A look at how luxury and fashion brands are utilizing NFTs to take customer engagement to the next level.
- Which brands are entering the NFT space?
- The utility of NFTs for fashion and luxury brands
- Trends and developments of NFTs in luxury and fashion
- The top 10 fashion and luxury brands using NFTs
So, are fashion NFTs the real deal or another temporary fad?
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Big Brands Entering the NFT Space
Frankly speaking, who isn't jumping on the NFT bandwagon these days?
The beans have been spilled, so more big companies are waking up to the profitability of the NFT game. Starbucks recently unveiled Starbucks Odyssey, a "new experience powered by Web3 technology that will offer Starbucks Rewards members [...] the opportunity to earn and purchase digital collectible assets that will unlock access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences."
However, NFTs are particularly prevalent in the fashion and luxury industries. Why is that?
The Utility of NFTs for Fashion and Luxury Brands
For a long time, the utility of NFTs in this space was a case of "here's what NFTs could do for fashion." But 2022 brought a genuine change in that regard.
NFTs as a Revenue Driver
Creating New Customer Experiences and Exclusive Benefits
Considering these are still trial runs, the fashion industry seems to be edging closer toward finding more use cases for NFTs.
Building and Fostering Communities
Trends and Developments of NFTs in Luxury and Fashion
The Physical and Digital Worlds Are Merging
Many words can be written on how our online and offline lives are increasingly intertwined. NFT fashion provides concrete examples.
For instance, Nike's partner RTFKT was already a successful content developer before its partnership with Nike. After getting acquired, it released a Nike AR hoodie that can be worn on Clone X avatars. Clone X is an NFT collection consisting of 20,000 3D NFT avatars. The NFT owners were entitled to claim the same physical hoodie as their metaverse avatar had. Nike sold over 8,000 AR hoodies at 0.2 ETH, generating over $2M in sales.
Fashion Is Moving Online (and Luxury Too)
Digital Investments Are Becoming Digital Consumables
Furthermore, brands will be able to better query, segment, and reward their most loyal customers thanks to blockchain technology. Privacy concerns will have to be addressed at some point, but where there's money to be made, there's a way.
Fashion and Luxury NFT Buyers are Web3 Natives
Source: Delphi Digital
Web3-native Fashion Brands Rise
Messari published an interesting graph of web3-native fashion brands:
- Permissionless entry for designers not working in the traditional fashion sector.
- No physical store is needed.
- They can bootstrap funding by selling their own NFT collections.
- They can tap into their own audiences.
Collaboration between web3 natives and established brands will be the key to success.
The Top 10 Fashion and Luxury NFT Projects
Nike x RKFT
Nike started making moves in the NFT space, acquiring RTFKT Studios in December 2021. RTFKT is known for its fashion collectibles and virtual sneaker site for gaming companies. It had previously teamed up with the digital artist FEWOCiOUS to produce limited NFT sneakers, netting over $3.1 million from selling 600 pairs in just six minutes.
Nike continued to innovate in the NFT space by releasing special edition Flying Formation Air Max 1 shoes and limited NFT sneakers, also available for redemption as physical sneakers. The brand also partnered with Roblox to create Nikeland, a virtual world where players can wear their digital Nike sneakers.
Gucci sold its iconic Aria Collection NFT for $25,000 at Christie’s to celebrate its 100th anniversary. This NFT, in the form of a short film, features a collaboration with Balenciaga, marking a historic moment for the brand. All proceeds will go to UNICEF USA.
Gucci also launched "Vault Art Space," a metaverse product that showcases 29 digital artists interpreting the Gucci brand. The first exhibition is called "The Next 100 Years of Gucci" and features artworks from eBoy, Alanna Vanacore, An Chen, Sasha Katz and Kris Andrew Small, created in collaboration with NFT marketplace SuperRare.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce and Gabbana jumped into the Fashion NFT world with their launch of the Genesis Collection, or Collezione Genesi. The collection consisted of nine pieces including five NFTs with accompanying physical pieces and four digital-only NFTs. The NFT collection auctioned for a whopping $6 million and sold out instantly. The Italian fashion house's collaboration with luxury marketplace UNXD made the NFT wearables possible. The release of Dolce and Gabbana's NFT collection marked the first time a fashion house entered the NFT space.
