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28th Annual Webby Awards October 19, 2023

DEPT® on Building the First-Ever Virtual Fashion Platform

See how DEPT® teamed up with About You to create a first-of-its-kind, accessible and affordable e-commerce platform for virtual fashion.

As the Internet grows more decentralized, About You collaborated with DEPT® to carve a space for fashion in Web3 by building the e-commerce platform HYPEWEAR. At the project’s core were these questions: “How can virtual fashion be accessible to everyone, even those new to crypto? Also, how do you welcome shoppers to a virtual fashion marketplace built with an entirely new digital language?”

We spoke with DEPT® to get a closer look at HYPEWEAR and learn what it took to expand e-commerce to the Internet’s next iteration. Read on to discover the elements that led them to Webby success. 

How did DEPT® develop the idea for HYPEWEAR for About You? What did the process of starting the project look like?

The client approached us with the vision of developing a marketplace for virtual fashion. As DEPT® already had a good track record of blockchain marketplace projects the process of defining the vision for HYPEWEAR was super quick. As we already had a lot of blockchain experienced developers the decision for the scope and which blockchain to use was made within a few days. We then started an agile project with the development team already working on backend features while the design and naming were developed in parallel.

What inspired HYPEWEAR? What projects or creators did you have on your mood board? 

The vision to make digital fashion attainable for everyone while also bringing more people into the Web3 space. Without the typical Web3 challenges of cryptopayments, creating a wallet upfront and financial speculation through third party marketplaces. So, ease of use was very important from the get-go.

About You had a very ambitious and Web3 experienced team on their end which helped a lot to influence the design. We went for a squiggle to express the Web3 culture in the logo. We also chose bright and fresh colors to match the innovative vibe of the Web3 space. 

What went into developing the creative for this project? How did the team decide on this final design and interface? 

We did a lot of exploration on the naming with the client and tested different variants and designs of the logo. The name HYPEWEAR was the idea of About You and matched perfectly with their ambition and goal to make digital fashion available and affordable. We had a lot of creative meetings with the client and co-creatively came up with the design for HYPEWEAR.

What did the production process look like—from wireframe to prototype?

The process was more or less reverse engineered. We already know what blockchain and platform we wanted to use and had a scope for the feature set. So the design and wireframing had to meet the rules of the platform. Therefore the UX part did not take much time while also making the web3 user journey as easy and fun as possible.

We also created a hype video with CGI elements mapping the fashion pieces on existing video content to show how digital fashion can be used and what cool designs can be shopped for at HYPEWEAR.

What apps and tools did you use to bring this project to life?

We mainly used Figma for all of the prototyping work and client alignments. We also used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create content and the logo. For the hype video it was a lot of Blender and After Effects.  

What audiences were you aiming to reach? What about your work do you believe resonated with your target audiences?

The main goal was to bring more people into the web3 space. While the NFT Bubble was highly speculative in Q1 of 2022 we wanted to offer a platform where digital fashion could be bought for a fixed price with minimal investment and without the whole financial gain aspect that was dominating NFTs on Opensea for example. We therefore made the whole user journey easy and web2 (e-commerce) like as possible. So that fashion fans could also be part of the web3 space without the fear of paying insane prices for digital fashion drops that could later crash and go to zero. The first phase actually created a high demand and sign ups to Hypewear.

Could you share some fun facts or easter eggs about HYPEWEAR?

Going from a typical e-commerce shop towards a digital fashion marketplace brings some interesting challenges with it. While you have a shopping cart in e-commerce this is not possible for digital blockchain assets as each transaction must be written on the blockchain by its own. So, bundling different items in one order has to be done through workarounds. The whole UX concept was as close to a web2 shopping experience as possible but also had to deal with the new rules of web3. We also created custodial wallets for the customers, so that they did not have to create a third-party wallet upfront to buy and claim their digital fashion asset. The user journey is easy and fast so that everyone can use it and step into the web3 space.  

What fuels your imagination and creativity?

We always aim to be on the forefront of innovation. Helping our clients to bring their visions to live while not sacrificing their goals. We do a lot of research and have monitored the space very closely. We always want to build solutions that are helping the customers of our clients. We have a global team of creatives and experts that helped us to bring this vision into reality.

What does winning a Webby Award mean to you?

I think it shows the dedication and ambition of the whole team including the client. Working on something that has not been done before. HYPEWEAR was the first marketplace for digital fashion owned and hosted by a retailer which is highly successful in the physical fashion e-com space. It was developed within 4 months from the first creative idea to final go-live which would not have been possible without the innovative and creative drive of all people involved. So, winning a webby for a project that is innovative, ambitious, and the first of its kind indicates the passion and vision of everyone. We are super happy to be recognized for that work with this amazing award! 



Creating unique work that embraces emerging technologies and looks to what’s next on the Internet? This week will be your only chance to enter your work to the 28th Annual Webby Awards with early pricing. 

To take advantage and showcase your work along iconic digital teams like DEPT®, submit your work by next Friday, October 27th!