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As Luxury Fashion Manufacturers Introduce NFT Collections, Culture and Blockchain Collide

NFT collections are being launched by high-end fashion houses, but can the concept catch on with the rest of the industry?

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Nonfungible tokens have dominated the crypto market this year, which comes as no surprise. Within the first six months of 2021, the booming digital asset class earned over $2.5 billion in sales, proving previously unheard-of financial advantages for artists, companies, and content providers worldwide.

As the world moves closer to ideas of a future defined by augmented reality, the advent of metaverses has impacted NFT acceptance. As a result, NFTs are showcasing the confluence of culture and technology, affecting various significant businesses.

Putting culture and community on display

The million-dollar luxury apparel industry, in particular, has begun to pay attention to NFTs. High-end fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo have just debuted their NFT lines. At the same time, Rebecca Minkoff made history as the first American woman to design and display an NFT collection during New York Fashion Week 2021.

Megan Kaspar, managing director of Magnetic Capital and a member of Red DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization focused on fashion, says that fashion is one of the most attractive NFT categories:

“The fashion industry, one of the largest industries in the world, generated $2.5 trillion in global annual revenues prior to the pandemic. Red DAO’s thesis around digital NFT fashion includes the potential of global revenues at least doubling over the next two decades due to the digitization of fashion and new capabilities offered.”

While NFTs for the fashion sector are still in the early stages of development, Kaspar emphasized that physical fashion has limitations today. She pointed out, for example, that luxury fashion products would always have a secondary retail market value, but that as the value of a product diminishes over time, it loses its value.

Digital fashion pieces, on the other hand, will always be intact, with the added possibility of increasing in value if they are in high demand. Kaspar recently demonstrated how digital NFT fashion pieces might be worn electronically during a video interview when she wore virtual NFT earnings and other accessories.

Digital things, unlike actual fashion products, can be utilized as collateral for client retention and community engagement, according to Kaspar. “NFTs can be used to redeem tangible products or to unlock upcoming fashion drops,” Kaspar said, noting that high-end designers currently have minimal connection with consumers. “They can also provide you access to exclusive events. Designers will also be able to engage with customers using digital wallets, similar to email,” she continued.

While Kaspar recognizes that these use cases are still in their infancy, she predicts that more brands will begin to establish NFTs in the future to reap similar benefits. For the time being, though, it’s worth noting that a few forward-thinking luxury and haute fashion firms have already begun to demonstrate NFTs’ potential.

Shashi Menon, the publisher of Vogue Arabia in Dubai and the founder and CEO of UNXD, a creator and curator platform that designed all of the digital assets for Dolce & Gabbana’s nine-piece NFT collection, said that his team approached Dolce & Gabbana with the idea of launching an NFT collection in April this year.

Menon explained that the opportunity was contextualized based on his knowledge of the premium apparel industry and cryptocurrency. He stated, “We’ve been active in both for years and believe we have a unique perspective to share.” Menon feels that the tale of NFTs and fashion is about culture, not technology and that both fashion and NFTs are “ultimately means of cultural expression.”

While culture is undoubtedly the most essential factor for a brand, blockchain technology is critical in ensuring the unique benefits of NFTs, such as immutability and provenance. For example, Menon noted that Dolce & Gabbana’s NFT collection, dubbed “Collezione Genesi,” was historically significant for several reasons:

“There is deep provenance — here we had one of the world’s iconic luxury brands creating its debut NFT collection, and it was personally designed by the founders/namesake designers. There is also extreme rarity, as the collection only featured nine items. These pieces were made once and will never be made again.”

Menon went on to say that the skill and materials used in the actual works were superb, implying that the digital artwork took a long time to complete. “To produce a highly accurate finish, we obsess over the tiniest elements of texturing, textiles, lighting, shadows, reflections, and physics. The crowns were made of silver, coated in gold and palladium, and contained exquisite rubies, sapphires, and diamonds,” he said, adding that the dresses and jackets had Murano glass and Swarovski crystals.

One of the most significant advantages of digital fashion items is the virtual world experience they may provide. Menon continued:

“The benefits for Genesis holders bridge the digital and the physical worlds in a way not previously done before. We’re providing digital utility through metaverse wearables, physical utility with the products, and exclusive access/experiences to create a truly special result.”

Even though the concept is still futuristic, sales have been excellent. For example, on September 30, Dolce & Gabbana revealed that it had sold the nine-piece NFT collection and specific physical couture pieces for a total of 1,885.719 Ether (ETH), which was almost $5.7 million at the time.

According to Kaspar, red DAO won the auction for “The Doge Crown,” which also came with a physical version. At the time of sale, Red DAO paid 423.5 ETH, or $1.27 million. The group also won two wholly digital “Impossible” jackets, totaling approximately $1.9 million in expenses.

Given that the rank of “Doge” (as in an elected head of state) and the Dogecoin (DOGE) crossover have their roots in Italy, Kaspar noted that obtaining “The Doge Crown” was an exciting time for Red DAO. “A number of celebrities that advocate Dogecoin have already contacted us and asked to wear the crown at upcoming events,” Kaspar remarked.

