Meta said that it is partnering with digital fashion startup DressX for Meta’s new Avatar Store.
The partnership with the Los Angeles-based startup will introduce new avatar fashion on the Avatar Store. To Meta, this is the first cooperation with a digital fashion retailer, per online media outlet Forbes. This is also a milestone for DressX as well, as the startup is the “first digital fashion company to provide for Meta’s new avatar fashion marketplace, whose arrival last month,” according to Vogue Business.
“The opportunity of the scale that we can achieve with Meta is great,” said DressX co-founder Daria Shapovalova, adding that “For us, it is a little victory because when we started, there was nothing [for digital fashion]. The goal is to make it easier to wear digital fashion. We want people to wear collections from DressX on Snapchat, Meta, Roblox and more.”
Users can start purchasing DressX outfits from July 19. They can wear them on avatars across Meta platforms, including Messenger, Facebook, Instagram and VR headset Quest.
Meta rolled out its upgraded 3D avatars at the start of this year as part of an ongoing push into the metaverse. In addition, constructing new infrastructures in the Metaverse has become a promising industry business.
Launched in 2020, DressX offers digital-only collections from brands and 3D designers.
The Block reported, citing Crunchbase profile, that the digital fashion startup has raised $3.3 million in funding. It was also the first digital fashion brand to launch a collection on Roblox.
Previously, DressX collaborated with H&M to launch virtual fashion for the fashion brand. It also became a finalist for LVMH’s 2022 Innovation Award.
This partnership comes after Meta, formerly Facebook Inc, announced that it would shut down its Novi cryptocurrency digital wallet on September 1 this year.
The social media giant has already advised users to make withdrawals of their funds as soon as possible and notified them that users wouldn’t be able to add funds to their accounts starting on July 21.
Furthermore, Meta’s Facebook has also reportedly commenced trials for the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform, Blockchain.News reported.
As reported by TechCrunch, the users that have been granted exclusive access will be able to add their NFTs on their profiles under a new tab. The report detailed that a ‘digital collectables’ tag will be added on the NFTs just as it is on Instagram.
With non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continuously taking the world by storm, these digital assets are perfect for fashion in the metaverse, according to Amrit Dhami, a thematic analyst at GlobalData.
“While there is significant uncertainty about what the metaverse will look like, we do know that it will be populated by avatars. Gamers already pay substantial amounts of money for in-game skins, so it stands to reason that metaverse visitors will also naturally invest in clothing and accessories for their avatars.”
Given that NFTs reflects proof of ownership of an asset like an image, these creations have the potential of changing the fashion look in the metaverse because users are offered the chance to buy ‘NFT clothing’ just like the way people purchase custom-made outfits.
“These clothing items will not only allow people to build up virtual premium fashion wardrobes to express themselves in the metaverse, but these digital versions may become more valuable than their real-life counterparts due to their ‘non-fungible’ nature.”
NFTs are different from a typical crypto token because of fungibility. A fungible token can be exchanged for another, whereas a non-fungible one cannot be based on its finite nature.
Therefore, the metaverse will provide designers with an opportunity to showcase their creativity through NFTs. Furthermore, they can create private communities with exclusive access to upcoming NFT collections like Dolce & Gabbana. The leading Italian luxury fashion house sold a nine-piece collection of fashion NFTs dubbed Collezione Genesi for a whopping $6 million in October 2021.
With gaming being at the heart of the metaverse, there is significant potential for game developers and fashion houses to collaborate to create new skins for gamers, Dhami concluded.
Nonfungible tokens (NFT) may be disrupting the trillion-dollar fashion industry, but NFTs are just one piece of a much larger puzzle that is revolutionizing this sector. Rather, blockchain technology as a whole continues to be a game-changer for the fashion industry.
While blockchain-based supply chains served as some of the earliest use cases of how the technology could help detect fraudulent items, digital wearables being built on blockchain networks are now coming to play. Megan Kaspar, co-founder and managing director of Magnetic — a privately held crypto and blockchain investment and incubation firm — told Cointelegraph that digital fashion is a very powerful use case for blockchain technology. However, she noted that many brands remain unaware of the value that blockchain can provide in terms of creating new business models.
