From the exhibition: a short history

20 December 2022

1982 – Tron
In director Steven Lisberger’s science fiction film Tron, a computer scientist hacks his ex-employer’s computer and gets sucked into the virtual world of a video game in which he has to fight like a gladiator.


1986 – Habitat
Habitat is an online, multiplayer role-playing game and developed by LucasArts. It is the first attempt at a large-scale virtual community and the first time the word avatar is used for game characters.

1992 – Snow Crash
Snow Crash is a science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson, which mentions a metaverse for the first time. In the novel, people use digital avatars of themselves to explore an online world.

Snow Crash

1995 – Clueless
In Amy Heckerling’s film Clueless, the main character Cher Horowitz clicks through her wardrobe using a computer to mix and match her outfits. A first type of digital tailoring. The computer tells her whether the chosen clothing is a suitable combination or not.

1999 – The Matrix
The Matrix is a science fiction film directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, in which humanity is unknowingly trapped in a simulated reality, the Matrix, while intelligent machines use their bodies as energy sources.

The Sims

2000 – The Sims
The Sims is a strategic life simulation game created by Will Wright, developed byMaxis and released by Electronic Arts. In this computer game, the player can build and control the life of virtual people.

2003 – Second Life
Developed by Linden Lab, Second Life is a virtual world where people walk around as avatars and, for example, build a house, socialise or shop. For the first time in Second Life, it is possible to import and use virtual objects and materials created outside the game.


2006 – Roblox
Developed by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel, Roblox is a user-generated online social multiplayer gaming platform. Roblox users create their own virtual worlds and design their own avatars and games within the platform. In 2022, Roblox is the market leader when it comes to online gaming.

2008 – Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a global currency. It is the first decentralised digital currency that operates without a central bank or central administrator. The currency was conceived in 2008 by one Satoshi Nakamoto (whose identity is unknown). The first real bitcoin transaction took place a year later.



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2009 – Lu Do Magalu
Lu Do Magalu is the first virtual influencer. She appeared on YouTube in August 2009 to promote iBlogTV on behalf of Magazine Luiza (“Magalu”). She now has 6 million followers on her Instagram account. Lu uses her social media accounts to show unboxing videos, product reviews and software tips on behalf of the company, one of Brazil’s largest retail companies.

2013 – Ethereum
Ethereum is an open source platform and mining network for various cryptocurrencies including its own cryptocurrency ether. This decentralised network is based on the blockchain concept. It was conceived in 2013 by the programmer Vitalik Buterin. In 2014, development work began, crowdfunding was launched and the network went live on 30 July 2015.

Kevin McCoy, Quantum, 2014

2014 –Non-fungible token
On May 3, 2014, digital artist Kevin McCoy created the first NFT, a digital image of a grainy octagon that hypnotically changes colour. In 2021, the NFT was sold for almost a million and a half dollars.

2015 – Snapchat Lenses
Snapchat is a messaging app developed by Snap Inc. and launched in 2011. In 2015, Snapchat presented the use of ‘Lenses’, also known as filters. These are animations you can put on your selfies in the app. The first launch featured 7 different selfie filters.


2015 – Decentraland
Decentraland is a user-managed virtual world where you can buy plots of land to build your own world. It was created by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano and has been in development since 2015. First launched in 2017, the game became accessible to the general public in 2020.

Januari 2016 – Louis Vuitton X Final Fantasy
Louis Vuitton used Final Fantasy’s video game character Lightning for its spring 2016 campaign. The spring campaign’s theme was the fusion of reality and fantasy, resulting in a sci-fi, futuristic look featuring Lightning with the coveted patchwork Go-14 bag on her arm.

Lightning by Tetsuya Nomura & VM of Square Enix / Louis Vuitton
Zeitguised, Void Season, 2016

Maart 2016 – Zeitguised Void Season
The German design studio presents Void Season, a first hyper-realistic rendering of digital textiles. The collection is a source of inspiration for many digital fashion makers.

