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NFTs bring fashion media into the era of the metaverse

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While print publishing and technology have long been poles apart from the media, some fashion magazines are now engaging in NFTs as part of a longer term strategy.

In the fashion industry, the NFT business has been largely driven by brands. But some of the supermarkets in the fashion industry are found in the media space, with titles like Vogue and Stunned attract a loyal following equal to some luxury players. Vogue alone reported a global web audience of 56 million people in 2019. The media space also includes the work of notable photographers such as Ellen von Unwerth, many of whom have worked in fashion for over 30 years and offer collections that offer an unfiltered look behind the scenes at fashion’s biggest moments.

Titles like Vogue sit on a repository of images that can be turned into a valuable catalog through NFTs. However, to make sense, NFTs must engage the reader in a new way. While legacy titles like Vogue UK and Vogue US may struggle to attract audiences to the NFT space, Vogue’s ever-growing list of international titles means some are more nimble and more open to new formats. Norman Tan, editor-in-chief of Vogue Singapore, knows the space well.

[With NFTs,] we didn’t want to do what we always do with Vogue, which is, you take a picture, look at the top photographer, the top model, put on a nice dress and then pull on it – which is very analog – and then mint afterwards, he said.

Vogue Singapore is a young title, launched only during the pandemic with its “”Get up “title in September 2020. In three collector’s covers, he featured Singaporean model Diya Prabhakar photographed by Bryan Huynh, with a CGI floral illustration by Rodolfo Hernandez; Chinese model J Xiown photographed by Gregory Harris; and Japanese actress Nana Komatsu photographed by Fish Zhang. In print and digital form, the cover covers highly integrated technology, including with QR codes and AR and VR content.

On November 10, the latest issue of Vogue Singapore launched a non-fungible token (NFT) drop of two digital-only Vogue covers in the Opensea crypto market. The first was created by metaverse artist and designer Nike 3D Chad Knight, in the same way designerJamela Law and Lionel Wong from Singapore-based design firm Balf design. The animated cover created by the three designers was called Triumphant Awakening. NFT artists The Manufacturer and Shavonne Wong created the second programmable blanket, called The Renaixance Rising. The lighting shown on the page changes depending on the time of day. That’s the beauty of digital fashion, Tan said. He doesn’t have to be realistic, and he doesn’t have to follow the laws of physics. You could be anywhere in the universe or in your imagination.

For Tan, integrating digital technology is also a logical step. Singapore’s population is only 5 million, making it one of the smallest in the world and not a center for clothing production. However, people are still interested in luxury and technology. It surprised me many years ago, when I first visited this country, that everyone wears a designer bag, be it Chanel, Herms, Prada or Gucci. It’s rare to find something that comes from a freelance designer. NFT blankets auction begin at 12ETH each (around $ 38,000). Vogue Singapore has also released eight more NFTs. Vogue, NFT artists, NFTBrytehall Marketplace, and Binance cryptocurrency exchange will share revenue from NFT sales.

As interest in the digital art space has grown and digital designers create clothing for the industry, a new area is developing that opens up a new area of ​​creativity for the media space of the fashion. Vogue Singapore hopes to extend this even beyond digital creators. I don’t want the NFT issue to be a flash in the pan and never come back to it, Tan said. With]what we did last year, everyone knows that Vogue Singapore has a passion for it. [NFT]space out. For next year, we’ll be introducing a contributor metaverse editor. In each issue, we’ll invite an expert into the metaverse space – he or she could be a creator, writer, or collector. This person will act as a bridge with Vogue Singapore and educate the Vogue fashion reader about what’s hot in this universe.

The NFT blankets currently on auction highlight the interactive elements of collectible blankets, which may be personalized in the future. Vogue International is already working on more NFT magazine covers for upcoming issues of Vogue Brazil and Vogue Arabia, showing that media companies’ appetite for digital is not slowing.

Cathy Heckl, industry expert on the metaverse, said that for fashion brands, NFTs offer a way to go beyond the 2D world they produce. “They can become fashion houses, create their own worlds and engage their community in a whole new way,” she said. “NTFs offer fashion media a new opportunity for monetization and should be viewed as a store of value that will increase the value of media companies. The IP they have been creating for a long time becomes an NFT compatible asset that no longer resides in an archive but can actually generate value. “

Other publishers are also entering the space. ES Magazine, the Evening Standard’s weekly lifestyle and culture magazine, published its very first NFT magazine cover (and UK’s first NFT cover) in September. Thematically, it was designed to amplify BIPOC and non-binary voices across music, art, and fashion, and highlight the face of LGBTQ + poet and model Kai-Isaiah Jamal. It is currently available to view at the Annka Kultys Gallery until it is auctioned off; Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will support the food surplus charity The Felix Project.

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