Imagine a world where you can change the people you see in front of you, just by putting on a pair of glasses.
Everyone is all of a sudden wearing different clothing; some have different coloured jackets, while others have tshirts with intricate designs and textured fabrics.
Each person is wearing something unique, but they all have one thing in common - you can’t see those items unless they are wearing your glasses.
This is because the glasses are augmented reality (AR) enabled - and the clothing they are wearing is from a digital fashion line.
That’s the vision of the future that the UK’s leading Augmented Reality designer, Doddz, sees.
Doddz, whose real name is Andy Evans, is an AR artist who has created interactive fashion for some big names including Dior and Adidas. The 28-year-old has also just launched his very own digital fashion label called Defy.
“Brands will have to adapt or they will die”
Doddz told NationalWorld: “We are slowly moving towards a digital future. All tech companies are creating AR, for example virtual try on services, and the internet is getting quicker, so that will mean we have these new consumer devices.
“The landscape is changing and brands will have to adapt or they will die. In the future, if we’re all wearing glasses that can put digital outfits on us then brands will need to react.
“It’s impossible to say that it’s not happening. It’s difficult to argue we’re not going to be wearing devices of some sort. We’re already wearing smart watches and listening to music through bluetooth earphones, so we’re already two thirds of the way there.
“We just need the visual part and then brands will have to work in that space so for any creative that’s really exciting.”
“People care about what they look like online”
Doddz, an artist with a self-proclaimed love of fashion, has taken the lead in that digital fashion future by creating a line of digital fashion clothing himself.
For those who are wondering just what digital clothing is, it’s virtual 3D clothing designed for human and digital avatars.
Doddz explained that it’s “clothes that don’t exist that you can wear either in a photo or a video”.
Doddz’s fashion brand, Defy, has just launched in partnership with Snapchat - and his designs have been showcased at a full digital fashion show.
He said: “The designs that I’m making, people can buy them and wear them digitally. There’s no physical clothes but you can wear them.
“You have two options; you upload a photo and you then get it back wearing a digital garment or there’s a video version which would be made using Snapchat because they have the best body tracking software.
“Digital clothing is for those who care about their online presence, and every brand is now waking up to the fact people care about what they look like online.”
“It can help solve some problems with the fashion industry”
As well as being aimed at people who like to be wearing a brand new outfit in every social media post, Defy was also created with sustainability in mind.
Doddz said: “9% of fashion items bought in UK are returned because they are only worn once, according to research by Barclays bank.
“Digital fashion can help solve some problems with the fashion industry, like around issues with throw away fashion. It’s good for creatives to offer other options for people, but there haven’t been any previously.”
The great news is that digital fashion that doesn’t physically exist cannot be returned or thrown away, so it helps brands and the environment.
Doddz said: “If you can minimise returns and maximise relationships it’s a no brainer from a business perspective.
“From a consumer perspective, people want things that are sustainable. Not only that, digital fashion is very inclusive, it fits everyone and it’s for every gender.”
Not only that, it’s much quicker and easier to adapt a digital fashion item to suit an individual customer’s needs, and this further helps to reduce costs for a brand and also helps to tackle waste culture as items are made to customer demand.
Doddz said: “It’s about a level of personalization. It’s easier for me to change the colour of an item rather than buying a new textile. For me, that’s two clicks of a button. That one silhouette for an item can remain the same but the textile or the colour might change. Then that’s a way for you to say you have the only one of a certain item because it’s how you’ve requested it.”
“It’s picked up steam beyond my expectations.”
Doddz, who is originally from the Midlands, hopes his fashion line will also educate people about AR.
“My role as an artist is that my artwork should act as an education of what AR is, that’s as important as making cool designs.
“Defy picked up steam beyond my expectations, and it made me think this is clearly something that has interest.
“There’s still a lot of work to do with Defy but it’s been great. In some ways, it’s the same as every other brand, it’s a streetwear clothing brand - though this is screenwear. I’d like to grow it, and it is open to collaboration with other brands and celebrities and so on.
“I’d like to make artwork and have the subject wearing items that can then be purchased through Defy too, but it will all take time. I’m an incredibly impatient person so anyone who knows me will know I’m surprised it says it will take time!”
And what about the name Defy, where does that come from?
Doddz said: “My artist name, Doddz, stood for defy the odds, so it’s all about having a positive outlook.
“It’s the idea that the digital clothes I’m creating are defying odds because they are not there in front of you and then you are defying convention by weaning them.”
For more information about Doddz, and to buy items of virtual clothing from Defy, you can visit Doddz’s official website.