The rise of digital fashion and its impact
In order to explain the massive opportunities blockchain can bring to today’s fashion world, Kaspar noted that all brands will initially move to a “digital-first” model in the near future:
“This is where collections are created digitally first, whether in-house or outsourced to a company. The digital-first process reduces time, energy and capital, all of which are no longer required to preview collections prior to production. The digital collection can then be superimposed onto photos through digital tailoring.”
To put this in perspective, Kaspar was recently featured on the cover of the January issue of Haute Living. This was unique in the sense that it was the first fashion magazine cover in the United States to display digital luxury designer garments on a human. Additionally, the Haute Living cover is equipped with QR codes that generate augmented reality try-on functions, allowing readers to scan barcodes to see how each digital piece featured could look. The designs, which were created by Fendi and digitized by DressX, can then be purchased directly on the Fendi website.
While innovative from a marketing perspective, there are other benefits of digital-first fashion. For instance, Adrienne Faurote, fashion director at Haute Living, remarked in her feature story that “the days of shipping over 20 trunks of clothing across the globe” are gone. This is an important point to consider, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of supply chain issues, such as shipping containers getting delayed across the world.
It’s also important to note that a blockchain network is not required when it comes to digital-first models. Daria Shapovalova, co-founder of DressX, told Cointelegraph that while the Fendi garments worn by Kaspar on the cover of Haute Living are completely digital, they are not NFTs:
“With this first digital cover in the U.S., we aimed to promote digital fashion to a mainstream audience, making Fendi AR try-on capabilities available to everyone — free of charge. Releasing the items as NFTs, on the other hand, would mean that the digital assets and AR would only belong to the NFT holders, which would significantly limit the audience’s ability to interact with the digital garments.”
According to Shapovalova, while NFTs are capable of bringing many opportunities to the digital fashion industry, such as providing a sense of belonging and a scarcity effect, this was not what DressX intended to achieve with this specific campaign. Kamal Hotchandani, chief operating officer of Haute Media Group, added that the Haute Living cover demonstrates how mainstream publication features are moving to the digital landscape, with the rise of shoppable editorials and augmented reality (AR) try-on capabilities.
Yet when blockchain capabilities are applied to this mix, the benefits become far greater. For example, blockchain technology is enabling Web3 e-commerce between digital and physical items.
Justin Banon, co-founder of Boson Protocol — a decentralized commerce platform — told Cointelegraph that the company has developed a foundational base layer for Web3 that enables smart contracts to execute e-commerce transactions within virtual, metaverse environments. Due to the capabilities provided by smart contracts on Boson’s blockchain network, Banon said that trust issues that could potentially arise in a metaverse setting can be resolved:
“For example, if an individual entered a metaverse and came across another avatar that was selling a car, one may wonder how this transaction would be secure. Boson Protocol serves as the trust layer between the metaverse and the universe by enabling the sale of NFTs with encoded game theory that can then be redeemed for real-world items.”
Blockchain serving as a trusted layer between Web3 commerce transactions is critical here, especially as major labels such as Nike and Adidas set up stores in the metaverse. Digitizing items as NFTs becomes the next step required for selling goods in virtual environments, which bring about additional functionalities.
For instance, Kaspar explained that digital-first collections can be sold solely as NFTs and then later manufactured if a buyer desires to have the physical items: “Harnessing blockchain technology and NFTs affords production quantity, visibility of each garment and globally accessible for the first time in history. Limited-edition drops and on-demand manufacturing could easily be byproducts of Web3.”
Your unique RTFKT Punks Sneaker NFT gets you :
NFT 1/1 + 1 Pair of Physical to forge June 22nd
VXL Portrait 1/1 (airdropped later we removed double minting to ease the chain a bit)
Voxel sneakers files for Metaverse
All made from your Punk https://t.co/B4YOKI0dV4 pic.twitter.com/7vOX0mRRLr
— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) May 11, 2021
Banon added that while 2021 focused primarily on brands selling NFT fashion, this year will see an increased push toward “digi-physical” or “phygitals.” According to Banon, this is when brands sell physical fashion items in Web3 ecosystems that are associated with NFT counterparts. “Think physical sneakers with an NFT wearable version as well,” said Banon. This was recently demonstrated by crypto fashion house RTFKT as the company collaborated with “CryptoPunks” to create 10,000 NFT sneakers. One custom sneaker pair was created for each “CryptoPunk” released and then given to its rightful owner to wear.
