Metaverse, Traceability And Cybersecurity In Discussion – WWD

FLORENCE— During the first day of the two-day eP 2022 Summit held on May 4 at Stazione Leopolda in Florence (for the first time), participating brands and companies discussed how to effectively improve the supply chain using circular and advanced technologies, and also how to create virtual spaces in the metaverse in a relevant and more engaging way.

Over the past year, the Metaverse has become a great addition for fashion brands to show off their collections, interact with customers, and offer exclusive collaborations only available in the virtual world. For example, Gucci has created a Gucci Garden in the Roblox gaming platform. In January, Nike introduced the digital Nikeland experience to its New York store on Fifth Avenue. Estée Lauder designed a metaverse space on Decentraland where users could receive wearable NFTs of the Advanced Night Repair product.

But as many users noticed, the experiences — especially during Metaverse Fashion Week, held March 24-27 on the Decentraland gaming platform — were less exciting and sometimes even confusing, according to Tommaso. Nervegna, head of metaverse strategy at Accenture.

Nervegna stressed at the summit that brands need to be careful about how they act in a virtual world, and that “fashion players need to act better, not in a different way,” he said. Nervegna also believes that over the next year, “brands will need to be more consistent and relevant in their use of the metaverse and digital platforms.”

Umberto Cicognini, head of artistic direction at Accenture, added that the basic tenets of creating a virtual world are “build people-centered ideas, build for what exists today, always be consistent and embrace perpetual exploration”.

The 2022 edition of the eP summit was held in Florence at the Stazione Leopolda.
Image Courtesy

For many brands, using the metaverse as a means for users to enjoy the virtual experience has proven to be a daunting task.

Stefano Righetti, CEO of Hyphen-Italia, said: “If brands develop and enrich each stage of the production chain with 3D and NFT, it will be much easier to create a project in the metaverse.

Hyphen is a leading company in the digital transformation of the world of luxury and fashion, aiming to condense each stage of production from a shoot or a virtual showroom or an e-tailer to post-production in a only place. Hyphen launched the Hyphen truck for the first time, which will be parked inside the exhibition area for the duration of the summit. “It’s the first digital content factory on wheels,” as the CEO introduced.

Thanks to a sophisticated hydraulic system, the truck extends its surface to accommodate a mobile production studio. Garments and accessories are photographed 360 degrees on a rotating mannequin and during post-production everyone from the styling department to the photography team can follow it live as the computers use Chalco BrandLife software. Thanks to AI, computers recognize the exact garment, its exact measurements and colors, which optimizes time, logistics and costs. The truck is powered by solar energy and equipped with all current market standards in terms of connectivity that make it autonomous and able to operate anywhere.

The new Hyphen truck developed by Hyphen

The new Hyphen truck developed by Hyphen.
Courtesy Image

Hyphen has already collaborated with major brands like Versace, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Canali, Loro Piana, MaxMara and Diesel to create virtual showrooms, which have become useful for brands during the pandemic, as buyers could not physically see the collections. Going forward, the Italian tech company plans to work with fast fashion brands to make their production processes more sustainable.

The business is growing at a rapid pace. In 2021, Hyphen’s revenue was 12.5 million euros with a growth of 14.6%, and in 2022 the company expects to report revenues of 15 million euros. It has 140 employees and, in 2021 alone, opened offices in Affi and Bergamo, Italy; London; New York; Paris and Lugano, Switzerland

Thanks to its adaptability, the truck is not only able to do simple clean photo shoots for virtual showrooms or e-shops, but also more creative shoots, changing the background, the lights or adding accessories — which are often used by brands for their social channels. Hyphen is now venturing into the metaverse, trying to help brands create better virtual experiences.

Inside the Hyphen truck developed by Hyphen

Inside the Hyphen truck developed by Hyphen.
Courtesy Image

“We want to provoke the fashion industry…with our little truck we can do anything,” Righetti said.

Hyphen posed a question that was widely debated at the summit: how can fashion brands become more functional and efficient without neglecting sustainability, traceability and cybersecurity?

Elena Verri, ICT director of Italian leather goods brand Borbonese, is starting to figure out how to do it with the help of Paolo Caffagni, Marketing Director of BrandUp Solutions.

“Our [signature] The OP pattern is the most copied and reproduced design, so we wanted to find a way to make our designs traceable and overcome the gray market,” said Verri. Thanks to the help of BrandUp, Borbonese was able to develop an NFC tag, which will be positioned on each bag to certify the authenticity of the article and, above all, to tell the story of the production from start to finish. “Sustainability is at the heart of our brand and, thanks to this technology, we are able to show our production methods, which are above all Made in Italy.”

Similar to Borbonese, Pinko is also investing in blockchains and an integrated platform called “Product Experience Management,” or PXM. In collaboration with Lectra, which specializes in tailor-made technologies facilitating the digital transformation of companies in the fashion sector, Pinko was able to manage the product lifecycle using in-cloud methods.

Marco Ruffa, Director of Digital Transformation at Pinko, said: “For us, this means putting a value of cooperation and fluidity in our supply chain.

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Metaverse, Traceability And Cybersecurity In Discussion – WWD

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