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Parsons and Roblox to Launch Digital Fashion Course

The 16-week immersive course set to launch at Parsons in Spring 2023 will help students create 3D digital apparel that will live in physical form.

The New School’s Parsons School of Design students will be able to develop virtual apparel through a new partnership the art and design college launched with Roblox.

Parsons and Roblox are teaming up to host a 16-week collaborative, production-driven course focused on teaching students how to create realistic 3D digital apparel. Parsons faculty members are working closely with marketing experts at Roblox to develop a curriculum.

“Partnering with Roblox offers Parsons students working in creative technologies an exciting opportunity to engage the complex intersection of visual culture and social structure and to play with how we make meaning when we dress ourselves – in digital and physical worlds,” Dr. Shana Agid, dean of the School of Art & Media Technology at Parsons, said in a news release. “We’re excited to see how students’ own diverse experiential knowledge, together with their research, critical thinking, and digital and visual design skills, shape the futures of these spaces.”

Students who take the new course will research and develop digital and physical apparel prototypes, including proof of concept prototypes created in Roblox. They will work with fashion designers in both Parsons and Roblox’s networks. At the end of the course, the ultimate goal is for students to have accomplished creating physical clothing at Parsons and digital apparel for the Roblox Avatar Marketplace.

The course will be available to Parsons students during the Spring 2023 semester.

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In addition to the new course, Parsons and Roblox published a report detailing digital fashion research and trends and analyses on Gen Zers active on Roblox. For the methodology, Roblox and Parsons commissioned a poll from SurveyMonkey-maker Momentive of 1,000 people ages 14 to 24 living in the US. These findings were combined with behavioral data from Roblox’s platform.

“The data sourced for this report further underscores why the next generation of fashion designers and brands will become deeply immersed in digital fashion – designing digital collections and dressing avatars,” Roblox’s VP of global partnerships, Christina Wootton, said in a statement.

Below are some key takeaways from the 2022 Metaverse Fashion Trends report:

  • 40% said self-expression via digital apparel is more important to them than their expression in the physical world.
  • 50% said they change their Roblox avatar’s clothing at least once a week.
  • 66% said they are eager to wear brand-name virtual apparel in Roblox.
  • Nearly 75% admitted they would spend money on digital fashion.
  • 70% said having a full range of skin tones is essential for them to diversely customize their avatars, while 64% said they need a full range of body types to choose from as well.

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