The transparency provided by a blockchain network is also beneficial. For example, Kaspar pointed out that limited-edition fashion drops appeal to certain consumers. As such, it’s possible to understand how many items truly exist across a blockchain network when they are sold as digitized NFTs. This was demonstrated recently when Dolce & Gabbana launched its nine-piece “Collezione Genesi” NFT collection.
Although the Fendi collection featured in Haute Living’s January 2022 issue was not NFTs, Natalia Modenova, co-founder of DressX, told Cointelegraph that nonfungible tokens will provide the next layer of utility within the fashion industry:
“NFTs maximize opportunities and open up new realms for self-expression and creativity. We compare NFTs to high-end fashion or haute couture because it provides a sense of belonging, a scarcity effect and a luxury feel, which would not otherwise be achieved in the digital world.”
How soon will digital-first fashion be adopted?
While digital-first models are capable of providing the fashion industry with a number of advantages, there are challenges that may hamper adoption. For instance, while it’s notable how realistic the digital Fendi collection appears on Kaspar, the amount of work required to create such an effect is massive.
To this point, Modenova shared that the process of digitizing garments is always dependent on the materials provided by the brand. “All nine Fendi outfits were digitized from photos, recreating the fabrics, patterns and silhouettes of the luxury garments in the 3D space from scratch,” Kaspar said, adding that all elements of fashion design — such as shape, color, space, form, texture, etc. — play a fundamental role in the digitization of garments to create a perfect visual design. As such, this process requires professionalism that may be difficult to obtain given that the space is still emerging.
Related: Unlocking utility is key for fashion brands launching NFTs in 2022
This challenge does not seem to be impacting the role that blockchain will likely continue to play in the fashion sector. Hotchandani remarked that moving forward, Haute Living plans to convert all the magazine’s covers into NFTs. “Our covers are pieces of art and content relevant to that moment in time, so I feel creating NFTs of our covers gives our art another expression and a permanent home on the blockchain.”
Modenova pointed out that the rise of the metaverse has resulted in “metafashion,” noting that digital assets that were once only used for gaming are now being designed to dress digital versions of humans:
“People from tech and gaming backgrounds quickly understand this, but now, the mainstream is starting to actively follow. This is a common pattern that arises when innovative products are launched. Wearables are the most natural extension of the metaverse and the most important pillar of the metaverse economy.”
Nike is taking another step into the metaverse by acquiring RTFKT Studios, a virtual sneaker and collectibles startup.
While the deal is already being seen by many as Nike’s way of saying “Just Do It” to the Web3 era, it’ll also likely signal to NFT startups and legacy clothing brands alike that the world of virtual fashion will further heat up in 2022.
Founded in 2019, RTFKT has becoming increasingly popular with sneaker and Web3 enthusiasts, and has gained momentum during the NFT boom that began earlier this year. In February, the startup released several virtual sneaker designs in collaboration with the artist Fewocious and quickly made more than $3 million buy selling more than 600 pairs that can’t even be worn in the physical world. In March, it partnered with Atari on a limited edition Atari-themed virtual sneaker. And just last month, RTFKT partnered with the artist Takashi Murakami on an NFT auction to sell 20,000 3D avatars that are a part of the CloneX collection.
Terms were not disclosed, but Nike President and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement that the deal “accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture.”
“We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand,” Donahoe said. “Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”
Nike and rival Adidas have both invested in Web3 topics in recent months. In September, Nike built a Nikeland experience and virtual showroom inside of the popular game Roblox. (Long before that, Jordan Brand collaborated back in 2019 with Fortnite.) In November, Adidas confirmed a new partnership with Coinbase and the crypto-enabled virtual platform The Sandbox. And earlier this month, Adidas expanded its NFT collaborations by announcing new partnerships with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comic and Gmoney. Nike has also filed multiple trademarks and patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have its logo used in the form of virtual footwear, clothing, headwear and other products and apparel.
