Could the Future of Fashion Be Virtual? – The Cut

By on January 18, 2020

Sometimes it’s not that hard to imagine the technology of the future (realistic sex robots don’t require that much explanation), but how do you begin to describe a fashion brand that exists almost entirely online, as a form of augmented reality? Ten years ago, that idea would have seemed bizarre. But now plenty of people are using face filters on Instagram and following fashion influencers who don’t exist off the platform; even big luxury brands like Dior are getting in on the action. In an era of digital exploration, Happy99 has been quietly leading the way for clothing that can only be found on social media.

Artists Nathalie Nguyen and Dominic Lopez started their brand out of creative thirst and necessity. Their original plan was to make physical shoes, but they discovered that manufacturing shoes would be a lot more difficult and expensive than they expected, with molds for each shoe costing around $2,000. “We didn’t want to let this stop us from designing shoes so we decided to use 3-D programs to actualize our ideas,” Nguyen told the Cut. After they posted just two designs on Instagram, they started getting emails from stylists for celebrities like Grimes and Lady Gaga, seeking to collaborate.

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