Next big thing in fashion: Wearing an outfit that does not exist

The COVID pandemic and environmental concerns have fuelled the next big trend in fashion.

Do you know that manufacturing of clothes contributes to fresh water scarcity?

Do you want to wear an outfit that doesn’t exist?

Yes, you read that right. We are talking about the next big thing in fashion.

There is a whole new world which has nothing to do with clothes and it’s called Digital Fashion.

With everything going online and 3D, digital fashion stores are tapping into a growing market of digitally generated outfits that stores photoshop onto a customer’s photos or videos to be posted onto Instagram and elsewhere.

So, you can dress up your online avatar in Chanel and Alexander McQueen, no matter what you may be wearing in reality at that point of time. Sweatpants?

Taking the leap of faith was British influencer Loftus, who last month gave up her job with a fashion consultancy to devote herself full-time to her website, This Outfit Does Not Exist.

According to a media report, “her Instagram shows the potential of virtual clothing that doesn’t need to obey the laws of physics – from a shimmering silver liquid pant suit with tentacles, to a wobbling pink creation with lasers firing out of her bustier. ‘Digital is coming to overtake physical. Kids are asking each other: ‘What skin did you have in this game yesterday?’”.

AFP reported that Brazilian model and influencer Isabelle Boemeke as an avid buyer of digital outfits. Online, she is known as Isodope and merges high fashion with a serious commitment to clean energy and environmental activism. “Every brand in the future will be on board with digital fashion,” DressX co-founder Daria Shapovalova was quoted as saying.

“You don’t necessarily need physicality to experience the thrill of wearing an extraordinary garment,” said Michaela Larosse, of The Fabricant, which sold the first ever digital-only dress in May 2019 for $9,500, according to the AFP report.

This Outfit Does Not Exist/Daniella Loftus

What fuelled the trend of non-existent clothes recently is the COVID pandemic and environmental concerns, as the fashion industry is a huge source of waste. “I know many women who buy an outfit, wear it once for a single photo and never again. They could reduce consumption and waste by using digital fashion for a few of those posts,” Boemeke reportedly said, while Loftus explained that in the aftermath of the pandemic “people were stuck at home with nothing to do. They had nowhere to wear those beautiful clothes”.

As many as 87 per cent of real clothes produced each year reportedly end up in landfills or incinerators, and manufacturing also contributes to fresh water scarcity. And these environmental consequences are what sustainable fashion has been trying to combat for years. 

So, no surprises that digital fashion has taken off the way it has. Yet, virtual models and influencers are sure that the trend is not yet for everyone.

Also read: Before Facebook outage, whistleblower spilled beans on ‘dangerous algorithms’