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Since starting RTFKT in 2019, cofounders Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev have raised $9.5 million, according to Crunchbase, including an $8 million seed round with participation by Andreesen Horowtiz and Shrug Capital. In a joint statement with Nike, Pagotto said Nike “is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community.”
“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” Pagotto said.
Jenny Ta, founder of CoinLinked and chief operating officer of nonfungbile token (NFT) platform developer Hodl Assets, believes that the fashion-based NFT market will be worth billions in the future.
Ta is a self-made millionaire who founded the crypto-powered social marketplace CoinLinked in May 2020. The firm was set to host a Dogecoin Conference in Las Vegas, but the event has since been rebranded to the “Cryptotainment Conference” following Hodl Assets’ acquisition of CoinLinked in August earlier this year.
Ta was on-boarded as the new chief operating officer of Hodl Assets as part of the deal, and the rebranded event will now shift its focus from Dogecoin (DOGE) to NFTs, fashion and entertainment.
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, the veteran Wall Street trader turned crypto proponent spoke about the upcoming conference and also offered her take on the collision between the fashion world and NFTs.
Hodl Assets’ two-day Cryptotainment Conference is slated for the summer of 2022 in Las Vegas, and the firm is working to combine the world of crypto with fashion and entertainment.
Ta stated that the event shifted from Dogecoin to NFTs as part of Hodl Assets’ vision to spark widespread adoption of NFTs. She said that the team felt that fashion and NFTs made the “most sense” out of all other options due to the combined potential of the two sectors.
Ta said that she will be inviting top figures in the crypto space to speak about NFTs, with the first day to be focused on NFT education, live music and entertainment.
The second day will be focused on fashion, with the main feature being the Global Couture gala event hosted by renowned designer and former model Linda Gray. The firm is touting the event as a chance to shed “light on the many possibilities of NFTs” in the fashion world.
“Bringing the best of all worlds together is an empowering prospect. Building cultural understanding is much like bringing the historically separate realms of finance, entertainment and fashion together to create something amazing,” Ta said in an announcement shared with Cointelegraph.
Related:Culture converges with blockchain as luxury fashion brands launch NFT collections
While there have been some movements in the fashion world to adopt NFTs, Ta argued that once two sectors fully “collide,” the market will produce “multi-billions” worth of sales.
Ta pointed to the example of fashion galas, in which nearly every aspect of the events — from the models to the showcased pieces — can be tokenized and sold on a blockchain:
“The gowns, the stilettos, the jewelry, the crowns that these beautiful women would be wearing as they walk out at the fashion show […] All of that can be an NFT.”
“And if the bid is correct, the buyer of the NFTs can also receive the actual product that would be shown at the gala. I mean, it’s just crazy,” she added.
The Hodl Assets COO also stated that the hype around the burgeoning NFT sector has the power to turn any regular event into something that is widely captivating.
“Just because the term nonfungible token is attached to it, everybody now wants to be a part of it,” she said.
It’s no surprise that nonfungible tokens (NFT) have been dominating the crypto market this year. The booming digital asset class generated over $2.5 billion in sales within the first six months of 2021, demonstrating unheard-of financial gains for artists, brands and content creators across the globe.
The rise of metaverses has also impacted the adoption of NFTs, as the world is moving closer toward visions of a future defined by augmented reality. As such, NFTs are further demonstrating the convergence of culture with technology, which in turn is having an impact on a number of mainstream industries.
Showcasing culture and community
Specifically speaking, the million-dollar luxury fashion sector has started taking note of NFTs. High-end fashion brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo, have recently launched their own NFT collections, while designer Rebecca Minkoff became the first American female designer to create and showcase an NFT collection during New York Fashion Week 2021.
Megan Kaspar, managing director at Magnetic Capital and member of Red DAO — a fashion-focused decentralized autonomous organization — told Cointelegraph that she believes fashion is one of the most interesting NFT categories:
“The fashion industry, one of the largest industries in the world, generated $2.5 trillion in global annual revenues prior to the pandemic. Red DAO’s thesis around digital NFT fashion includes the potential of global revenues at least doubling over the next two decades due to the digitization of fashion and new capabilities offered.”
