Technology is making life easier and better for us, but there are certain concerns that arise from this.
One is the concern of technology replacing human interactions, as seen in areas like fashion runways and shows.
With the coronavirus pandemic and effects that took the world by surprise, people made the distinction between essential and non-essential products.
Fashion-related items got placed as non-essential and given a back seat.
Interactions between fashion brands and customers have revolved around social media, company apps, or websites.
Here, not only are customers from around the world able to shop fashion items, businesses have got placed on a global market scale as a result.
With fashion runway show on hold, dwindling sales and the future looking uncertain in the industry, due to the coronavirus, things took a turn, when Congolese designer and founder of Hanifa, Anifa Mvuemba, launched a new line, using 3D runway models on Instagram Live.
While it is easy to assume that, the move got sparked by the Covid-19 lockdown, Mvuemba, in an interview with Dezeen Magazine, explained that she had been using virtual figures in her work for quite some time.
The figures served as mockups, during the brand’s sampling process.
“When the stay home orders from Covid-19 suddenly happened, I had already been working on these creations and saw it as an opportunity to innovate and inspire, despite the restrictions,” she stated.
3D Runway Models Explained
Kay Ugwuede, in an article for Techcabal, explained the process of creating 3D models.
He wrote that, the process begins with creating them, using software like Maya, or ZBrush.
After the models are created, using human fashion models, they are stripped and rigged, to give them a skeletal framework, to enable movement.
Once done, the models are animated and transferred to another software, like the Marvelous Designer.
Here, the modeller designs and simulates movement, in the styles, so that it flows naturally with the movements of the models.
After this, the design is exported to software like 3ds Max, or Blender, where a runway, lighting and other aesthetic elements are added.
Finally, the project gets rendered into a video, or an image.
Implication of Virtual Runways
While there are no data for the amount spent on fashion runways across Africa, we can infer from the figure given by American designer, Christian Siriano, in an article by Vogue Business.
According to the designer, hosting a show at New York Fashion Week can cost anywhere from $125,000, to upwards of $300,000, – excluding prices of samples.
While designers say that, shows are essential for communicating a brand’s vision, evaluating the return on investment is difficult.
Of course, this does not mean that, virtual runways come at no cost, but when compared to the amount spent on physical runways, it will not come as a surprise, if brands opt for the former.
Since the lockdown, fashion brands have taken to social media to showcase. This has been cost-effective.
So are 3D models on the fashion runway, considering how Anifa has stated plans to incorporate them into the company’s strategy.
This is beside the point that, most high-profile pieces from fashion shows, occasionally find their way into museums, are sold to benefit a charity or packed carefully in a store.
Human Interaction Concern
The way humans interact with each other have been radically altered by technology, seeing how one of the major impacts of technology is the optimization of communication systems.
Embracing virtual fashion runway shows could further add to the concern of human interaction and technology.
We cannot, however, deny that these alterations in human communication have both good and bad consequences, hence, the question is open-ended, as we, also cannot deny the many benefits technology affords us.
Featured Image: model.com
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