued by the show. Later, I compared it to the transition from analog film to digital film. Digital film has made it possible for cell phone cameras to photograph each other. She considers herself lucky to have met the right people. In the future, everyone will be able to become a digital fashion designer. ”

Her vision for a new industry: Anyone can wear and design digital fashion

After collaborating on various projects, Slooten and Murphy launched ‘The Fabricant’ in the Netherlands in 2018.

As creative director, she designs among executive tasks. “Creating something in software or working with a team is so creative that you lose yourself endlessly. You can create anything.You can create your own reality.In the digital space It’s really scary sometimes because you start with this blank canvas kind of like there’s nothing you can’t do…. one of the things that we find very interesting is using NFTs You can design it over time, so you can not only make the same dress when it’s finished, but you can program it into the dress: within a month, change the color, change the shape.”

After releasing their first project as a free downloadable collection, they transitioned to ‘Iridescence’ and are now collaborating globally with companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Puma and Under Armor.

she says: And now people, of course, do. yeah i’ve heard about this. Kind of like these filters, right?”

They also launched Fabricant Studio, a space where anyone can design a digital fashion piece, wear it or mint it and sell it as an NFT. Slooten has noticed how people love the experience of choosing clothes, fabrics, and a custom digital look.

Slooten said: They understand that there are so many possibilities and that we can all create them together. ” They recently had a fashion show in Berlin, Germany. There, models in flesh-colored clothes walked down the runway and people watched on their cellphones. “People can scan her QR code with filters and see her wearing this digital item of hers…never before in person. But it worked really well.”

Who are the main consumers? Even young millennials, and he’s Generation Z, say the gaming and digital worlds are familiar spaces, Slooten said.

She adds: So basically you might have some very high quality pieces that are very comfortable in real life. ” Then you can freely experiment with your digital expression on all the platforms you use online.

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