While NFTs for the fashion industry is still a very early concept, Kaspar explained that physical fashion today has limitations. For instance, she pointed out that luxury fashion items will always have a secondary retail market value, but as a product is diminished over time, the items lose their worth.
Yet digital fashion pieces will always remain intact, with the added potential to increase in value if they are highly sought after. Kaspar commented that digital NFT fashion pieces can also be worn virtually, as she recently demonstrated during a video interview where she sported virtual NFT earnings and other accessories.
Kaspar further noted that unlike tangible fashion pieces, digital items can be used as collateral for client retention and community engagement. Kaspar mentioned that high-end designers currently have limited engagement with consumers: “NFTs can be used to redeem physical items or to unlock upcoming fashion drops. They can also provide access to private events.” She added, “Designers will also be able to communicate with customers through digital wallets, almost like email.”
While Kaspar realizes that these use cases are still very early, she believes that more brands will eventually start to create NFTs to achieve such benefits. For now, however, it’s notable that a few innovative luxury and haute couture fashion brands have already started to demonstrate the potential of NFTs.
Shashi Menon, the Dubai-based publisher of Vogue Arabia and founder and CEO of UNXD — a creator and curator platform that designed all of the digital assets for Dolce & Gabbana’s nine-piece NFT collection — told Cointelegraph that his team directly approached Dolce & Gabbana in April this year with the idea of launching an NFT collection.
Menon shared that the opportunity was contextualized from a place of understanding both the luxury fashion sector and the crypto world. “We’ve been involved in both for years and think we have a unique perspective to offer,” he said. Menon believes that the story around NFTs and fashion is not one of technology but rather about culture, remarking that both fashion and NFTs are “ultimately forms of cultural expression.”
While culture may be the most important element from a brand’s perspective, blockchain technology plays a critical role in ensuring the unique benefits achieved by NFTs, such as immutability and provenance. For instance, Menon explained that Dolce & Gabbana’s NFT collection — known as “Collezione Genesi” — was historic for a number of reasons:
“There is deep provenance — here we had one of the world’s iconic luxury brands creating its debut NFT collection, and it was personally designed by the founders/namesake designers. There is also extreme rarity, as the collection only featured nine items. These pieces were made once and will never be made again.”
Menon added that the craftsmanship and materials used in the physical creations were exquisite, which in turn meant that a great deal of time was spent on the digital artwork. “We obsessed over the smallest details of texturing, fabrics, lighting, shadows, reflections and physics to achieve an intensely photorealistic result. The dresses and suit featured Murano glass and Swarovski crystals, while the crowns were made of silver, plated in gold and palladium, and featured beautiful rubies, sapphires and diamonds,” he commented.
One of the major benefits of digital fashion pieces is the experience they can bring to the virtual world. Menon elaborated:
“The benefits for Genesis holders bridge the digital and the physical worlds in a way not previously done before. We’re providing digital utility through metaverse wearables, physical utility with the products, and exclusive access/experiences to create a truly special result.”
Although the concept remains futuristic, sales were impressive. Dolce & Gabbana announced on Sept. 30 that it had sold the nine-piece NFT collection, alongside some physical couture pieces, for a total of 1,885.719 Ether (ETH), equivalent to nearly $5.7 million at the time.
Kaspar mentioned Red DAO won the auction for “The Doge Crown,” which also came with a physical version. Red DAO paid 423.5 ETH or $1.27 million at the time of sale. The organization also won the two purely digital “Impossible” jackets, bringing its total spending to nearly $1.9 million.
Kaspar explained that winning “The Doge Crown” was an exciting moment for Red DAO, given the fact that the rank of “Doge” (as in an elected head of state) has its roots in Italy, along with the Dogecoin (DOGE) crossover. “We’ve already had a number of celebrities who promote Dogecoin reach out to us asking to wear the crown at upcoming events,” said Kaspar.
In addition to Dolce & Gabbana’s Genesis collection, luxury fashion accessories brand Jimmy Choo has recently launched an NFT initiative in collaboration with New York artist Eric Haze. The collection features 8,888 “mystery boxes” for purchase, underpinning the theme of collectability.
