Who are the faces behind OnClickCloset and the Sea Foam
Paridhi: Hi there! I am Paridhi, Gadha and I are fashion designers who founded OnClickCloset, and we are from different parts of India. I live in the center of India in Madhya Pardesh whereas Gadha lives in South India, in Kerala. Our duo holds a degree in fashion from London Kingston University and is exposed to many traditional methodologies of textile & handicraft fashion. We both always have the urge to explore and experiment in fashion & design. My founding partner Gadha and I actively explored fashion, graphics, and digital spaces post-graduation in 2020 in our own ways to understand the interest & possibilities of doing better for our planet. At that time, we were just finding our roads to walk & run for many miles.
Covid-19 gave us the opportunity and initially, I grabbed it to learn 3D software while Gadha was working with other brands. We shared pretty much all our learning during late chill calls and were always talking about some sustainable things to do. College projects provided us with enough exposure to find the right balance between fast and slow fashion, and we found out about the dark glamour. Those were the days that just pushed me a lot harder to learn 3D fashion creations via YouTube tutorials and online seminars. Gadha being a vegan found the interesting hook to adopt sustainability in professional life as well, and grabbed the same raft to dive deep. That’s how we became partners!
As we started our journey into digital fashion both of us agreed on the ease one gets in digital fashion, which is to get into your choice of clothing in just one click. That is how the name is framed as OnClick Closet – you get into your clothing with one click/touch.
Gadha and I maintain our professional relationship pretty well and take leads in their expertise areas. Being young women on an entrepreneurial journey I bring in the business and work as the decision-maker at OnClickCloset while Gadha is more focused on the Art & Design direction and the aesthetic of OnClick Closet.
Iana: Hi! I am Iana, a digital fashion designer. I live in the Netherlands, thus, my brand IANA is technically Dutch. But I like to refer to myself as a cosmopolite because I was born in Russia, lived in Italy, Greece, France and the Netherlands. I do not like being bound to representing one nationality. This is why I love working in web3: people pay attention to your art, your skills and ideas rather than to where you come from. However, I do bring real life stories into my designs but they are not purely Russian, Dutch or French. I find correlations, patterns and common symbols within the world cultures and bring them to the metaverse.
I graduated in theoretical and applied linguistics in 2019 and worked as an intercultural communication specialist but pretty soon I realised that it was not exactly what I was passionate about. It was not the easiest task to understand what I truly wanted to dedicate my life to and I decided to give myself a break and bought a sewing machine as I always wanted to learn how to make my own clothes. After a couple of weeks spending around 18 hours a day creating and sewing I figured out that I want to connect my life with fashion. I felt an immense desire to transmit my ideas via combinations of textures, silhouettes and different types of fabric. I have not lived a single day not working towards my dream, to have my own IANA brand, ever since.
What is OnClickCloset and IANA, and what are you trying to do on Web3?
Paridhi: Going to the supermalls and watching people filling their bags with clothes gave me the reason to question myself why we cannot get the experience of owning clothes and reduce the impact on the environment at the same time. I started looking up various traditional methods of sustainable practices and started working on a few models on my own. All options, in the end, came to a physical product which would be produced again and again. That was the time when I came across the Clo3D software during a conversation with my teachers. I started looking it up and installed the software and practised making 3D garments.
Gadha was at the time doing an internship with a multi-designer fashion brand as a graphic designer. Gadha and I kept sharing our experiences throughout the whole journey. I connected with other 3D designers and looked up the possibilities of developing a brand that works in 3D fashion since India had very few digital designers, and I wanted to grab that opportunity and establish OnClick Closet, a page on Instagram where I started displaying my creations. Gadha on the other hand is good with research, art, and design. She was working on her skills to develop graphics and work on digital artworks and fashion collage artworks. She decided to join me on this journey into web3 and develop designs when she realised the true potential of web3.
Initially, we explored digital fashion creating 3D models of already existing garments available in the physical world. OnClick Closet’s first digital collection was launched on DressX platform. After this, we released our Fashion NFTs on Artisant and realised the great potential of virtual garments. We wanted to push more and explore the space. Gadha on one side started studying the works of the brands and fashion houses already in the field and started sharing her insights. Thereafter, the two of us decided to promote Onclick Closet as a digital fashion brand that offers fashion experiences like fashion NFTs, AR/VR Fashion, digital recreations, and much more.
We see this space as a new opportunity for the fashion industry. One may not achieve sustainability in fashion completely but here was a chance to create that experience with a smaller impact on the environment. We can be creative and boundless with the power of a decentralised ecosystem in Web3. As fashion designers, we aim at bringing digital fashion into the web 3 space for brands and individuals to experience something that is limitless and fun.