Aside from Dolce & Gabbana’s Genesis collection, Jimmy Choo, a luxury fashion accessories brand, has announced an NFT effort with New York artist Eric Haze. The collection includes 8,888 “mystery boxes” for purchase, with the notion of collectability running throughout.

In addition, on the Binance platform, a digital version of the shoe created for the collection was just put available for auction. The Jimmy Choo Foundation will receive 100% of the proceeds from the auction in favor of “Women for Women International,” an organization that assists female war survivors.

The sneaker NFT whirling against a canvas of Haze’s characteristic lettering only exists digitally, according to Robert Tran, CEO of Ucollex, the NFT platform driving the introduction of the Jimmy Choo collection. The auction’s highest bidder, on the other hand, will receive a limited-edition hand-painted sneaker.

Tran said, “In an experimental meeting of creative minds from diverse cultures, this cooperation merges fashion with art, as well as the progression of street culture,” staying loyal to the concept of culture:

“The notion of collectability is a strong theme in the collaboration, as seen with the limited edition ‘Be@rbrick,’ which sold out the morning it launched. So, the timing felt right for the brand to enter the NFT conversation, amplifying New York artist Eric Haze’s creativity and Jimmy Choo’s designs as digital collectibles talking to a new audience. The fusing of digital and physical will only continue to grow in influence.”

Is the general public prepared for fashion NFTs?

While there are numerous advantages to digital fashion today, the concept is still in its early stages of development. Industry analysts expect that fashion NFTs will become more widespread as social media companies such as Facebook and TikTok continue to invest in metaverse capabilities.

Metaverses, for example, have already been introduced to the mainstream through remote work sessions, according to Tran. As a result, he believes that widespread NFT adoption is not far off: “There should be no doubt, the industry will continue to grow. Fashion shows will be done digitally one day, and the rights to the pieces on display will be auctioned and sold solely for digital use.”

While these principles may not be universally applicable now, they will become the standard in the future, according to Menon. Fashion brands and other businesses that value consistency will want to produce NFTs for their audiences in the future, he said. In terms of community participation, Menon said that Dolce & Gabbana is planning to develop its own NFT community, dubbed “DGFamily,” in the near future.

Still, education is essential

Although it may be safe to assume that more brands will want to create NFTs to stay current, Kaspar pointed out that we are also witnessing a trend where fashion brands and designers are jumping in on the NFT hype just to capture their share of the market. With this in mind, she believes that most brands still do not fully understand the power of wearable digital fashion and the full range of features that NFTs can provide.

One less-discussed disruptive feature of digitizing luxury apparel, Kaspar explained, is the opportunity to utilize these products as collateral in decentralized financial smart contracts: “All of them will be blockchain-based NFTs linked to smart contracts. That is what this technology allows us to do.”

Given the early stage of fashion NFTs, Kaspar remarked that this is an educational opportunity: “I have fashion brands calling me to figure out how to get involved. What Dolce & Gabbana has done is innovative, and I believe it will set a precedent for other brands.”

ART & COLLECTABLES

NFT Show Europe was all about innovators of the Future of the Internet: web 3.0, metaverse, blockchain, and digital art

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Valencia, October 10th 2022: NFT Show Europe, the leading event on Web 3.0, Blockchain, Metaverse and Digital Art took place in the futuristic venue of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. From the 17th to the 18th of September 2022, #NFTSE attracted over 2300 visitors from 59 countries.

The show featured a packed conference programme with world-renowned speakers. Topics covered included the use of Blockchain and Web 3.0 oriented technologies in traditional businesses, gaming, sports, fashion, art and collectibles, among others.

First edition beyond expectations

“The event showcased the very best in European talent, demonstrating the unstoppable growth of these technologies and its potential in both business and artistic innovation.” explains Patrick Cyrus, Marketing Manager of #NFTSE22.

“We already count with the support of big players such as Tezos, Polkadot, Zeroframe, Crypto Page, Block Ape Scissors or Wert. All of us were equally impressed with the level of potential collaborations and we are already looking forward to the next edition.”

NFT Show beyond Europe

#NFTSE gathers some of the most influential companies and artists to discuss the latest trends and developments. The event was a major boost for the web 3.0 industry companies, fostering new partnerships and collaborations, which helped to solidify its position as a major meeting point in this world.

With visitors from 59 countries attending, the event showcased the latest in blockchain and web3 technologies and its potential applications in the real world.

The speaker line-up was formed by industry leaders such as Takayaki Suzuki, CEO of Metatokio and Esen Tümer, Founder of Metaverse Hub. Other notable speakers included Hide Uehara, Director of Business Development for Square Enix or Sam Hamilton, the Creative Director of Decentraland Foundation.

Showcasing more than 170 artworks by artists such as Zancan, Solimán López, Pablo Alpe, Ulysses, A.L. Crego or Jenni Pasanen, the art exhibition included exclusive minting by fxhash.com, workshops, interactive installations, panel discussions and XR experiences.

