Amber Jae Slooten, co-founder of The Manufacturer, a digital fashion house, says the really fun part of NFTs is going beyond the physical. I wouldn’t want to encourage brands to just copy their physical items, she says. I would encourage them to go beyond their physical reality. For example, we designed a shoe that was a flaming shoe. You can create all kinds of couture digital looks that could never exist in real life.
The manufacturer recently hosted a 3D fashion design competition in collaboration with Adidas and Karlie Klosss nonprofit, Kode With Klossy. The 20 best bids were then auctioned as NFT. They were also on display in a gallery in Decentraland, where visitors living in avatars could view the artwork and virtually bid on the designs. The winning design brought in 1.4 ETH, or roughly $ 2,400 at current exchange rates. Proceeds from the auction went directly to featured artists, while voluntary contributions supported new events and programs for the Kode With Klossys alumni community of over 5,000 scholars.
Another option for brands is to use NFTs as an opportunity to experiment beyond fashion. Re-inc, a direct-to-consumer brand founded by four American football stars, including Megan Rapinoe, has made a name for itself selling streetwear. But now he’s launching a bundle of NFTs which are digital playing card GIFs featuring each of the soccer stars. Jenny Wang, fifth co-founder of Re-inc, said the brand would buy carbon offsets with a portion of the profits, responding to criticism that NFTs are bad for the environment. Environmental concerns should dissipate in the coming months: Ethereum is in the process of being transition to a new consensus proof-of-stake protocol that will significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Cathy Hackl of the Futures Intelligence Group believes she was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to virtual fashion and its possibilities. As we move into a more immersive web, every fashion brand will need to have a virtual strategy, she says. Selling dresses and virtual assets will be an important source of income for brands. For my children, the appearance of their avatar in games is just as important as their appearance when they go to school. My daughter told me the other day about her avatar, yeah mom I paid a lot for that face.
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Learn more about this topic:
In Guccis’ game strategy
Ian Rogers on Luxury Innovation and the NFT Opportunity
These platforms want to be the Farfetch of digital fashion
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