Iana: When I decided to become a fashion designer I needed to either get enrolled into a fashion university or to figure out how to create my own curricula and be a self-taught fashion designer. Due to my personal and financial circumstances I went for the second option. The whole studying period coincided with my travel years. My fiance and I both had professional crises and needed to find our purposes in life. We undertook a big journey throughout Europe. I was travelling with my sewing machine and my laptop, he was travelling with his travel diary and a wood carving knife.
During this big odyssey I was sketching a lot, trying to absorb as much from each culture and each region I visited. Sometimes I had an opportunity to sew and bring my sketches into reality, but most of the time a portable sewing atelier did not really work. This is how I felt the necessity to study 3D fashion softwares. I did not want to wait for an opportunity to appear, I wanted to create anytime and anywhere.
When it came to finally launching my first collection I was still trying to find a clothing factory which would produce my designs. Back then I was living in the Italian Alps, in one of the most advanced fashion valleys of Lombardy. Even after some thorough research and a couple of experiences working for clothing manufacturers I still could not find a sustainable way of setting up a production cycle and logistics. I was looking for an answer on how to make my brand as sustainable as possible. This is how I entered the web3 world of digital fashion.
It turned out that digital fashion is much more than just sustainable fashion. It is an opportunity for everyone to learn, to financially sustain themselves by creating art and designs, to find business partners, colleagues and like-minded creators with an unprecedented ease. For now I enjoy my role as a creator. I create digital garments, jewellery, shoes and digital materials. I love that I can come up with an idea for a collection knowing that I will always be supported by other creators who are open for collaborations, by platforms who are eager to post my art, and by content creators who would always love to get an extra piece of news about the digital fashion world.
About the collaboration, how you started your collaboration, what was the process?
Iana: Paridhi and Gadha from OnClick Closet and I were working on the same project. Paridhi, being super proactive, proposed to create NFT wearables together. That was exactly the time when I had drawn the sketches for the SEA FOAM collection but I knew I would not be able to make it myself. The girls were very clear about the collaboration: if we want to start something, we do it properly: with certain timeframes, marketing and content plans. In a couple of days we established terms and conditions, had our first face-to-face call and the best collaboration of my life began there.
What was the concept behind the Sea Foam collection, and how was it created?
Iana: When I was travelling I had a one-in-a-lifetime chance to live in the 18th century French chateau. A British couple, Carolyn and Peter Bear, bought it and renovated it, bringing it back to its former glory. They were hosting me and my fiance as we helped them with maintenance works and gardening. Both Peter and Carolyn are writers and artists. One day I was wandering around the chateau and came across a pile of acrylic paintings in Peters’ study. I was mesmerised by those flowing paints and abstract patterns. I asked if he had presented them anywhere and he handed me a self-published book with the paintings. I was not satisfied with the fact that it had been the only exposure those paintings had. This is where the story of the SEA FOAM collection began.
The SEA FOAM digital collection is about metamorphosis of shapes, lights and colours represented by digital fabrics and acrylic paints. The main concept of it is the natural unpredictability and mystery of water, its hues and shadows. The SEA FOAM collection is our tribute to abstract art.
I took Peter’s acrylic paintings and transformed them into seamless digital prints. The whole process was an absolute flow of inspiration. The paintings were talking to me. Having had just a quick glance at it I already knew which dress it would become.
It has been almost three months since OnClick Closet and I started working on the collection. At the beginning we planned to create only NFT garments. But when we saw the first result we extended the collection and added jewellery (also made as AR filters), accessories and shoes. After two months of daily laborious garment construction, 3D sculpting, scene creation, rigging and animating we had our first four looks ready. The first season of SEA FOAM was born and we could not believe how intuitively everything happened.
Was there a transition from the physical world into the digital world? If yes, what was it like exploring this, what are your conclusions?
Iana: As for me, the digital world can not be created without references from the physical world. The main idea of the collection emphasises the concept of transformation. As water changes its shapes and physical states, the same principle applies to art. The only constant thing in this world is change and this is what we are trying to tell basing our digital collection on the traditional physical pieces of art.
As I have already said before, the whole experience was more than intuitive. It felt like it barely even depended on me. The colours, the shapes, the patterns predefined the garments and their 3D scenes. The visual and acoustic representation just revealed what was already said by the paintings. I really love one Peter’s saying ‘As the artist, you are merely the inspirer, facilitator and orchestrator. But the final composition is unknown to you. Hence its mystery and magnificence.’
What advantages did digital fashion give you when you were creating the Sea Foam collection? Would it be possible to create it in real life? If yes, would you do that?
