Welcome to the Metaverse. SARA DOUEDARI takes a peek into the future of fashion by meeting the man behind digital fashion brand PET LIGER

In the ever-evolving landscape of fashion the metaverse has emerged as the new frontier. This digital revolution is redefining what fashion can be, and at the forefront of this transformation is PET LIGER, a hyper-real fashion house that has not only embraced but is pioneering this change.

Behind PET LIGER’s innovative approach is Constantinos Panayiotou, a visionary from Cyprus who has revolutionised the fashion industry with his unique blend of 3D technology and traditional craftsmanship.

“PET LIGER began as a platform for my music and artistic experiments but evolved into something much grander as I delved deeper into the world of fashion technology,” Constantinos says.

In the journey of any artist, the call to return home can be a powerful catalyst for creativity and innovation. In 2012, Constantinos returned to Cyprus, seeking solace and inspiration in the tranquillity of his ancestral village in the Troodos mountains. It was here that he transitioned from music production to 3D design, driven by a desire to create more tangible and impactful art. “Returning to Cyprus was like drawing fresh air into my lungs. It was a true turning point”.

Disillusioned by the superficial enhancements typical in digital media, Constantinos turned to 3D design. He taught himself the intricacies of parametric and generative design through online tutorials. “I immersed myself in learning 3D design, focusing on footwear, which allowed me to blend my artistic sensibilities with innovative technology,” he says.

feature2 constantinos panayiotou with a pair of his shoes

Constantinos Panayiotou with a pair of his shoes

Later, a collaboration with lifelong friend and co-founder Stelios Chiotis expanded PET LIGER’s horizons. Stelios, born in London but of Greek descent, brought with him a keen understanding of NFTs and digital assets, broadening PET LIGER’s creative and commercial possibilities, and leading to notable successes.

This shift paid off as PET LIGER’s designs began to gain traction on social media, attracting attention from major fashion brands and celebrities. Yet, it was Constantinos’ commitment to his vision that truly set PET LIGER apart. He chose to focus on steering the brand towards a unique niche at the intersection of digital art and physical fashion products.

One of PET LIGER’s most notable successes came from its collaboration with Wilder World on the AIRwild Season Zero drop, which sold out, confirming the market’s appetite for digital fashion. Another significant milestone was the partnership with Gucci, which led to the creation of the 3D-printed PET LIGER Bubblegum Loafers showcased in Milan. This collaboration celebrated 70 years of Gucci’s iconic Horsebit while projecting what the next century of fashion might look like. “Our collaboration with Gucci was not just a fusion of styles but a blending of histories and a peek into the future of fashion,” says Constantinos.

feature2 from the pet liger love heels collection

From the pet liger love heels collection

Born in Limassol, in the mid 1980s, Constantinos relocated to London with his family at the age of five. It was there he spent his formative years soaking up the diverse cultural influences that would later fuel his creative ambitions. “The vibrant energy and diverse artistic expressions of London shaped my creative vision profoundly,” he says.

Constantinos’ professional life began at Mulberry’s flagship store on New Bond Street, a premier location in London’s fashion district. This experience provided him with a front-row seat to the fashion world, igniting a passion that would grow into a defining element of his career.

His creativity did not only focus on fashion, he was also involved in music, beginning with hip-hop but soon transitioning to bass-heavy dance music. Through the mid to late 2000s, he released several singles and EPs with a French record label, honing his skills in blending sounds and creating unique auditory experiences.

Today, PET LIGER leads numerous digital-only fashion initiatives and is working towards building a passionate global community. With over 140,000 followers on Instagram and high-profile endorsements, the hyper-real fashion house has established itself as a significant player in the industry.

As the brand looks to the future, PET LIGER is preparing to launch its first physical product, the LOVE HEELS mules. “We’re transitioning from digital-only collections to include physical products due to popular demand. The LOVE HEELS are just the beginning,” Constantinos says, highlighting their enthusiastic reception from the fashion community. “Our goal is to continue pushing the boundaries while maintaining our commitment to the environment and our cultural heritage”.

From a small village in Cyprus to leading a digital fashion revolution, Constantinos’ journey is a testament to the power of vision and perseverance. PET LIGER, under his leadership, is actively shaping its future, promising to redefine the fabric of fashion and art for generations to come.