Digital Fashion and Virtual Try-Ons

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Digital fashion refers to virtual clothing designed and rendered using computer graphics. These garments exist only in the digital realm, eliminating the need for physical production, materials, and shipping. Virtual try-on technology uses augmented reality (AR) to overlay digital garments onto a user’s image or video feed, allowing them to “try on” clothes virtually and visualize how they would look on their body.

Impact on climate action

Digital fashion and virtual try-ons in the textile and fashion industry significantly reduce carbon footprints by minimizing the need for physical garment production and transportation. This innovation encourages sustainable consumption patterns, decreases textile waste, and promotes eco-conscious choices among consumers, fostering a positive impact on climate action.


  • 3D Modeling and Design: Digital fashion relies on advanced 3D modeling and design software to create realistic and detailed virtual garments.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Virtual try-on technology leverages AR technology to seamlessly overlay digital garments onto a user’s image or video in real-time.
  • Computer Vision and Body Scanning: Some platforms utilize computer vision and body scanning technologies to create accurate digital representations of users’ bodies, enhancing the realism and accuracy of virtual try-ons.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI can be used to personalize digital fashion recommendations and create custom designs based on individual preferences and body types.
  • Blockchain for Digital Ownership: Blockchain technology can be used to create unique digital assets for virtual garments, establishing ownership and enabling the trade of digital fashion items.

TRL : 7-8

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Hyper-Realistic Digital Fabrics and Textures: Developing sophisticated algorithms and rendering techniques to create digital fabrics and textures that mimic the look and feel of real materials with exceptional accuracy.
  • Personalized Digital Avatars: Creating realistic and customizable digital avatars that represent users’ individual body shapes and features, enhancing the personalization and accuracy of virtual try-ons.
  • Virtual Fashion Shows and Events: Hosting immersive virtual fashion shows and events where designers can showcase their digital collections, reducing the environmental impact of traditional fashion events and expanding access to global audiences.
  • Integration with Social Media and Gaming Platforms: Integrating digital fashion and virtual try-ons into popular social media and gaming platforms, allowing users to express their style and personalize their avatars with virtual clothes.
  • Digital Fashion Marketplaces: Creating dedicated online marketplaces for buying, selling, and trading digital fashion items, establishing a new economy for virtual garments.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Advanced 3D Garment Modeling
  • Seamless Augmented Reality Integration
  • Precision Body Scanning Technology
  • AI-Driven Personalization
  • Blockchain Digital Ownership Solutions
  • Hyper-Realistic Fabric Rendering
  • Customizable Digital Avatars
  • Immersive Virtual Fashion Events
  • Global Access through Digital Shows
  • Social Media Fashion Integration
  • Gaming Platform Fashion Experience
  • Digital Fashion Trading Platforms
  • Virtual Garment Customization Tools
  • Interactive Virtual Wardrobes
  • Real-Time Virtual Try-On Experiences
  • Next-Gen Digital Fashion Marketplaces