April 2016 – Lil Miquela
Miquela Sousa, better known as Lil Miquela, is a 19-year-old Brazilian-American virtual musician and influencer with over a million Instagram followers. She was created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou and first appeared on Instagram on 23 April 2016. She now has accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube and TikTok. She is the most famous virtual influencer of the moment.


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April 2017 – Shudu
Shudu Gram is an African virtual model and influencer with 237,000 Instagram followers. She was created by Cameron-James Wilson and first appeared on Instagram on 22 April 2017. She is considered the world’s first digital supermodel.

2018 – Ready Player One
The film Ready Player One is set in 2045, where much of humanity uses OASIS, a virtual reality simulation, to escape reality.

The Fabricant, DEEP, 2018

2018 – The Fabricant DEEP
For the first time, The Fabricant is showing their digital collection DEEP during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The collection is completely digital and designed using Artificial Intelligence. It is considered to be the first digital couture collection.

2018 – Carlings Neo Ex 
Scandinavian label Carlings is launching its first all-digital collection, called Neo Ex. The collection consists of designs priced between €10 and €30. For the first time, it is possible to buy a digital garment and have your picture dressed through digital tailoring.

Carlings, Neo Ex, 2018
Glamour Cover

Maart 2019 – Glamour NL
The March issue of Dutch Glamour features a digital cover model for the first time in the Netherlands: Raven. Raven was developed especially for Glamour by a team of designers.

Mei 2019 – Fabricant Iridescence 
The first fashion NFT, created by The Fabricant and worn by Johanna Jaskowska, was sold on the Ethereum blockchain for $9,500. The sale represents a milestone in digital couture. As a one-of-a-kind blockchain transaction, the unique garment is a traceable, tradable and collectible.

The Fabricant, Iridescence Dress, 2019
Hanifa, Pink Label Congo, 2019

Mei 2019 – Hanifa
On 22 May 2019, an all-digital fashion show was streamed for the first time by Hanifa founder Anifa Mvuemba via a livestream with IGTV video. The looks from her ready-to-wear Pink Label Congo clothing line were worn as 3D digital designs by ‘ghost’ models, after which they were available for sale on her website.

Jul 2019 – Louis Vuitton X League of Legends
As part of the League of Legends x Louis Vuitton collaboration, LV creative director Nicolas Ghesquière worked with Riot Games to produce prestigious in-game cosmetics and a physical capsule collection of bracelets, boots and bubble skirts for some of the game’s main characters.

LV x League of Legend
Moschino X The Sims

Augustus 2019 – Moschino X The Sims
After presenting the capsule collection inspired by The Sims, Moschino’s Jeremy Scott is also embarking on a virtual collaboration with the game. For The Sims 4, the digital collection is available in the form of an expansion set.

2019 – The Diigitals
Following the creation of Shudu and several other digital models, Cameron-James Wilson is setting up the world’s first modelling agency for virtual celebrities in 2019. Today, The Diigitals has seven virtual models, including one man, and works with fashion houses like Balmain, Louboutin, Ferragamo and brands like Samsung and Lexus.

The Diigitals
Carlings T-shirt

December 2019: Carlings AR t-shirt
Following previous success with digital fashion, the Scandinavian label Carlings is launching a range of Augmented Reality t-shirts via Instagram in 2019. Using filters, customers could choose from more than 100 different prints with which to make a statement against the throw-away culture.

April 2020: Travis Scott in Fortnite
An avatar of rapper Travis Scott will appear in online computer game Fortnite in April 2020. He is giving a 10-minute concert which will be seen by more than 27 million unique visitors. The gig is generating millions in earnings through sales of digital merchandise.

Travis Scott Fortnite
Helsinki Fashion Week

Juli 2020 – Helsinki Fashion Week in Digital Village

The first digital fashion week took place in July 2020. Helsinki Fashion Week was the first to present a totally digital calendar through the online platform Digital Village. 31 designers presented their new collections here, 15 of them paired with 3D designers months in advance to digitise their latest collections.

