Will fashion embrace NFTs?
Last year the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) gold rush started. In short - NFTs are digital art, which you can buy, own, and later sell. Early adopters have already found the virtual fashion brand RTFKT, which was one of the first on NFT fashion brand on the market. The brand is well-known for creating virtual sneaker designs, and last year they sold a digital jacket for over $125,000. “NFTs are all about collectibles, and so is the fashion world,” says Benoit Pagotto, founder of RTFKT.
NFTs brand features for digital fashion skins, avatars, or wardrobe collectibles – to be used in Metaverse. With NFT’s, buyers can own fashion, and through the digital touchpoint in Metaverse, can apparel be displayed. It also solves a major issue for luxury fashion because the fashion can be worn numerous times and keep its value. In addition, NFT’s are tackling another main issue for the luxury industry - counterfeiting. Due to its close connection to the transparent crypto community. With its blockchain technology, which is a transparent marketplace for everyone involved. Thereby, no counterfeits can be created.
NFT’s are an extension of physical fashion. The digital environment opens for fascinating forms of self-expression, creativity, and business opportunity. For example, Gucci celebrated its 100th-anniversary last summer in the Metaverse. They sold their landmark Aria NFT collection for $ 25,000 at the auction house Christie's in June.
Even though this seems great, LVMH’s chairman Bernard Arnault’s has another perspective. “It’s a purely virtual world and until now, we are in the real world and we sell real products," Arnault said. "To be sure, it’s compelling, it’s interesting, it can even be quite fun. We have to see what are the applications of this metaverse and these NFTs."
The high engagement around NFTs will represent the next evolutionary step for the fashion industry. In the same way, e-sport is leveraging NFTs to build a greater community, luxury brands can use it in the same way. Through this digital community of fashion, fans can collect and trade digital art, shop fashion items and soon shop in digital stores.
The rise of NFTs has caused a debate between fashion brands choosing to adopt to the digital demand, and those remaining on the fence. The brands who successfully sold items in the metaverse, such as RTFKT, have been able to reach a new audience, while making substantial money, but still, fashion giants like LVMH are yet to embrace this new technology. However, NFTs appeal of fighting counterfeits and increasing an item’s life cycle with only continue to rise. The question remains how the hype will develop and how long brands can afford to remain solely in the physical world. If we are to trust the early adopters – NFTs are sparking a revolution, and it has just begun!
By Isabelle Käck Wedelin