NFTs in Fashion
Around a year ago, a Kate Moss NFT was used as the latest marketing strategy, which led the fashion industry to embrace the world of crypto and NFTs. Brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, and Dolce & Gabbana have all jumped on the NFT bandwagon! The next phase of how the fashion industry is going to evolve is on the horizon.
Different fashion brands’ partnerships showcase how each player wants a piece of that NFT action.
Fashion shows, in the traditional context, are invite-only. However, thanks to Web 3.0, tickets are not required for Metaverse Fashion Week! So anyone can view the digital shows. They can even purchase digital clothing items to customise their avatars! Physical versions of some models will also be available to meet IRL wardrobe desires. The future of fashion seems bright thanks to NFTs and Web 3.0. In this article, we shall dig deeper into this.
Brands that entered the digital space
1. RTFKT — luxury fashion brand with virtual sneaker drops
RTFKT was created in 2019 and has become specialised in the sale of virtual sneakers. In early 2021, the brand did a collaboration project with “ Fewocious’, a then 18-year-old crypto artist! Imagine, being just 18 years old and designing virtual sneakers!
The design featured three virtual sneakers. Bidders could “try on” the sneakers through Snapchat initially. Furthermore, an auction was held for purchase after. The highest bidder had the chance to get the physical pair IRL. 600 pairs of sneakers were sold in under 7 minutes when the collaboration reached its peak hype. Total revenue of $3.1 million was made during this collaboration!
2. Gucci — The first major luxury fashion house selling NFTs
Gucci became the first luxury brand that stepped into the immersive world of NFTs.
Gucci’s first rodeo was not for fashion items but rather a film inspired by their “Aria” collection. The collection was a collaboration with Alessandro Michele. The NFT collection, along with the film, was sold at Christie’s auction for $25, 000!
3. NFT enters fashion week!
COVID-19 pandemic hit and fashion week switched to digitally run. NFTs played a significant role when it came to digitally run fashion week.
“French Fashion” and “Haute Couture Federation” teamed up with the “Arianee” platform. They created NFTs that can be exchanged at their 2022 men’s fall/summer fashion week in Paris. These NFTs can be used for other fashion exhibitions as well.
The introduction of NFTs during fashion week signals a paradigm shift as to how fashion can operate in the future.
4. Louis Vuitton and NFTs collecting game
The celebration of Louis Vuitton’s 200th anniversary was on August 4th. The fashion brand combined fashion and technology by introducing “ Louis the Game.” This was an adventure-style game ( NFT Game) where players would explore a dollhouse belonging to Vivienne!
This game features 30 scattered and hidden NFTs throughout the lands of the game! Ten of these NFTs were in collaboration with “ Beeple”, a prominent NFT artist!
NFTs in this game is only available for collection or stacking. This means they are not for sale to the public.
5. Overpriced — scannable hoodies that allow owners to show off their NFT
Overpriced is the first fashion brand driven by NFTs. Focusing globally the fashion brand has been the self-proclaimed first fashion brand to do this. A real-life hoodie with a scannable code that allows the owners to flex on the internet!
Overpriced is being sold on the “Blockparty” NFT platform for around 26,000 USD a hoodie. Imagine a single hoodie going for 26,000 USD!
6. Nike and Adidas enter the game.
The sneaker giants, Nike and Adidas, are battling it out for the superior sneaker in the metaverse.
Nike and Adidas are looking to establish themselves in the virtual environment. With partnerships and digital properties being established, both companies sure have planned out. Nike acquired RTFKT for their production of NFTs and tries to incorporate them with IRL sneakers.
In October 2021, Nike filed trademarks for its signature swoosh logo and “ Just Do It” in digital forms and relevant environments. Adidas linked up with the popular NFT collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club! Partnerships also include PUNKS Comic, combining NFTs with physical comic books.
The fashion industry spans clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, and hairstyling. There are countless NFT possibilities when it comes to the fashion industry, and these possibilities can overturn the industry entirely.
NFT 3D modeling proposes a cost-effective and relatively easy way for brands. To exhibit their products and fashion shows, NFT 3D modeling provides a procedure altogether. For instance hiring a real model professional, photography or video production. These can incur huge costs and brands can achieve this more with less. With human avatars and 3D visualization, the way fashion shows are going to be held is captivating.
Phygital Products: A new era of products
Paris Fashion Week last summer adopted this strategy. Buyers, journalists, and influencers were given “ utility NFTs.” This means these NFTs provided access to a secluded augmented reality presentation. Aside from the fashion shows, giving NFTs can be a powerful marketing tool as well. Giving NFTs to a brand’s client roster, store opening events, or collections are some examples.
“Phygital” fashion products have been around for some time. In February 2021, RTFKT Studios made more than $3 million USD in sales! They made a limited-edition drop that included polychrome sneakers and an NFT that came along with the shoe. This exclusive NFT possesses more value than the sneaker itself.
Neuno is an Australia-based start-up. Neuno is a digital platform where fashion enthusiasts are incentivized. Incentives are provided to buy, collect and digitally wear, sell and trade! This platform is on the Flow blockchain and is collaborating with major luxury brands!
Metaverse and Gamevertising: A new Retail front
A web 3.0 marketspace called Dematerialised is powered by the LUKSO blockchain. They regularly drop unique designer garments and accessories to wear on social media and in the metaverse.
Balenciaga has sealed a strategic partnership with Fortnite! Many in-game items and skins are being created by Balenciaga, where this partnership is speculated to be a long-term one.
Adidas is about to launch digital wearables in the Sandbox anytime this year and has entered into a partnership with Coinbase. They also purchased virtual land!
Decentraland, The Sandbox, Roblox, Cryptovoxel, and Meta ( from Facebook) are some of the examples that are on the horizon. When it comes to digital ecosystems or metaverses, no one, in particular, has the lead. Gamepay is soon going to provide opportunities for fashion artists as well.
Wrapping this up
Fashion and technology have been around for a long time. And now how fashion can penetrate the future will be an interesting phenomenon to view. There are a few challenges to be addressed, though.
A lack of interoperability means fashion outfits are not transferable. The lack of transfer is an issue to be addressed due to the multiple availabilities of different metaverses and NFT marketplaces. The brands must be cautious and make an informed decision on which metaverse/s or NFT marketplace to launch their products. This decision can either multiply their investments or go downhill in an instant.
Virtual spaces also act as media spaces for advertising and visibility. It has sort of become a necessity for brands to be associated with virtual spaces in order to connect with an engaged audience!
We certainly will witness a revolutionary change in the functioning of the fashion industry at large.
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