LIM College is expanding its curriculum to help prepare students for the digital world of the metaverse.
Beginning in the Spring 2023 semester, LIM will offer a course on "Fashion in the Metaverse.” It will focus on Web3, augmented reality, virtual reality, and exploring how brands are working in the metaverse. The course will be available as an elective for all students and will include a project where students will consider unique metaverse initiatives for real-world companies.
“Fashion in the Metaverse” was developed by LIM adjunct faculty member Deborah Metts, co-founder and chief operating officer of Beyond the Runway, which provides a bridge into the metaverse and NFT space for luxury fashion brands via technology that allows customers to create 3D avatars of themselves and try on clothing virtually.
“LIM College is a leader in preparing students for their dream careers, and this requires us to always remain relevant with coursework that reflects what is happening in the business of fashion and lifestyle, making certain our students have access to the latest information and opportunities to learn by doing through projects and internships,” said LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse.
“It is estimated that the metaverse will be a $2 trillion industry by 2030 and fashion and lifestyle brands are already engaged in it with expectations for rapid growth,” President Marcuse continued. “We want to make sure our students are ready to work within the metaverse regardless of where their careers take them within fashion and lifestyle.”
Careers in the Metaverse Explored During Recent LIM College Panel Discussion
The new course was announced during a recent “Nxt in Retail” panel discussion LIM College held for students on understanding the metaverse.
Panelists included LIM alumna Japneet Vij, senior digital strategy and business development analyst at Ralph Lauren; Chandralika Hazarika, managing director and co-founder of Bigthinx, a tech startup specializing in AI for fashion and retail; and Jesse Rubin, senior director of Aglet, a location-based virtual shopping game which features a marketplace to buy and sell sneakers.
The panel was moderated by LIM College alumna Haley Steinberg, senior vice president, public relations and communications for Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company whose global portfolio of brands include Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Herve Leger, and Forever 21.
The event gave students the opportunity to question the experts and provided a glimpse into how fashion and lifestyle brands are using the metaverse today and what is expected for the future.
Each panelist addressed how their careers evolved and expanded to include or be completely devoted to the metaverse. Panelists told students that it is a wide-open world today when it comes to entering a career in the metaverse.
“You do not have to be a tech expert to break into careers involving the metaverse,” Vij said. “This is a time when you can get break in by showing what you know. If you are creating in the metaverse or using it now, show what you are doing on social media and in other ways because you can get attention and get hired,” she advised.
Hazarika added that there are many opportunities to work in the metaverse today and more will come. “Bigthinx is one of the pioneers in this space and I have 10 open positions now which I’m finding very difficult to fill. Global understanding of what’s happening in this space is very important. Many people think that knowledge of coding is necessary, but it’s not. What is most important is that you are passionate in this space, have the right attitude, and are ready to learn,” she said.
“I give credit to LIM for keeping students relevant with projects like their recent virtual fashion show, which Bigthinx helped bring to life. It was definitely ahead of its time,” said Hazarika.
“I was working in business development in another industry but was always into sneakers. Through a friend, I was introduced to Aglet and what was happening in the metaverse,” Rubin said. “My real-world experience in partnerships and working with people to make things happen has translated well.”
“It can be daunting to enter something new that is still evolving, but you can succeed if you have an open mind, roll up your sleeves and embrace work that is outside of your wheelhouse. The future is bright,” concluded Rubin.