Andy Ku, Co-Founder of Altava, poses for a photograph.
Technological innovations are revolutionary in a certain way, especially when it comes to the fashion industry.
The technology has overtaken usual marketing strategies from virtual fashion shows to virtual stores almost everything is online.
Especially the developments after the era of COVID-19 the new in-home experiences have taken the fashion world by storm and ALTAVA, an established metaverse group, is at the forefront of bringing fashion and luxury brands into the metaverse.
Founded by pioneering online game innovators and fashion industry specialists, ALTAVA allows brands to digitise collections in a fully customisable environment.
Gulf Today spoke to the Co-Founder of ALTAVA, Andy Ku to get an in-depth knowledge about the present and future of the fashion industry in today’s fast growing virtual world.
Q. What is ALTAVA?
Ans. ALTAVA is a luxury fashion tech company at the intersection of a web3 to IRL (in real life) that has collaborated with top luxury brands from Paris, Milan, Rome, like Prada, Fendi.
ALTAVA takes these brands and puts them into the Web3 area. It creates virtual pop up stores for fashion brands and also integrates human efforts into the virtual world.
Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web, which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics.
ALTAVA is one of the 23 startups selected by LVMH (a French multinational holding and conglomerate specialising in luxury goods) under their Lumajang startup programme.
It is the recipient of prestigious LVMH Innovation Award and BMH Innovation Award.
Q. How has Web3 impacted the fashion industry?
Ans. Yes it has impacted the fashion industry in many ways, and is probably the most efficient, effective and a sustainable way for brands to reach out directly to Gen Z.
Although, Web3 is still at nascent stage and brands are in the process of finding out their own solution strategy.
There has been a kind of a sporadic approach, not coherently organized so far. Nevertheless, this is turning out to be a learning process for fashion brands.
ALTAVA is helping brands to come up with a more coherent strategy, offering them Web3 solutions.
Web3 removes all the fears of normal counterfeit goods products and offers everybody a trustworthy economy and the environment.
Q. How metaverse helps brands to expand their reach?
Ans. The metaverse is obviously the easiest and the most effective way for brands to get in touch with designers and creators.
Web3 opens up a whole new opportunity where their creation is fully protected. And any kind of a monetization model to the sales is done in a transparent way and they can collect the fees and commission from the secondary transaction.
There's a whole new creators economy that just opens and gives value to all the creators and designers out there from a customer's point of view.
The other digital items they own or purchase are fully protected as it's in blockchain, which means that even if a certain service goes down, the digital assets remain protected as all the transactions are completely transparent.
Q. Are there any emerging trends currently dominating the metaverse?
Ans. Fashion industry was the last one to join e-commerce so it definitely lags behind other industries. Brands are learning from lessons from their previous error and are actively striving to be the market leaders.
ALTAVA worked with all these amazing brains to see they all are looking for the weaponry, solution and strategy in a more coherent way.
So that's the trend that is quite unique and quite different.
Q. What do you think differentiates ALTAVA which lets big brands trust you and keep working with you?
Ans. We were the first one to recognise the potential of e-commerce 10 years ago and we've been developing the Metaverse related technology since then.
So we have all the required technology and our experience of almost a decade in this field makes us more marketable than anybody else.
See I am a game guy and ALTAVA’s co-founder Elizabeth comes from luxury to fashion. So we are at a unique position where the best of luxury and the best of a tech all combined together. We at ALTAVA understand what they want. We understand their leverage, their needs, what to do, what not to do.
We have shattered the myth that a tech savvy Web3 company won't be able to do anything with luxury brands just because they just don't understand their languages.
That puts us into this unfair advantage because we are also the very first one to execute this. You know, we built up our legacy.
Q. What role does AI play in a diverse ecosystem?
Ans. Yes, AI is an important part of the whole process. I think it's fundamentally changing the human’s everyday pattern.
For ALTAVA, AI is very important as we need to collect data first. We are at the stage where we’re collecting user, analysing user data, activity data, not the personal information, the activity data within our members within our ecosystem. So for ALTAVA the user generated content is a key feature. This is where any creators, designers can come in, design their own fashion items in a digital way.
Q. What do you think are the challenges you could face in the metaverse?
Ans. Yeah, everything. I think there are challenges and there are risks. Metaverse is the virtual world that's built on blockchain. So by that definition, today's you can only address people who have a crypto wallet. That limits the reach to only those who have a crypto wallet. That limit is one of the hurdles.
The main currency within the metaverse is crypto which is another big hurdle. We are working relentlessly to solve this issue.
Q. What's your plans for the next five years?
Ans. In the next five to 10 years ALTAVA will be the frontrunner in e-commerce, defining what the next commerce model is. And in creating a new category, and by default will become the leader in the field.
In the next five years it's not going to be contractors based solely on directory, it's going to be a hybrid model. So that's what we will cover in defining what is the next commerce model. The crossroad between Web2 and Web3 there's going to be a new hybrid model.
For the last three years the company focussed all its efforts and energy working with top luxury brands, Web to offline based companies, collecting them into Web3.
So in a way we are producing the merchandising goods based on the Web3, selling them into a department store, and offline.
We complete the cycle, from web to directory, Web3 to Web2, offline to the virtual, digital world, and digital virtual world to offline, real world.
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