THE NEW YORK TIMES
What to Wear in the Metaverse
Late in October, when Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the rebranding of Facebook as Meta, he did so in an immersive video designed to reveal his vision of the future in which virtual he, Mark Z., gave a virtual tour of all of the exciting things we will able to do in the new virtual world otherwise known as the metaverse.
There was experiential art. There was a meeting where attendees floated around a table as if in a spaceship. Yet there was our host himself, as a cartoon representation, in black jeans, white sneaks and a long-sleeve navy T-shirt, looking very familiar, only a little more fit.
“Really, Zuck, you could have worn ANYTHING, and you chose this?” tweeted one observer. It was a fair point.
If the upside of the coming future is, as Mr. Zuckerberg said in his presentation, to “be able to do almost anything you can imagine,” and “express ourselves in new, joyful, completely immersive ways,” shouldn’t you wear some totally awesome, not-in-your-real-closet clothes? He did have a skeleton onesie and an astronaut suit visible in his virtual closet. Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s chief technology officer, had attended the virtual meeting in the guise of a giant friendly robot.
That is the promise of a virtual world: that you get to be anybody you want, unhampered by flesh, gravity, environment, expectations and economics — or maybe just the record you have created. That you get to play with the transformative power of fashion raised to the nth degree.