Meet Special Items — the luxury virtual fashion marketplace that digitizes designer pieces in 3D with Cappasity
The Cappasity team is happy to share that our 3D digitizing solution has been chosen by Special Items, the luxury digital fashion marketplace showcasing the most prestigious digital fashion designers from across the world. With Cappasity, the platform creates 3D visuals of virtual fashion pieces to demonstrate them in a fully interactive format. The Cappasity team spoke to Britt Williams, the founder and Creative Director of Special Items, and she kindly shared her experience in digital fashion and her thoughts on how it can revolutionize the industry.
Britt Williams in Short Goddess Jumpsuit by Yazata 3D
How did you come up with the idea of creating a luxury digital fashion marketplace?
Special Items was born out of a New Year’s resolution to reduce my environmental impact. I stopped buying new clothing in November 2021 as a challenge to better care for my current clothes — by washing them responsibly, learning how to fix small rips, tears, etc, and just wanting to get back to wearing clothing as a utility that provide function. (I thank the skateboarding community and my time at Thom Browne and The Row for teaching me that!)
But, as an ex-New Yorker and die-hard fashion kid, I found I was bored with styling all my utility clothing again and again. Then, someone sent me The Fabricant and I fell in love. I started playing with phygital styling and it snowballed. Then, as an avid customer of digital fashion, I noticed there was a gap between the quality of pieces the designers were creating and the platforms they were on. I felt there really wasn’t a platform that was elevating the works and styling them the way I felt they deserved — or pushing the narrative of wearability of these pieces.
I started talking to designers to hear about their creative process, learn their construction methods, and to better understand the time that is put into these works of art. I realized that curating a luxury digital marketplace could amplify the works of these insanely talented creatives while also helping my mission to eradicate fast fashion as a whole.
What does your marketplace look like? What designers do you already work with?
We are all into space at Special Items — we are in love with 60s Nasa, SpaceX, Star Trek, and The Jetsons. Excel was a big influence on the way we created the shop experience too. We wanted everything to be systematic and clean to let the pieces stand out. That, with a heavy dose of Disco. At the time of launch, we have 20 designers but are in talks with around 70 creators who are building collections right now!
Asteroid Coat by Burbush
What does the process of creating digital items look like?
Digital Fashion is a synthetic representation of a garment or accessory using a method of pure virtualization, photogrammetry, or a combination of both. A digital creation follows for the same fine detail and construction as a physical fashion piece. Many digital fabrications are entirely custom and would be physically impossible to build.
Creating luxury digital fashion items takes intricate knowledge of design and incredible detail; we believe it is just as artful as creating physical fashion. Many of our digital fashion labels use traditional processes and production of the atelier to create digital designs. This creates a suspension of disbelief, where designs contain both digital and physical presence.
We partner with designers who agree that digital fashion is meaningful for expanding identity and emotivity and who lead with a human touch. Those who love the textural, the granular, and blend the intricacies of traditional couture with the infinite possibilities and capabilities of technology. Technology is the tool to bring the imagination to life.
It is always fun to note that the programs being used were actually created to assist patternmakers in the creation of physical goods. Many of our designers used to work as physical patternmakers!
How easy is it to combine a virtual outfit with a photo?
It’s really a lot easier than it seems! I always tell people it’s just like having a fairy godmother. You send in a photo with your order and our Metatelier™️ tailors do their magic. They will custom fit and adapt the 3D piece to be couture for you and your setting. They then render that out and give you the final touch with techy fairy godmother secrets making the digital piece more real than the physical ones you wore underneath.
Would you please share your vision on the topics of digital fashion and metaverse?
Personally, I see digital fashion extending far outside of the metaverse. I love how it provides personal style in the online world, but its impact can be so much bigger than that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always bouncing around Decentraland going into galleries and getting lost — but since there isn’t a universal file type, it’s challenging to show off digital pieces in these spaces. Especially in a couture manner.
But, digital fashion is also so young! It’s started its advance into the luxury market, but it’s still quite a challenging experience for the end consumer. A lot of luxury customers are not digital natives, nor are they visiting these web3 spaces right now. It’s still very much a tech focus with less emphasis on the curation and elevation of the designers and their collections. We hope that people become more familiar with the quality of digital fashion, understand its impact, and join the movement. Not to mention, you can do anything with digital fashion and the metaverse — I styled myself and my sisters on the moon… I’ve worn a skirt made of nails… and transformed into a Vegas showgirl. It’s all pure, unleashed creativity. It allows you to wear the impossible.
We also hope to push NFT owners to wear their collections more. A lot of pieces end up just in digital purgatory and are never styled — it’s such a shame!
What do you like the most about the Cappasity solution?
Cappasity gives us the ability to showcase our products in their most beautiful and pure form. You can explore, pause, and discover all aspects of the piece. It lets the customer discover the complexities of our items on their own terms. Our pieces are very complex works of art, each time you revisit or rewear them, you can find a new detail you might not have seen before. Overall, it helps us curate a luxury experience for our customers by allowing them more ways to explore the piece.
Please go to the Special Items website to explore digital fashion designer pieces in 3D: https://special-items.com/products/sweater-yazata-3d