Fashion school ESMOD trains in digital fashion with first class Meta-Wear

(ETX Daily Up) – ESMOD, the world’s oldest fashion school, will offer a Meta-Wear class dedicated to digital fashion design from the beginning of the next school year. Véronique Beaumont, its General Manager, explains to us why this training is so important to future generations of innovators, who will now be able to reconcile craftsmanship with new knowledge and technologies. What defines the future of fashion.

Why are we opening the Meta-Wear category for digital fashion design?
It was important to meet the expectations of the new generation of students, but also to adapt to changes in the fashion industry. We’ve done research on this issue, and realize it’s important to strengthen our digital software training. It’s not entirely new, because we already had a partnership with Lectra for training that was more related to model making and product development, including everything around manufacturing, and we’ve already tested the Clo3D software that allows for a digital avatar. We decided first to develop Clo3D training courses, then the metaverse appeared… One of our speakers, Fabrice Jonas, founder of MyFashionTech, advised us to go ahead and provide real lessons for training in these new developments. We’re really in the process of adapting to the new craft of metaverse, but still maintaining this respect for tradition and knowledge, which are key to fashion.

Is it just about learning how to create digital fashion?
There will obviously be product creation, but also an approach to the entire NFT and cryptocurrency environment. However, it will always be a matter of paying the financial side. We really believe that these new virtual worlds will mainly be used to highlight the brands’ most classic products. There is an obvious marketing aspect, and that’s a good thing because we’re trying to meet the expectations of a new generation that wants to be a hybrid. She no longer wanted only to be called a craftswoman, but also an entrepreneur. This is a generation that wants to start doing things earlier and sooner.

Who is this new course for?
The Meta-Wear class will be targeting second year students, because we totally want to keep learning the physical basics in first year. It is an adjustment of our teaching method between ESMOD’s historical traditional learning about creativity and technology methods, and digital practice. From next September, this new internship will take care of two semesters in the second year, but of course students will always follow the classic program in parallel. We will go a little further to train them for new occupations. We want to allow them to work in other sectors like gaming, as this aligns with recruiters’ demand for new profiles for metaverse designers or digital fashion designers, for example.

Do you have to have an affinity with gaming today to become a fashion designer?
No I do not think. It is simply diversity in our sector. The metaverse phenomenon is very real, but ironically I have more and more requests from my students for craftsmanship and knowledge. There is tradition on the one hand and modernity on the other. One will not replace the other, they are complementary. Gaming is a very interesting field, which is why we will incorporate it into our teaching methods, but creativity is synonymous with emotion and touch, and this remains essential. There is no denying the DNA of ESMOD, which still knows how to make a physical product, but to create bridges between physical fashion and digital fashion.

In terms of learning, how is digital fashion different from physical fashion?
Digital fashion is very attractive in terms of communication and perception. Learning is very difficult today, if only to get students’ attention. We realized that digital fashion was much more flexible and creative in their eyes, because it goes much faster than physical fashion. But that’s also why the two complement each other, and for us there’s no doubt about switching completely to digital. Some students are not interested in the Meta-Wear class and prefer to create workshops for technical knowledge or sewing. We are based on the metaverse, but as a complement to the classic software. We will also soon offer a short metaverse program, in association with DressX, for ESMOD alumni and professional profiles wishing to develop skills in digital creation.

Could this training become necessary for aspiring fashion designers?
It all depends on the orientations the students choose. Digital and physical fashion can coexist perfectly so that everyone can do whatever they like. At the end of the 1960s, some predicted the end of haute couture due to the release of ready-to-wear, and apparently this never happened, just as ‘no sex’ never happened. It does not replace a male or female specialty. . Make no mistake, this is heresy. This does not mean that they will not stand the test of time, but that they will not replace the DNA of fashion. On the other hand, it allows you to always be more creative.

Fashion players are starting to experiment with the different possibilities of metaverses through digital fashion kits and NFTs, but aren’t they far ahead in terms of uses?
I think the industry is already advanced, but that’s normal because the new generation is pushing it today. The fashion industry has lived to the rhythm of this generation for several years. It is driven by highly connected and innovative influencers. Everything is changing very quickly, but there may actually be a gap with all the consumers who don’t necessarily look like this innovative and connected generation. It often starts this way. Just take a look at eco-friendly fashion, which 10 years ago was of no interest to anyone, and which is now at the heart of people’s concerns. In fashion, desirability and attractiveness are two very important concepts, so the industry must stay ahead.

Do you see digital fashion as tomorrow’s luxury or an eco-friendly alternative to classic fashion?
This is a difficult question. I really think digital fashion will sell more physical products. Everyone participates, big fashion groups love fast fashion, and this is not for nothing. It’s ultimately a new way of communicating, and it’s closer to marketing than creativity. It’s great to be able to wear an avatar, but we will not spend all our time in virtual worlds … so we will always have to buy physical clothes, and pay attention to the origin, materials and methods of manufacture. Digital fashion will make it possible to experiment with clothes to see if a particular piece is the right fit. As for luxury, you should be in tune with your time, this is obvious, but you should not forget about the basics of luxury, which are the precious, the taste of exception, rarity. This is somewhat the case with the metaverse currently, but if it becomes more democratic, the situation could change. In that sense, I don’t think digital fashion is the future of luxury.

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