Welcome back to Now Runway where we report to you from the front lines of the digital fashion revolution. Today, we bring you exclusive visuals from DRAUP, a digital fashion platform by Dani Loftus (creator of This Outfit Does Not Exist) launching April 25.
Backed by Variant Fund, Flamingo DAO, Ian Rogers, GMoney, Cozomo de’ Medici, Trevor McFedries, and others, DRAUP proposes a mission of “expanding the creative and technological bounds of digital fashion.”
Each collection created under DRAUP’s in-house brand is done so in collaboration with a pioneering artist. The inaugural collection, #00: Seen On Screen, features Nicolas Sassoon who has worked with the likes of Uniqlo and Balenciaga.
Read on for exclusive virtual wardrobe shots, images of the e-commerce experience, and details on the upcoming drop.
Code is in the couture
The vision behind DRAUP is that “code is the couture;” with this in mind, each digital fashion drop is created using generative algorithms — code-based systems that determine elements in a creative process. In the case of DRAUP, a generative algorithm decides the cut, color, material, and patterns of the garments.
But DRAUP is about much more than just looking good. “The aim of the platform is to promote the perception of digital fashion as not just wearable garments, but as collectible art,” Loftus tells nft now. “To elevate digital fashion to this status, the platform optimizes for narrative: Narrative around each collection, narrative around which brands we bring on (in the future), and narrative around our craft.”
A Franco-Canadian artist whose work investigates the visual language of early computer graphics, Sassoon’s practice spans fine art, fashion, and film. With works exhibited in the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoCDA, Sassoon has long explored the tension between the pixel and the screen. His work, which often involves immersive or large-scale animations, illuminates the construction of the digital image.
Taking Sassoon’s 15-year exploration of pixels as materials, Seen On Screen takes moiré patterns — an optical phenomenon of a wavy or watered appearance originating in textiles, but most commonly seen on screens — as its subject. Inspired by the composition of screens, each piece in the inaugural collection is artfully composed of multiple layers which define the cut, the material, the moiré print, and the color of each individual garment.
“Building on our generative processes the platform optimizes for a collector’s understanding of their couture’s unique composition. The series of traits that make them up, their rarity, and the narrative behind each are available to delve into both when an item is bought and when it exists within a consumer’s virtual wardrobe,” Sassoons tells nft now.
In each garment, the layers’ specific qualities – their alignment, scale, pattern, distance, and viewing angle – all affect how and if the moiré emerges. By integrating a generative process into creating prints that could only exist in the digital, with screen-inspired silhouettes, 3D objects are created which enable entirely new, dynamic experiences of the pixelated patterns in digital garments.
“The wardrobe was conceived as an ideal and intimate environment for users to experience the garments as dynamic and optical digital sculptures while bringing a playful analogy with traditional wardrobes, in which one would be contemplating on their most cherished fashion items,” Sassoon explains.
In contrast with other brands that allow digital clothing to be worn on multiple platforms (therefore potentially reducing the prestige of those garments with low-quality graphics), DRAUP provides a ‘collector space’ where you can see the garments in their highest quality as well as interact with them as 3D digital sculptures.
Grow your digital closet
DRAUP’s inaugural drop consists of 648 generative pieces across five garment types (eight coats, 24 dresses, 88 pants, 176 tops, and 352 hats). The sale begins on Tuesday, April 25 at 9 am ET and takes place in three tiers.
First, will be The Hero Piece Private Sale, a short-form curation of eight items available to SEAL holders and Nicholas Sassoon 1/1 collectors. Next is The Main Collection, a long-form generative collection available to DRAUP Discord INSIDERS and 9dcc, Admit One, Ledger, and SYKY communities. Part three is The Open Edition, where those who have signed up via the public allowlist can claim a token-gated wearable based on Sassoon’s previous work, Waterfalls.
DRAUP’s launch enables a revolutionary new vision of fashion where couture’s creative concepts are aligned with crypto’s digital principles, showcasing that code can be just as luxurious as couture. Through generative garments and a collector-focused platform, DRAUP sets the stage for a whole new era of fashion.
“We believe that couture finds its natural evolution in generative digital fashion: as both are based in the principle of creating a unique item tied together with a wider brand (or in our case an algorithmic thread),” shares Loftus.
Inspired, we start to daydream about the endless generative possibilities for our growing digital closet.