Once upon a time, an article was published in Perime talking about the future of modeling. It discussed the new age of technology and traditional routines being altered to social media and tech-based methods. While that wasn’t necessarily in the most positive light, I guess you can say it was based on fear, as change and adaptation is inevitable. During this pandemic, another avenue of design has surfaced that most had never seen or thought of before. Cyber fashion, a complete CGI made specifically for the buyer, has emerged on social media. It took me a long time to realize it was actually CGI; that’s how real these designs look. Combined with the realistic posing, it is mesmerizing to see how far we have come in design and tech. It turned out that the brand behind it all is Tribute Brand. A trendsetter in the cyber age, this design duo has successfully contributed to the new age of fashion while simultaneously changing people’s perception of tech advancements in this industry.
Gala Marija Vrbanic, the founder of the brand, and Filio Vajda, the head of digital fashion, are the duo of Tribute Brand. They work together to create custom looks specially made for the photo you are looking to be dressed in. The aesthetic behind this brand is both futuristic and campy; very metallic, larger than life, and overstated. Their promotion and merchandising are run just like most other brands through online sales. But what makes this process different from others are the steps to obtaining the desired design. The beginning starts the same, picking what you like from a list of products, but afterward, a request for an image of your choosing is then used to project their CGI technology onto “you”. That photo is then returned and used for whatever purpose you want it to. And in the end, you have just obtained your first cyber outfit. The seamless nature of the designs tends to mask the fact that it takes a team to complete this complex and realistic process, requiring a lot of time, effort, consistency, and brainpower to pull off each and every time.
The brand’s root comes from the idea of sustainability. Tons of brands have been created with this mission statement, using upcycled and re-used solid waste to combat poor fabric usage. There has also been an increase of faux fur in luxury brands and changes in fabric and dyes that are more eco-friendly and less hazardous. Of these efforts, upcycling is considerably the easiest and most popular way to push sustainability. However, this brand has been 100% effective in pushing sustainability. This is done by not creating any type of solid waste, to begin with. Additionally, no extra effort is put into physical shipping (gas pollutants in the air) because all designs are sent to your email, and no animal, cloth, or mink is harmed in the making.
The biblical origins of clothing are explained as a shield against the exposed skin, and yet we’ve consistently adapted its purpose into things of our liking, culture, and trends. Watching Tribute Brand’s growth happen through social media while being a digital-based company is a double whammy to the founders’ goal and purpose. Through their system, the label is able to have their designs fit every single one of their customers perfectly, the goal of many, if not everyone, in this industry. By producing contactless, genderless, and sizeless fashions, you get a design for just that person in the picture, you.
The pandemic helped push the idea of “contactless fashion,” as most people in isolation are avoiding contact. This has pushed the brand’s reputation in both digital fashion and environmental sustainability, reaching a wave of new audiences that spend time online. Tribute Brand’s metallic and illuminating fashion attracts the eye at first, but the message behind the brand speaks even louder. Such a brand was expected to grow during this pivotal time where transitions on the interwebs are at an all-time high and even rival the sales of some physical clothing designers. Things will never be “normal” again, as technology proved its impact during these trying times, many of which for the better. This is a lead in keeping Tribute Brand in the public eye, even when the outside reopens. Many brands promote similar messages these days, but how many can say their direct actions fully represent their social and political message?