The New York-based fashion just launched its first-ever hybrid physical-digital clothing collection for Web3, titled Science of Dreams. It was recently presented at the Samsung 837 flagship store in New York’s Meatpacking district, and also digitally on vSpace via a high-concept virtual gallery.
This also marks the first time the brand is launching augmented reality garments with Snapchat and metaverse wearables with Decentraland. Kaimin is partnering with GameStop NFT as well to launch Science of Dreams NFTs, including 3D animation films and images that Kaimin created with Berlin digital artist Helmut Breineder.
"I truly believe we’re already living in-between realities and this will only develop in the future," Kaimin designer Kyungah Min tells PAPER. "Anyone with a smartphone is already a cyborg; augmented reality and holograms have already reached parity with sci-fi movies we deemed unbelieved just a few years ago."
The collection will be traveling to Miami, London and Seoul, and offers a peek into Kaimin's work developing a creator-empowering Web3 ecosystem called NGEN, which bridges the IRL and URL for artist collaborations, phygital art collectables, gamified v-commerce and more.
Below, the designer talks all things URL-IRL and launching her first meta couture collection.
Why was this Meta Couture Collection a logical next step for you?
Since inception in 2014, Kaimin has lived between the physical and the virtual worlds, utilizing live VR performances and digital art for its IRL runway shows and visual content. We’ve always embraced the digital realm for its unbound creativity — not restricted by physical limitations — which allows us to crystalize the Kaimin DNA and vision by uniting our striking IRL fashion designs with surreal visuals for a high-concept, otherworldly experience. We love how the digital realm affords greater access for all.
What drew you to the anime work of artist MITSUME?
MITSUME is a highly-respected artist with a distinct visual approach to manga anime as well as a unique technique. All digital artworks are created using only a computer mouse, which is mind-boggling when you see it live. I have a special affinity with anime and MITUSME’s work is a powerful confluence of the cute, the fun and the sexy. We wanted to bring it all together with tech and Web3 to celebrate youth and street culture, which we both are influenced by.
What was it like to launch AR garments with Snapchat and metaverse wearables with Decentraland and NFTs with GameStop?
Creating digitally is extremely freeing and fun — some of our ideas just wouldn’t be possible in the real world.
We wanted to create a comprehensive Meta Couture Web3 project and partnered with leaders in each category we touched, with Samsung and metaverse company vSpace being instrumental to materializing our cross-reality vision and GameStop, Polygon, and MoonPay officially supporting our mission to promote Web3 adoption.
We utilized all the interactive tech at the Samsung 837 flagship store in New York to create the KAIMIN x MITSUME universe, where fashion models presented our IRL collection while the IMAX-sized screen behind them displayed highly-stylized CGI films of the equivalent digital garments adorned by androgenous alien avatars on a different planet. The 6 unique 3D films are available as a 1-of-1 digital collectables on SuperRare and the special digital collection of 42 corresponding CGI images is available on GameStop NFT.
vSpace created a custom metaverse space and gorgeous virtual art installation with the surreal theme carried over from the 6 CGI films. It’s really easy, it just pops up in your browser and you can view all the Science of Dreams digital art as well as the replay of the livestream from the IRL fashion show.
Why is it so important for you to bridge the IRL and URL worlds?
Full virtual reality will likely take some time to reach mass adoption and this cross-reality lifestyle will dominate for a while, so being physical-only or digital-only will limit your opportunities. You need to master both domains and for Kaimin that means that a single collection can have you shining in your intricate couture garment at a gala and enjoying time with family in your plush hoodie at home, while you stun your friends anywhere in the world with a gorgeously rendered avatar wearable or your own beautiful IRL self in an AR garment.
Immersive experiences like virtual spaces, digital wearables, and augmented realty allow fans to interact with and try on the otherwise less-accessible KAIMIN designs, be it a collection straight off the runway or one of the brand’s iconic archive pieces that have been worn by various stars. In a world where everything mixes and intertwines, Kaimin has a vision for infinite cross-functional, cross-domain collaborations with artists, brands, industries that involve both physical goods and experiences and their virtual counterparts. We want to engage our community with diversity that reaches far beyond fashion.
Photos courtesy of Kaimin
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