In addition, a digital version of the sneaker produced for the collection was recently made available for bidding on the Binance platform. All profits from the auction will be donated to The Jimmy Choo Foundation in support of “Women for Women International,” an organization helping female war survivors.
Robert Tran, CEO of Ucollex — the NFT platform behind the launch of the Jimmy Choo collection — told Cointelegraph that the sneaker NFT rotating against a canvas of Haze’s signature script only exists digitally. However, the auction’s highest bidder will also receive a limited-edition hand-painted sneaker.
Remaining true to the theme of culture, Tran added that this collaboration blends fashion with art, along with the evolution of street culture in an experimental meeting of creative minds from different worlds:
“The notion of collectability is a strong theme in the collaboration, as seen with the limited edition ‘Be@rbrick,’ which sold out the morning it launched. So, the timing felt right for the brand to enter the NFT conversation, amplifying New York artist Eric Haze’s creativity and Jimmy Choo’s designs as digital collectibles talking to a new audience. The fusing of digital and physical will only continue to grow in influence.”
Is the mainstream ready for fashion NFTs?
While there certainly are a number of benefits associated with digital fashion today, the concept is still in early development. As social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok continue to invest in metaverse capabilities, industry experts predict that fashion NFTs will become increasingly common.
For instance, Tran pointed out that metaverses have already been introduced to the mainstream through remote work meetings. In turn, he believes that mass NFT adoption is not far off: “There should be no argument, the industry will only continue to explode. There will come a day when fashion shows are done digitally and the rights of those elements on display are bid on and sold, purely for digital use.”
Menon added that while these concepts may not be universally applicable today, they will become the norm in the future. He pointed out that fashion brands and other businesses interested in continuity will want to create NFTs for their audiences moving forward. In terms of community engagement, Menon said that Dolce & Gabbana plans to launch its own NFT community known as “DGFamily,” which will be rolled out in the near future.
Education is still required
Although it may be safe to assume that more brands will want to create NFTs to stay current, Kaspar pointed out that we are also witnessing a trend where fashion brands and designers are jumping in on the NFT hype just to capture their share of the market. With this in mind, she believes that most brands still do not fully understand the power of wearable digital fashion and the full range of features that NFTs can provide.
For instance, Kaspar shared that a less-discussed disruptive feature of digitizing luxury fashion is the ability to use these items as collateral in decentralized finance smart contracts: “These will all be NFTs on the blockchain that will be tied to smart contracts. That’s what this technology provides.”
Given the early nature of fashion NFTs, Kaspar mentioned that this opportunity also comes with an educational component: “I have fashion brands calling me to figure out how to get involved. I think what Dolce & Gabbana has done is progressive and will lead the way for other brands.”
Leading Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana sold a nine-piece collection of fashion NFTs dubbed Collezione Genesi or the Genesis Collection for a whopping $6 million.
Nick Jushchyshyn, a program director for virtual reality and immersive media at Drexel University, welcomed the move and said:
“These prices are not surprising. You have world-renowned designers creating something absolutely unique, with attention to detail — it is beyond what you expect to see in a typical digital rendering — and it’s a one of one. It makes perfect sense that there would be an NFT collector in the world who would value it.”
The fashion giant sold the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to Red DAO, a decentralized digital fashion organization, Boston Protocol, and leading NFT collectors Pransky and Seedphrase.
Collezione Genesi and some couture were auctioned by UNXD, a curated digital luxury and culture marketplace, for a total of 1885.719 Ethereum.
A transition towards a virtual-reality world
Merav Ozair, a leading blockchain and FinTech expert at Rutgers Business School, acknowledged that a transition towards a virtual-reality world was being witnessed, and luxury goods would make part of the ecosystem.
Per the announcement:
“Five of the pieces were physical creations, designed and executed by Dolce & Gabbana, with virtual iterations by UNXD for the metaverse: two versions of The Dress from a Dream, in gold and silver, both with shimmering beads and crystal accents; The Glass Suit, an emerald-green men’s suit, similarly embellished; and two gold-plated and gem-studded silver crowns, called The Lion Crown and The Doge Crown.”