Conclusions & Trends

“Web 3.0 technologies provide a way for users to create and interact with digital assets in a virtual space. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize many industries, including gaming, art and finance. NFT Show Europe provided a platform for leading experts to share their insights on those industries in a futuristic business-art atmosphere.” adds Esen Tümer, Founder of MetaverseHub based in Turkey, Istambul.

NFTs and crypto are transforming the art industry by providing creators with a new way to monetize their work and by giving collectors a new way to invest in art. They can be used to track and prove ownership of everything from digital art to in-game items. One of the barriers is the acquisition of cryptocurrencies which is already approached by companies such as Wert.

“We enable the consumers to purchase NFTs with credit or debit cards just like normal or virtual goods … if you’re in the NFT, Generative Art and Web 3.0 space (NFTSE) is just the perfect spot to do that.” explains George Basiladze, Founder of Wert.io.

There is no doubt that the web 3.0 users have the potential to change the way we live, work and play. By harnessing the power of the internet, these technologies can help us to connect with others in new and innovative ways and help us to access information and services that were previously out of reach. With the right support and investment, web 3.0 content will help us to create a more inclusive and connected world.

The producers of NFT Show Europe are already planning the next stages for 2023.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Logan Paul’s unsuccessful NFT Investment: Over $620K to $10

Logan Paul, a well-known YouTuber, has lost millions of dollars as a result of the current crypto winter.

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Logan Paul, an American YouTuber, actor, and social media star, holds a $623,000 unrealized loss as a result of his investment in an NFT from the Azuki line.

Also unsuccessful is his involvement with cryptocurrency. The market collapse has reduced the value of his possessions by more than $500,000.

Losses in Logan Paul’s Critical Papers
The well-known YouTuber joined the cryptocurrency bandwagon last spring when the values of most assets were surging, just like many other people. A few months later, he spent almost $2.5 million on NFTs, joining the trend. The most expensive thing he bought was a piece from the Azuki collection, which cost him $623,000.

However, the YouTube celebrity has suffered significant financial losses as a result of the unstable state of the bitcoin market and the NFT niche, at least on paper. The Azuki NFT currently trades around $10, as Paul recently made known, a drastic decline that sparked debate in the cryptocurrency world.

Many Twitter users made fun of the celebrity for using non-fungible tokens to transact at a time when there was obviously excitement in the industry. Others asserted that digital collectibles are frauds and should not be purchased. Some, however, contend that the price decline is a result of the current bad market and that once the next bull run begins, the valuation will rise.

It’s important to note that the NFT transactions were booming at the time he purchased the things. OpenSea’s trade volume spiked to almost $500 million for a single day at one time last summer, but in recent months, it has struggled to reach $10 million.

Paul has added bitcoin and other alternative currency to his portfolio in addition to NFTs. He recently acknowledged that he had lost almost $500,000 on such investments when he first entered the ecosystem at its peak last year.

Unfortunately for others that followed suit, this year has seen a significant decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market, which now has a total valuation of less than $1 billion (down from $3 billion a year ago).

Millions are Lost by KSI
The British rapper JJ Olatunji, a.k.a. KSI, was another prominent YouTuber who was severely hurt by the crypto market decline.

When Terra’s native token, LUNA, began to fall in price in May, he took the chance to predict that the price will eventually rise again. When the asset was going for about $25, KSI invested $2.8 million of his wealth in it.

He had no idea that the token would keep declining and eventually fall to almost nothing, wiping away the rapper’s multi-million dollar investment.

KSI is a strong supporter of the cryptocurrency market, especially bitcoin. He claimed that BTC will be crucial to the monetary system of the future last year. The rapper continued, claiming that he would have given each UK citizen £100 worth of bitcoin if he were the Prime Minister.

BTC is the ideal investment vehicle in KSI’s opinion. He believes that after ten years, individuals who have some exposure to the asset will “be laughing”:

“I feel like a lot of people are trying to search for quick money like, ‘Oh, I want to get in and out,’ but they’re not really seeing that. I’m prepared to travel a considerable distance for this.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Ford is getting ready to enter the Metaverse with digital cars and NFTs

A month after the company announced significant personnel reductions, it has filed a trademark application covering its future initiatives in the Metaverse and NFT space.

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Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, has filed 19 trademark applications across its key automobile brands as it prepares to enter the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.

Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney licensed by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday that the business had submitted a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands, including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others.

The trademark applications include a projected online marketplace for NFTs and virtual versions of its businesses’ automobiles, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothes.

Ford intends to produce digital images of its vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans that will be verified by NFTs, according to USPTO filings submitted by the automaker on September 2.

The business also disclosed plans for “downloadable virtual commodities,” or “computer programs,” that would include apparel, accessories, and parts for vehicles for usage in “online virtual environments,” such as virtual and augmented reality trade exhibitions.

Additionally, there are plans to develop an online marketplace for “others’ digital artwork” as well as “online retail shop services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”

Less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced significant personnel reductions from its global workforce to decrease corporate expenses; Ford has decided to enter the Web3 area.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to enter the Metaverse market.

While premium automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini have already launched NFT collections, automakers including Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have indicated ambitions to enter the fast-expanding Metaverse market.

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