In my boyfriend’s world, people pay $ 500 for t-shirts and $ 2,500 for a trench coat. This is because she works at the headquarters of Burberry, the British luxury fashion brand. But over the past few months, the 166-year-old fashion house has been sending company-wide emails about a new class of fashion line: web3 wearables.
In August, Burberry released NFT devices for a crypto video game called Blankos ’Block Party. The NFT Sharky Bs, sold with jetpack, armbands and pool shoes, generated an estimated $ 375,000 in sales. Today, brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike and Adidas also want to dress up in this emerging market.
With virtual products selling nearly $ 110 billion in 2021 and Fortnite developer Epic Games getting $ 50 million from a bunch of skins, fashion companies want to get involved. Every brand wants to dress up the virtual inhabitants of the metaverse – who, even if the craters of the crypto market, will be the next generation of customers in the coming decades.
It’s only a matter of time before technology becomes mainstream, predicts Dani Loftusdigital fashion editor and member of RedDAO, a DAO that invests in fashion NFTs. “Over the next five years you bring digital fashion. In your in-game avatar, in zoom, or on your social media, ”he wrote in a Mirror post.
So what does this new world of fashion look like? After talking to professors, founders, and influencers on Instagram, I learned that brands are vying for dominance in two major opportunities.
The first is common in online NFTs (P-URLs)-think NFT characters like Bored Apes or Cool Cats wearing Gucci clothing with 2D NFT artwork, or digital skins for blockchain characters video games – such as Decentraland hosting Metaverse Fashion Week in March, featuring brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger and Etro. Completely virtual, it hosts after parties, immersive experiences and of course shopping.
There’s a lot of money in this gap – OpenSea, the NFT marketplace, grew in value by $ 13.3 billion after a $ 300 million round of funding in January. With collections like Dolce & Gabbana making the equivalent of $ 5.7M in sales, there is a demand for metaverse fashion whether you know it or not.
This explains why, in December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, a startup that removes 3D sneakers as NFTs and has since partnered with CryptoPunks. Cryptokicks, the first major collaboration between RTFKT and Nike, sits at a floor price of 1.88 ETH.
“As fashion NFTs grow in popularity, it may become customary to launch purely NFT fashion collections independent of the physical launch of the product in the future,” Professor Vincent Quan of the Fashion Institute of Technology told The Defiant.
In March, Gucci released the Grail Gucci 10KTFun Collecte NFT which puts Gucci clothing in popular NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, World of Women and Cryptoadz. The collection has a floor price of 0.8 ETH and a total sales volume of 3.5K ETH.
Real world experiences
The second opportunity is called Primarily In Real Life (P-IRL): where web3 interacts with the real world of fashion and merchandise.
Some major brands accept crypto in their physical stores. In April, LVMH-owned streetwear brand Off-White began accepting crypto payments at its flagship stores in Paris, Milan and London. Gucci is following suit and will start accepting crypto in some of its stores in late May.
Then there are tokenized websites that sell physical items to certain customers. the Cryptoon Goonz NFT Collection launches token store in December via Shopify – meaning that real clothes will only be available to holders of Cryptoon Goonz NFTs.
“We are seeing the emergence of a whole new class of brands that are using NFTs to open up completely new commercial experiences and build strong communities,” he said. tweet Robleh Jama, chief product officer of Shopify. At South by Southwest this year, Shopify partnered with NFT Doodles Collection host of a coin-operated merchandise store IRL.
Some companies use NFTs to prove that, for example, the Louis Vuitton bag you buy cheap on the street is legitimate. ORIGINE, a Swiss company that certifies luxury items with NFTs, is launching NFTs to certify expensive items, such as watches. “Swiss watches keep up with the times, but the watch industry is always behind,” ORIGYN board advisor Alexandre Friedmann thinks from his office in Switzerland.
While the watch industry may be a moment later, ORIGYN technology seems to be from the future. For ORIGYN’s partnership with Watchbox in the watch market, it sends customers boxes with cameras that take high-definition photos of the watch. Since each watch – even within the same line – is unique due to imperfection, the data in each photograph can be unique. “It’s like a fingerprint,” Friedman said.
While many watchmakers rely on their history and reputation to push sales, Friedman said they are now looking to the future. Watchmakers need to capture young audiences – who are missing out on smartwatches – and NFTs are one way to do that.
Metaverse Track Takeaways
The metaverse offers brands the opportunity to generate revenue streams through new products. But will consumers continue to buy digital-only clothes during an economy given the 2008-09 recession that shaved 8-9% of the market value of luxury items?
My bet is on the P-IRL routes, which offer consumers real clothing while crypto is included-since you can’t wear digital outerwear, it’s easy to imagine a market for metaverse mode disappears if the wallet cords are tightened.
However, high-end fashion is an old industry and probably won’t go anywhere anytime soon. No one needs a $ 2,000 Louis Vuitton bag or a $ 500 t-shirt to get started, and neither are digital outfits essential to your survival. But fashion – especially luxury – is always for purposes other than survival, such as self -expression and status.
Laugh all you want, but I’ll be the one to use crypto the next time I go to the Gucci store – maybe I’ll even buy my girlfriend a dress with my NFT income!