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  • The Fabricant (Netherlands):
    • Technology Focus: The Fabricant specializes in creating digital fashion experiences using 3D modeling, animation, and virtual reality technologies. They offer virtual garments that users can try on digitally, eliminating the need for physical clothing.
    • Uniqueness: The Fabricant stands out for its avant-garde approach to fashion, blurring the lines between physical and digital realms. They offer unique, boundary-pushing designs that may not be feasible or practical in the physical world.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments could include fashion enthusiasts, digital influencers, gaming communities, and brands looking to experiment with innovative marketing strategies.
  • DressX (USA):
    • Technology Focus: DressX focuses on virtual try-on solutions for fashion brands, leveraging augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. They enable users to virtually try on digital versions of clothing items in real-time using their smartphones or other devices.
    • Uniqueness: DressX is unique in its approach to democratizing fashion, making high-end and designer clothing accessible to a wider audience through digital means. They offer a vast virtual wardrobe with options for customization and personalization.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments may include online shoppers, fashion retailers, social media influencers, and brands seeking innovative ways to engage with customers and drive sales.
  • Tribute Brand (Sweden):
    • Technology Focus: Tribute Brand focuses on merging fashion with technology to create interactive and immersive experiences. Their virtual try-on solutions may incorporate features like body scanning, AI-driven recommendations, and realistic rendering to enhance the user experience.
    • Uniqueness: Tribute Brand could be unique in its emphasis on sustainability and ethical fashion practices, offering digital alternatives to traditional clothing consumption. They may also collaborate with independent designers and artists to create exclusive digital collections.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments might include eco-conscious consumers, fashion-forward individuals, sustainable brands, and organizations looking to reduce their carbon footprint while staying fashionable.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  • London College of Fashion (UK):
    • Technology Enhancements: Researchers at the London College of Fashion are pioneering the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to create immersive digital fashion experiences. They are developing advanced 3D modeling and simulation tools that allow designers to visualize and prototype low-carbon textile designs in virtual environments.
    • Uniqueness of Research: The London College of Fashion’s approach involves a blend of fashion design expertise and cutting-edge digital technology. By combining traditional craftsmanship with digital innovation, they are redefining the boundaries of sustainable fashion and exploring new forms of creative expression.
    • End-use Applications: The research at the London College of Fashion has implications for various stakeholders in the fashion industry, including designers, retailers, and consumers. Virtual try-on platforms enable customers to explore and personalize low-carbon textile products online, reducing the need for physical prototypes and minimizing waste in the design process.
  • Parsons School of Design (USA):
    • Technology Enhancements: Parsons School of Design is at the forefront of developing interactive digital platforms for virtual fashion design and try-on experiences. They are leveraging advanced computer graphics and simulation techniques to create lifelike virtual garments that can be customized and visualized in real-time.
    • Uniqueness of Research: The research at Parsons School of Design emphasizes user-centered design principles and human-computer interaction techniques. By engaging users in the design process through virtual try-ons and feedback mechanisms, they are empowering consumers to co-create low-carbon textile products that meet their individual needs and preferences.
    • End-use Applications: The innovative technologies developed at Parsons School of Design have applications across the fashion supply chain, from design and manufacturing to retail and marketing. Virtual try-on experiences enhance the online shopping experience, enabling customers to make informed purchasing decisions and reducing the environmental footprint of traditional retail operations.
  • RMIT University (Australia):
    • Technology Enhancements: Researchers at RMIT University are exploring the use of 3D scanning and body modeling techniques to create accurate digital avatars for virtual try-on applications. They are developing algorithms to simulate the draping and fit of low-carbon textile garments on virtual bodies, enabling customers to visualize how the garments will look and feel before making a purchase.
    • Uniqueness of Research: RMIT University’s research integrates principles of sustainability and digital innovation into the fashion design process. They are exploring novel materials and manufacturing techniques to create low-carbon textile products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
    • End-use Applications: The research at RMIT University has implications for both online and offline retail channels. Virtual try-on technologies enable customers to explore and interact with low-carbon textile products in virtual environments, while also facilitating more sustainable production and distribution practices in the fashion industry.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Digital fashion and virtual try-ons are rapidly moving from concept to reality, with commercial applications emerging across various segments of the fashion industry:

  • Luxury Brands: Luxury brands like Gucci and Balenciaga have experimented with digital-only collections and AR experiences, offering exclusive and innovative ways for consumers to engage with their brands.
  • Fast Fashion Retailers: Fast fashion retailers like H&M and Zara are incorporating virtual try-on tools on their websites and mobile apps, enhancing the online shopping experience and providing customers with more accurate fit information.
  • Gaming and Social Media Platforms: Digital fashion is becoming increasingly integrated into gaming and social media platforms, with users able to customize their avatars with virtual clothes and express their personal style in virtual worlds.