Epic Games and digital fashion company CLO Virtual Fashion have purchased shares in each other, the two companies announced on Thursday. The press release doesn’t specify how much each level of investment actually represents, but it’s a clear sign of Epic’s interest in virtual fashion as another aspect of its growing metaverse ambitions.
CLO Virtual Fashion offers tools like fashion design software that already integrates with Epic’s Unreal Engine and a marketplace where garment designs are bought and sold. Epic has been pushing for Unreal Engine to be used beyond game development — it’s becoming increasingly popular in the automotive world — so it makes some sense that Epic wants industries like fashion to use Unreal Engine as well.
“Bringing high-quality digital fashion into real-time virtual worlds is complex and can be a creative barrier for digital fashion creators,” Kim Libreri, Epic’s CTO, said in a statement. “It is exciting to see how CLO Virtual Fashion’s solutions work with Unreal Engine to help designers across industries make life-like digital fashion garments.”
Epic isn’t the only company looking at virtual fashion. Digital fashion company DressX has launched clothes on Roblox, and earlier this year, I attended the second-annual Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland. Even though the metaverse hype appears to be waning, metaverse believers like Epic are likely going to keep investing in virtual fashion to make it easier to look cooler in virtual worlds.
Though if virtual clothes aren’t your thing, maybe pixelated fashion might be.