Iana: The prerequisite of the collection was that it would exist only digitally. Funny enough, Peter actually tried to have the paintings printed on a silk piece of fabric, but according to him the colours were not that saturated and the sharpness was lost. When Paridhi, Gadha and I were discussing the main concept of the collection we specified that we can fully embrace the metamorphosis of water and paints only through the digital fashion thanks to its limitlessness. All the paintings were made into seamless prints with Adobe Substance. Some of the dresses have additional sprinkles of pure digital silver spread across the fabric and some have embroidered elements with gemstones and sequences. All this can be achieved with no environmental impact thanks to digital fashion. Even after only half a year of being in the digital fashion space I do not see myself coming back to the physical fashion. The collection consists of NFT wearables and AR filter accessories. Everything can be used in the physical world, everything can be on the cover of a fashion magazine. There is literally no need to produce it in real life because of how usable digital versions are.
How important is it for digital designers to collaborate in the web3? How did you manage to produce the collection, working only online?
Paridhi: Web3 is a growing space that has still a lot to explore. The system here does not provide the power to an individual or an organisation to run alone, it is decentralised. Web3 is a fantastic tool that lets people connect with someone they would not necessarily meet in real life. Hence, it makes the world a better place to live and explore. We can make worldwide connections so easily, and join artists from around the world. That’s very important if you’re part of a community. It brings businesses together, and gives so many opportunities to explore. Our collaboration project SEA FOAM is a great example of this.
The SEA FOAM collection was developed completely online. Gadha, Iana and I had the ease of connecting to share our plans and work progresses with one another through the support of different apps and softwares. We had the advantage of working online and sharing screens facilitated by video calls and messaging apps. The important part was to plan and coordinate so when we worked together we knew the goal and tasks on both ends. The timelines were fixed, online calendars prepared and strategies worked out together. Of course we do run in different timezones, but it never really stopped the two of us from achieving what we wanted. Our passion for the collection kept us working it out beyond any small or big challenge without even being present physically with one another.
Who are you creating it for? How can people wear the collection?
Iana: We create not only for people who want to experiment with new trends or new technologies. We create for all art and fashion lovers. I would not say that we are trying to create a product which would appeal to masses. We have developed a high-end haute-couture digital product, thus, the target audience is respectively the same as for real life haute-couture garments. However, the digital aspect of the collection makes even the most unique exclusive pieces much more accessible. For example you can purchase an NFT of an entire look on Artisant.io fashion NFTs platform or you can buy the AR accessories separately on jevels.com for a very accessible price.
A buyer of our NFT looks will be able to wear a look digitally on his or her photo, use it for an avatar in any metaverse worlds or exhibit the NFT in any NFT galleries. It is even easier when it comes to AR accessories. It works as a usual Snapchat filter which you use for your social media or even during a Skype, Zoom or Google Meet meeting.
What is the most important in digital fashion for you, and what message do you want your buyers to receive?
Iana: Sooner or later people will stop thinking about digital fashion as something unreal and intangible. Digital reality is also a reality. It became clearer to us after the pandemic started. But now people are still reluctant to accept that digital clothing actually fulfils the need to express yourself, to feel a certain way, to show your personality. The most important thing about digital fashion for me is its limitlessness, accessibility and sustainability. As a creator I am not limited by anything, and as a buyer I can start experimenting with my look, my image and style.
I really wish our buyers will really experience the grace and elegance which we put into our designs and it will give them an actual feeling of satisfaction.
What does the future of Web3 look like for you? Where do you see your interaction headed.
Iana: We have just exhibited the SEA FOAM collection for the first time at the RAW DAO metaverse fashion show. That was the first time in my life when I truly realised what web3 feels and looks like. That was the first time Paridhi, who lives in Southern India, and I, from the Netherlands, met each other in the same space. And I tell you, it felt real! Because it is real. Our communication is going to a totally new level with the help of web3. I extremely enjoyed having people from all parts of the world at our fashion display, visiting Peter’s meta art gallery, and trying our AR filters in the meta Snapchat gallery. Honestly even for me, a digital artist who creates the content for web3, this experience felt surreal. I strongly believe it will become the norm for our internet interactions and a digital fashion show in the metaverse will not be an exoctic even for most people. We will have a need to customise our metaverse avatars, I know it for sure. I saw how important it is for people to bring some of the physical world concepts into their metaverse avatars. Someone was a robot, someone chose to be a wizard, some people went for very accurate representations of themselves and their physical fashion. I, for example, chose a femminine galactical girl avatar, because I also want to transmit my femminine vibe into the metaverse. However, I would not like to attend my next metaverse event in the same galactical suit. Luckily, I am a digital fashion designer, so it is not going to be a challenge to get another exclusive look expressing my meta personality.
Paridhi: It’s all going so fast, there are so many breakthroughs every day. Gadha and I do not think we can talk about the future when not even 1% of the population is trying it out. We think one has to wait until the general public becomes involved! That will happen when more brands and companies are involved. This will open the door for more people to become interested, gain understanding and get access. But before this happens we are dedicated to make a lot of progress.
Edited by GLITCH Team