In September, Dolce & Gabbana stepped into the NFT metaverse with Collezione Genesi, a one-of-a-kind nine-piece collection personally designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
The NFT sector has experienced an uptick in activities, given that the tokens offered are different from the typical ones because of fungibility.
NFTs are blockchain-based ownership digital assets, and their value is pegged on their uniqueness, given that the tokens are non-divisible and have to be bought in their entirety.
Therefore, these traits create intrinsic value for NFTs because of their limited supply.
In September, the Spanish LaLiga league, the top football division in Spain whose top scorer is Lionel Messi, partnered with Ethereum-based fantasy soccer game platform Sorare to establish NFTs for all its players.
Gucci and many other luxury fashion brands are reportedly about to launch their NFT assets.
NFTs in the Fashion Industry
Thanks to NFT’s (otherwise known as the “non-fungible tokens”), which are authenticated and minted by blockchain technology, you can transform the intangible intoa tangible benefit.
A virtual archive that codifies an accessible record of each operation is built into the blockchain (like purchasing a pair of Rtfkt and Fewocious sneakers). The record cannot later be altered, which means that the transaction backed by a blockchain is verifiable evidence of the price, validity, and ownership of a property.
Every new day brings a breathless tale to the new NFT sale, but the world of luxury fashion has stayed relatively calm. While trying to elevate, fashion brands tested the wild, the ambiguous blockchain world with all its imaginative and business opportunities.
According to a report recently made by Gucci to Vogue Business, it is only a matter of time before the brand releases its NFT. Vogue Business has also reported that many luxurious trend houses are close to launching NFTs with multiple industry sources.
Marjorie Hernandez, the founder ofLukso, a fashion brands blockchain network, said the question is who will first get the trigger off. Luxury brands are behind the eCommerce trend, and such an emerging technology like blockchain is more ready to explore.
“In the last few months, every fashion person I ever spoke to asked about what they could do in the NFT region. They can transform all the digital elements from art to music to mode into an exclusive NFT, a digital leader, or blockchain ownership. “
The Race to Create NFTs
Proponents suggest that NFTs are the potential evolution of digital fashion that luxury fashion brands have already adopted. They believe that NTFs can bring digital fashion closer to the fundamental mode by its scarcity and capacity to increase value.
NFT cases, particularly for fashion, are currently in their infancy.Cathy Hackl, CEO of Futures Intelligence Group company that advises brands on handling emerging technology and virtual products, says that right now the way fashion is marketed through NFT is fashion as art, not necessarily fashion as a utility. She added that they will finally reach the stage where there’s more usefulness, yet they’re not yet there.
NFTs cancel the issue on copycats and add value to all NFT-related physical goods. High fashion brands such as Gucci,Louis Vuitton,and Prada aim at an obsessed young resale market and thus benefit much from approaching NFTs.
It means that brands can now market NFTs and sell GIFs of parts of clothing. However, customers cannot do anything with them, including admiring the GIFs, and the current NFT user interface lacks the shine that luxury buyers desire.
Fashion giants may be the next globally recognized brands to enter the expanding NFT metaverse.
According to Vogue Business, several premium fashion houses are moving closer to releasing their own nonfungible tokens.
The move follows the emerging trend of creating digital twins of products and services in the lifestyle and entertainment markets, such as art pieces, music, pop culture merchandise, among others.
Fashion NFTs for gaming and virtual reality is already a thing, with several companies creating digital clothing items for use in both metaverses. Earlier in the year, Enjin partnered with augmented reality platform MetaverseMe to deploy fashion NFTs for digital avatars on the latter’s platform.
Some retailers are also creating digital twins of real-life clothing items for sale on NFT platforms. Purchasing these fashion NFTs often grants the buyer access to the corresponding real-life apparel.
According to Marjorie Hernández, founder of blockchain multiverse platform Lukso, high-end fashion brands are keen to go with the curve on NFTs and not get left behind as was the case with e-commerce back in the 1990s. Lukso (LYXE) was one of the NFT project tokens that experienced significant price bumps in the last few weeks amid growing interest in digital collectibles.
For brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, creating NFTs will be an extension of the already-emerging blockchain utilization in the fashion industry. Back in March 2019, both luxury brands teamed up with Microsoft and blockchain infrastructure builder ConsenSys to utilize the novel tech in authenticating luxury goods.
Apart from creating digital twins, there are also reports that these luxury fashion brands coming into the NFT space might be looking to release their own digital collectibles beyond tokenized garments and apparel.
With celebrities like actors and musicians launching their NFT collections, fashion giants could also create their line of digital collectibles.
What started as a joke to celebrate April Fools Day has become yet another sign of a frothy, overeager market as a bonding contract designed to sell baseball cap vouchers sold 468 hats in just a few hours, raising over $100,000 and bumping the price per hat to $3700.
Solana-based decentralized finance, or DeFi, platform Mango Markets announced the sale on Twitter this morning with the caption “ICO ALERT!”, a twist on the Initial Coin Offerings of yore. According to a blog post, Mango’s Initial Cap Offering is all about high fashion.
1/ ICO ALERT! Initial Cap Offering: Presenting the best caps in all the market caps.https://t.co/ArBzr5T1Fo
— Mango Markets (@mangomarkets) April 1, 2021
“Yes, these are dynamically priced, with a limited supply of 500, bonding curve stuff, blah blah blah, but that’s not what this is about. This is just straight-up good clothing,” the team wrote.
Despite the cavalier, tongue-in-cheek attitude, there were buyers aplenty with over 400 of the total 500 supply of redeemable MCAP tokens sold in the first hour. The demand led to some significant UI/UX problems, with failed transactions and users even having difficulty getting the “buy” button to work. Ironically, buyers can’t even redeem their MCAP vouchers yet.
“We still haven’t finished writing it yet,” admitted Mango team lead Maximilian Schneider of the “redeem” code.
The team only started developing the contracts for the sale on Tuesday, and one team member said that due to bugs he himself bought a cap late in the sale for $2600. He remains in good spirits despite the steep price, however.
“This is a long-term investment,” he said jokingly. “This is for my children.”
Buying crypto culture
Jokes aside, the team made it clear that the merch sale was not intended as a fundraising tool and certainly shouldn’t be treated as an investment.
“The motivation was as a practical joke,” said Schneider, noting that the Mango community has been clamoring for information about an actual platform token, leading the team to create a “Wen token?” channel on their official Discord.
“We did it for the community. We’ve been getting a lot of support, and we wanted to build something for them to have a little fun,” they said.
The team is currently debating internally what to do with the funds the hat sale raised, with a likely outcome being that they’ll donate the proceeds of the sale.
However, in crypto — where Dogecoin can be a popular currency —the difference between a joke and an investment can often be difficult to augur. Unisocks, a similar project from AMM Uniswap that allows users to exchange SOCKS tokens for a pair of physical socks, is now considered a part of DeFi history.
Bafflingly, SOCKS are currently worth $104,000 per token, per Coingecko.
eGirl Capital member and noted Unisocks investor CL told Cointelegraph that SOCKS appreciated in value due to a confluence of factors.
“It came out during the very early days of DeFi, and it was the first of its kind. As DeFi and crypto grew, this slowly became a piece of history of the DeFi and crypto,” they said. “It traded at tens and hundreds of dollars for a over a year, before the scarcity really kicked in. Its supply is very well distributed because no one thought it’d be what it is today, so no one really hoard a large amount. per onchain analysis, most SOCK holders only own 1 pair of SOCKS or even just a fraction, thus naturally providing a massive price floor.”
He cautioned that buyers rushing into MCAP expecting similar returns might be piling into an overbought market, and that it’s worth playing a longer-term game.
“Price wise, i think Mango Caps is already a success, but the thesis for buying it is not the same thesis as SOCKS, actually, I am not sure what the thesis on caps yet, it mostly seems like short term hype, since you can’t just create a “historical” or “cultural” thing over night, but if Solana grew year by year, it could be worth more down the road.”
Likewise, Schneider says that MCAP’s success is a sign of rampant speculation.
“I think people are really excited, and right now somehow everything can somehow have a value and there’s always someone trying to pay more for it. Even for, you know, hat vouchers, people are willing to play this game. The overall sentiment is, people want to buy-in.”