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The BoF Podcast | Nick Knight on Why the Metaverse Is Fashion’s Next Frontier

The pioneering digital image-maker speaks to BoF’s Imran Amed about the creative potential the metaverse unlocks for fashion.
Nick Knight NFTs
(SHOWstudio)

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Background:

The pandemic pushed the fashion industry to step out of its comfort zone and embrace new media for showcasing design and creativity. But while much of the industry has returned to in-person shoots and events once Covid restrictions were lifted, the respected image-maker Nick Knight believes this is only the beginning of the next great wave of digital innovation in the fashion industry. Virtual worlds, he added, will yet again bring digital innovation to the forefront of society.

“So what are the possibilities? Let’s talk about this. Let’s actually look at this,” says Knight.

Knight has recently launched ikon-1 NFTs in collaboration with model and creator Jazzelle. By creating digital renders, which act as collectable works of art, Knight believes fashion creativity can shift to this new medium. Those who look to the past risk falling behind.

This week on The BoF Podcast, founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed speaks with Knight about the evolution of image creation and why digital fashion will remain important in the post-pandemic era.

Key Insights:

  • Knight believes that collaborative creation in the digital world will allow more autonomy for models authorising their own looks as opposed to being a “blank canvas.” “I wanted to put [models] in the creative middle… so they are authorising, coming up with creating their own looks for me rather than just imposing on them,” says Knight. “It was important to change that relationship.”
  • The metaverse will require new ways of working rather than developing existing methods of image creation in the physical world. “I think we are re-learning a whole bunch of things which you can’t just take exactly what we do in the real world,” he says. “And that is not necessarily the best thing to do in a space, which is a virtual space [where] so many more things are possible.”
  • Knight believes the idea of destabilisation is inherent to the fashion industry. “There is a natural feeling of destabilisation [with the metaverse], but surely that’s what fashion is about, it’s about showing people things that they previously had not seen and previously had not desired, but actually do want,” says Knight.
  • Knight thinks now is the time for creatives to forge a new “civilisation step” and let creativity rule the metaverse. “I want artists to create the metaverse because I think we do have a chance, a utopian chance, to create a better civilisation in the metaverse, which isn’t shaped by power, greed and money.”

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