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Q&A with Sofia Martellini: The digital future aesthetic

At Start by WGSN we forecast timely trends and concepts that are emerging across the globe. We provide trends and major themes that drive fashion collections, essential items, prints, materials and more.

One of the most significant themes coming to the fore in the fashion industry is the digital future, and today, our content lead, Sofia Martellini, walks us through them: “As we increasingly spend time connecting to others through screens, the physical and digital world become more intrinsic, with the barrier between what is material and virtual not mattering any more. Digital fashion becomes a real possibility – not only as a new way of expression but also as a sustainable solution for disposable clothes.”

What this Aesthetic is about?

“This aesthetic is all about reimagining fashion for the future. As we spend more and more time on-screen and connecting to people online, it doesn’t really matter any more what's virtual and what’s material, especially when it comes to fashion. But this will go beyond the digital clothes and the avatars that we increasingly see out there, this will actually influence material items as well; we can see many different ways in which this will be applied.”

How designers can apply this trend to their collection?

“This will have an impact on physical clothes. We see many high-shine metallics, iridescent materials, and vibrant colors with saturated hues to them. These colors are used to create this digital virtual appeal and will be very much used in the abstract prints. You can see that already coming to life on the latest Acne catwalk.”

It is inspired in retrofuturism?

“Not exactly. The drive is very similar: to look to the future and see this as inspiration for the aesthetic, but we are not looking at a specific decade; we are actually creating something new.”

How ethics and sustainability be supported by digital fashion futures?

“One of the more extraordinary digital fashion appeals is also a sustainable option, especially when it comes to fast fashion. We still see mass consumption, disposable clothes, and considering that for many people, consuming clothes is very connected to social media and ‘what I post’, you won’t actually need them. You can have virtual clothes that change every day and that have much less impact on the environment.

“Of course, this will also impact jobs, creating new professions such as digital tailor and even 3D designers, creating a significant shift in the industry. But clearly it won’t happen overnight.”

Want to see how this aesthetic looks like? Join us now and check our moodboard to discover what items this major trend is driving.


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