Juli 2020 – DressX
DRESSX is an international digital fashion retailer, offering digital fashion collections from contemporary brands and designers online and via an app. Founded in July 2020 by Daria Shapovalova and More Dash, the website is a world leader when it comes to making digital fashion accessible to the general public.

Balenciaga’s Afterworld

December 2020 – Balenciaga’s Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow
Balenciaga is presenting its fashion collection for autumn/winter 2021 in the form of a video game: Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, in which players travel through a future world, passing avatars dressed in the fashion house’s latest collection along the way.

Februari 2021 – Zoom filters
Originally developed as a meeting app for businesses, Zoom became one of the most widely used programmes during the pandemic to stay in touch with each other. Zoom will launch Studio Effects in February 2021, which will allow you to add different eyebrow, facial hair and lip colours to your video image during Zoom sessions.

Animal Crossing Valentino

Mei 2021 – Animal Crossing
Designers like Marc Jacobs, Sandy Liang and Valentino present their latest designs in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, complete with download codes to wear the designs too. Liang even brought the concept of the exclusive pop-up store to the game, where people had to wait up to two hours for virtual products.

Juni 2021 – Auroboros X Londen Fashion Week
London-based digital fashion house Auroboros, founded by Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, is the first fashion house ever to present a digital ready-to-wear collection on London Fashion Week’s official calendar.

Auroboros, Atokirina jas en Mandrake bodysuit, 2021

Augustus 2021 – Free Guy
In Free Guy, a bank employee (Ryan Reynolds) discovers he is actually an extra in a video game and decides to become the hero of his own story by taking off the sunglasses of one of the players.

September 2021 – Balenciaga X Fortnite
Inspired by its iconic collections, Balenciaga introduces a look for four of Fortnite’s favourite characters: Doggo, Ramirez, Knight and Banshee. The collaboration will be presented in striking fashion in Times Square.

Facebook Meta

Oktober 2021 Meta
Facebook sees the metaverse as the future: the company therefore changed its name to Meta in October and is investing billions in developing ‘the’ metaverse in the coming years.

Oktober 2021 – The Fabricant Studio
The company launched The Fabricant Studio in October 2021. The Studio is the platform where anyone can create, trade and wear digital fashion NFTs, and has since enabled the co-creation of thousands of digital fashion items.

Fabricant Studio
British Fashion Council

December 2021 – Fashion Award for Metaverse Design
The British Fashion Council has added a new category honouring “metaverse design” to its annual Fashion Awards. The first award was presented by an avatar of Alessandro Michele, chief designer of Gucci, to cSapphire, a designer who runs an in-game clothing shop in Roblox.

December 2021: Adidas Into the Metaverse
Sportswear giant Adidas will announce their first NFT collection in December 2021. For the launch, they are collaborating with Bored Ape Yacht Club, PUNKS Comic and gmoney. The NFTs are accompanied by matching physical garments.

Adidas x Bored Ape
Metaverse Fashion Week

Maart 2022 – Metaverse Fashion week
March this year saw the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week take place. During the virtual event, then hosted by Decentraland, a number of major fashion labels from around the world showed their collections. No physical shows, no physical attendees – instead, shows, events and even after-parties via a screen.

Maart 2022 – DRESSX X Roblox
DRESSX launched a metaverse-ready collection with online gaming platform Roblox. The partnership with Roblox is the latest addition to their ever-growing ‘Metacloset’ that aims to make digital fashion more accessible.

DressX Roblox





Augustus 2022: Nikeland 
In December 2021, Nike Inc will acquire Metaverse fashion company RTFKT. Less than a year later, in August 2022, Nikeland will be launched, the sports brand’s virtual shop. Millions of people participate in virtual games where Nike products can be experienced – and bought.