With the current business climate being all about environmental impact, Hollister Clothing has announced a new line of virtual clothing called ByteWear, which will exist entirely online, that they claim will nearly eliminate their manufacturing and logistical wear and tear on the environment.
ByteWear will feature an exclusive online store featuring the latest trends. A store that Hollister claims will revolutionize the fashion industry. Trendy socialites can pick their product, purchase it, and share the photo of what they purchased via Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The photo displays the virtual piece of trendy clothing with the amount it cost in bold letters below it. The value of the virtual clothing is determined by how many times that article of clothing is shared via social media. The first, and therefore most trendy, customers buying and sharing the virtual clothing will pay the most. After the virtual clothing has run the gauntlet of exclusive buyers, usually celebrities who can afford the bleeding edge of fashion, the price will drop as the item becomes more and more common and less trendy. Once the item loses all appeal because it’s affordable, Hollister will discontinue the item and place it in it’s virtual “bargain room” where a portion of the proceeds will go to charity.
Chaz Dillon, the marketing director for Hollister, says ByteWear is revolutionary. “The latest trends are evolving so quickly that it presents us as an edgy, trendy leader in fashion, with the challenge to manufacture, distribute, and market the bleeding edge of culturally relevant threads.” This means that it’s difficult to keep the brick and mortar stores stocked with trendy clothing because the styles change as fast as the trucks can ship the new clothing out. Dillon says that, by eliminating the tangible aspect of clothing, ByteWear is uniquely able to update their store instantly allowing them to stay on top of the tidal wave of fashion culture. “Not only does it stay instantly up to date on the latest trend, it reduces our carbon footprint to virtually zero.”
Critics of the new line claim that the virtual clothing is worthless, reporting that it doesn’t even cover the body adequately. Hollister contends that their existing tangible clothing lines scarcely do that and that it is ridiculous to expect new technology to meet the old fashioned standards of a market they aren’t trying to reach. Dillon says that “the goal of buying trendy clothing isn’t necessarily to meet a practical purpose but is rather a way to give yourself a sense of purpose and value by buying the right to be called cool and hip.” Dillon says that the new line of virtual clothing meets and even exceeds that goal. However, more traditional customers who are uncomfortable with not sporting physical clothing in public may get an app for their mobile device that displays the virtual Hollister outfit that they are currently wearing, giving them a tangible sense of the virtual clothes they bought and helping them diminish the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies public nudity. The phone is meant to be hung around the neck of the trendy socialite since their virtual clothes lack physical pockets. This way they can show off their outfits to their friends, gaping onlookers, and even switch outfits on the go using the “closet” feature of the app where all the virtual outfits are stored.
Beyonce kicked off the clothing line by buying a limited edition pink fleece sweater for $2,300 that she posted on all her social media accounts, posting: “I $$ this sweater because I was chilly but now I feel all warm and fuzzy b/c these threads are sick!” The sweater became shared online so often that it has already been discontinued after only one day on the market.