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TSTT CEO Ronald Walcott

bmobile supports POSFW’s launch of the Fashionverse

TSTT Corporate Communications

Press Release

The local fashion industry is cashing in on the Metaverse and NFT markets, and revolutionising how Caribbean designers sell their designs and access new markets. On Tuesday, 28 February 2023, Port of Spain Fashion Week (POSFW) launched the Fashionverse, an all-digital fashion experience utilising virtual real estate that ensures local fashion adapts to an increasing global shift towards digitalisation. Through the Fashionverse, local fashion designers can create digital fashion that can be sold and worn in the metaverse - a highly immersive virtual world where people gather to socialize, play, and work.

With attendees from a cross-section of emerging and established fashion labels in attendance at the bmobile Corporate Box, Queens Park Oval, POSFW founder Crystal Cunningham explained why this area is so crucial to modern fashion labels. "In 2021, virtual goods generated sales of about $110B and the developer of popular video game Fortnite, Epic Games, made $50M from one set of skins, i.e., digital garments, alone. With this in mind, POSFW reached out to the Caribbean Development Bank to assist Caribbean Designers in capitalising on the digital fashion trend in this burgeoning digital market."

With leading international brands like GUCCI and Louis Vuitton already venturing into the digital space, Cunningham explained the concept of NFTs i.e digital assets and how they tie into fashion. “Through this new model, designers can sell their clothing and designs as NFTs, creating a new revenue stream and opening up new possibilities for digital fashion. Using NFTs is a cost-efficient and easy-to-use way for designers to enter the digital market, ensuring they remain competitive in the fast-changing fashion industry.” Once items are sold online as an NFT, designers then receive payment via a digital coin such as Ethereum, which can then be sold for US dollars.

Having successfully produced Trinidad and Tobago's first digital fashion week in 2020, POSFW offered attendees at the 2023 launch a preview of the new NFT website in which Caribbean designers' work can be purchased and also shared a behind-the-scenes look at how garments are taken and reproduced virtually for use by online avatars as 'skins' or digital costumes in various applications and games like Roblox and Fortnite.

Gerard Cooper, General Manager Operations and Administration, TSTT, noted that as a technology and communications provider, the alignment with POSFW is forward-looking. "The emergence of NFTs and the increased expansion of data and mobile access, paired with the democratisation of consumer technology, naturally lends itself to our support of POSFW. We welcome the new era of emerging designers who will use these technologies alongside established designers who can draw on their past work to introduce it to new and emerging markets worldwide."

Malene Joseph, Consulting Co-ordinator at The Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) at the Caribbean Development Bank, noted that the project is unique in their Fund. "This project looked strategically at different parts of the ecosystem where fashion intersects with technology. And we see alignment between sections we support at CIIF, including animation, fashion, NFT's and even Carnival.”
With the support of the Caribbean Development Bank, bmobile and other sponsors, POSFW is leading the way in bringing the region's unique style and creativity to the forefront of the digital fashion world.
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