Adidas launched the "adidas for Prada re-source project" in collaboration with digital artist Zach Lieberman. The project is a community-driven effort to create large-scale digital artwork inspired by the physical Re-Nylon collection. Adidas is asking the public to submit anonymous photos that'll be turned into 3,000 unique NFTs and combined into a mass-patchwork NFT designed by Lieberman. The final product will be auctioned off at SuperRare, with the proceeds going to charity and distributed to artists and creators.
Adidas also launched another NFT series called "Into the Metaverse" in partnership with gMoney, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and PUNKS comic in 2021. Holding an "Into the Metaverse" NFT allows you to explore different virtual and physical products from the fashion company.
Salvatore Ferragamo opened a concept store in Soho, New York City, featuring an NFT booth and a hologram sneaker customization tool. The NFT projects are free and designed by digital artist Shxpir. They welcome new community members into the store's immersive experience. Customers can mint unique artwork with a range of backgrounds to choose from. The store also produced a limited edition capsule collection, with all proceeds going to the LGBTQ+ organization, The Center. Additionally, the hologram station allows consumers to digitally customize the 6R3ENE sneakers.
Burberry, the iconic British luxury fashion house established in 1856, collaborated with Mythical Games for the "Blankos Block Party" project. The project features a bespoke social community where players can connect in the digital world and own digital vinyl toys called Blankos . The latest NFT collection includes a unicorn named Minny B wrapped in Burberry’s new TB Summer Monogram.
In addition to the NFT collection, Burberry also launched in-game NFT accessories, including jetpacks, armbands, and pool shoes, which players can apply to their Blankos. The NFT collection was available for in-game purchases on June 22, 2022, and was accessible to all Blankos Block Party players worldwide.
Chito x Givenchy
Givenchy, a French fashion house owned by LVMH, has partnered with Mexican airbrush artist Chito to create a collection of 15 NFTs. The "Chito x Givenchy NFT" collection features cartoon characters and symbols, some animated and others bearing the Givenchy logo. The NFT collection incorporates elements from Givenchy's spring pre-collection. The collection was available for bidding on OpenSea, with a portion of the proceeds going to "Givenchy's Long-term Preferred Foundation".
The collaboration followed the fashion house's Spring 2022 pre-collection, where designer Matthew M. Williams commissioned Chito to create graphic prints for streetwear-inspired pieces and accessories. Some are now offered as unique NFT fashion designs for collectors to use as online PFPs.
Prada's Timecapsule NFT collection is an expansion of the brand's popular Timecapsule program, which started in 2019. The Timecapsule events take place once a month and offer limited-edition items on the Prada website for 24 hours. The NFT collection allows collectors to enter a draw for exclusive prizes and experiences. The launch of the Timecapsule NFT collection helped boost engagement with fans of the brand. Prada's financial performance in the first half of the year improved, with retail sales rising 26% to $1.72 billion and overall revenue increasing 22% to $1.92 billion. The company's net income also almost doubled to $191 million.
Louis Vuitton launched Louis the Game to honor the 200th birthday of its late founder. The mobile game features a customizable figurine named "Vivienne," who travels through 200 virtual worlds to find 200 birthday candles. Players can collect thirty NFTs, ten of which were designed by digital artist Beeple. Louis Vuitton added new content to the game and offered NFT rewards to players who reach a certain threshold. The raffle gave away 10 NFTs featuring Vivienne as an avatar that can be used on social networks. LV recently announced another new NFT collection:
Overpriced, a web3-native fashion house, is making waves in the NFT fashion space with its unique concept of combining physical and virtual fashion. The brand, founded by a group of artists, sold its first NFT-associated hoodie for a whopping $26,000 at an auction on Blockparty.co. The hoodie comes with a physical copy and a special V-code that verifies ownership and can be invalidated if stolen or defaced.
Let’s answer the question at the start of this article:
No, luxury and fashion NFTs are not a fad. But they aren’t the new hype either (yet).
Even Nike’s successful launch sold mostly to existing crypto users. It also tailed off after the initial launch. There are still major issues to be addressed when it comes to merging the traditional clientele of luxury brands and NFTs.
But watch this space because NFTs and its involvement with fashion and luxury brands are likely here to stay.