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Google launches a Pixel 6 Material You fashion collection you can’t actually wear

This year’s Pixel 6 series almost feels like a breath of fresh air with its brand new Android 12 Material You design. The decade-old mobile operating system now has a much-needed visual overhaul that allows a ton of individuality, customization, and character unlike any version before. To complement the same theme, Google has launched the Google Pixel 6: Material You Collection available to anyone in the U.K. for free starting November 23. 

Before you get too excited, let’s clarify. Google is not giving you free clothes. The Material You Collection is a 12-piece unisex set of limited-edition digital fashion apparel that will allow Pixel 6 users to “express their individuality better.” To put it simply, it is a visual representation of physical clothes. Meaning that, yes, you can’t actually wear any of these. Think of it as concept art or costume design rather than a product. Strange, but that’s how marketing works, we suppose. 

A promo for the Google Pixel 6 Material You Collection.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is Google’s first digital collection in collaboration with leading fashion houses The Fabricant and Dress X, joining other tech companies who have dabbled in the fashion space like Samsung with its Sami Miro watch straps made from apple peels and jeans designed for the Z Flip 3Under the collaboration, artists such as Tinie Tempah, Bettina Looney, Radam Ridwan, Sophie Butler, Jack Guinness, and Kyle De’Volle have created a range of unisex digital garments using the new Pixel 6 phone to develop the designs.

The Pixel 6 camera was used as a tool to create the concepts for the 12-piece garments, using Magic Eraser (a feature we’ve genuinely enjoyed playing with) and the dynamic color capabilities of Material You to theme the collection.

Shenaz Zack Mistry, Google Pixel product manager, commented, “By bringing the Google Pixel 6: Material You Collection to the British public, in a time when there’s a deliberate move away from purchasing once-off garments, this digital fashion collection can be accessed by anyone for free, and allows you to express your individuality — without impacting the environment.”

Given that the clothes are digital, this seems to go without saying, but we suppose it’s nice that Google is trying to be environmentally conscious. The Fabricant’s Senior 3D Fashion Designer, Anna Liedtke, and Senior Producer, Dimitar Kralev, also said, “As the lines between the virtual and real worlds become more blurred, people are exploring creative ways to express themselves through their phones and online personas. ”

In some ways, this seems like a foreshadowing of the metaverse, where users will have avatars in the virtual world and be able to wear and customize digital outfits, accessories, and other products without actually having it be tangible in the real world.

The limited-edition Google Pixel 6: Material You Collection will be available for anyone in the U.K. to access for free starting on November 23.

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