The first shopping mall, dedicated mainly to fashion is opening in the metaverse. Called Avatly, this digital mall will allow our virtual counterparts to indulge in highly realistic shopping sessions in order to fill their closets with digital clothing. And, if they have some money left over, they might even buy you one or two real-world clothing items. This new shopping destination spans 300,000 (virtual) square meters, and spread over three (virtual) floors, this new kind of shopping mall, mainly dedicated to fashion.

A diamond in the tropics

The building takes the form of a giant diamond, symbolizing, according to its founders, "independence, wealth and exclusivity." The mall is set in the middle of an island in the tropics. Built with the Unreal Engine 5 creation tool, and based on the Binance Smart Chain blockchain, this shopping mall of the future already promises a host of activities and applications, even though it is still in its early stages.

"Avatly will provide the best real-time 3D experience and avatar solutions, taking the shopping experience into a completely new dimension. Avatly will also integrate Metaverse 3D boutiques with e-commerce, dedicated to premium fashion brands and designers," reads the website dedicated to this new virtual fashion hotspot. Concretely, visitors will simply be able to enter a store to visualize a brand’s contents, and to buy products directly on its e-store, whether these be virtual or real-world clothes.

Shopping goes hybrid

Thanks to a simple application, users will first be able to create their avatar(s), which the company promises will be "ultra-realistic," before accessing a wide range of clothing and accessory collections. Not content with browsing, users will be able to try on items virtually before buying them (or not) in the various Avatly spaces and even on 3D catwalks. Last but not least, they will be able to buy clothes in two versions, in 3D for virtual use or in physical form via integrated traditional e-commerce platforms.

The mall is also expected to feature entertainment areas, including fashion shows and virtual reality parties, catering for those who less keen on shopping — or waiting tirelessly for avatars capable of spending hours locked in a fitting room. It remains to be seen whether fashion brands — as well as users — are ready to take the plunge.