By Hermoine Macura-Noble
Special to The Times Kuwait

When it comes to unique designs in the world of fashion, Dutch haute couture designer Ilja Visser is a clear favorite with her customer list including world-famous artists such as Lady Gaga, Kourtney Kardashian, Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson, to name
a few.

Visser is now taking her collections into the Metaverse – a developing online 3D universe that combines multiple virtual spaces where users can meet, game, and socialize in 3D spaces. Driven by augmented reality, the Metaverse will allow each user to control their chosen character or avatar – including how they will dress. And while the Metaverse isn’t entirely in existence, some platforms contain Metaverse-like elements which have already started attracting users from around the world.

Appealing to the GCC fashion-conscious and those looking to dress to impress virtually, Visser launched a unique NFT collection earlier this month in collaboration with the first full-service NFT company in the MENA region to unveil the world’s first abaya NFT in the UAE.
With authentic craftsmanship and a vision based on ‘Advanced Contemporary,’ Visser takes great pride in her unique signature, based on sculptural, sophisticated, and comfortable definitions.

The Dutch-born designer explains more about her NFT collection. “In the Metaverse, where creative aspects are limitless, I consider bringing physical and metaphysical aspects together in a feminine, nonchalant undertone. With the results of this ‘urban cool’ abaya collection, I bring creativity to a higher level. I consider it an honor to project my creative vision on such a historical garment and to bring this vision into the digital world.”

The NFT collection includes 50 unique abayas representing a landmark moment in digital-exclusive couture for Arab fashion. The special abaya NFT is traceable, tradeable, wearable, and a collectible piece of modest digital fashion.

The designer, who is a favorite of Lady Gaga – says that she chose to work with Skyne NFT as they have designed the most advanced fashion NFT collection that seeks to empower women worldwide by featuring entirely unique runway items dedicated to Arab style. Encouraging women to be unapologetic, solid, and comfortable in their own beauty, these exclusive NFTs embody the pinnacle of women’s high-end fashion.

The futuristic fashion designer embarked on her career in fashion by attending the School of Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Studying fashion design led her to New York for internships at Donna Karan and Maria Cornejo where she acquired her fine skills of tailoring.

Visser first launched her namesake couture collection in 2005 and received international recognition shortly after unveiling her collection at Amsterdam Fashion Week. Visser made her official debut in the highest fashion league when she got invited by the Fédération Française de la Couture in Paris to present her Fall-Winter 15/16 couture collection INGENIUM EXISTERE on their official haute couture calendar.

As the Metaverse continues to evolve and develop, the new virtual space will connect users in all aspects of their lives and multiple platforms through a single browser. Besides supporting gaming and social media, the Metaverse will combine economies, digital identity, decentralized governance, and other applications, which is why many users are exploring the concept of fashion and how they want to present themselves in this new digital world.

By Hermoine Macura-Noble
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.

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