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ART & COLLECTABLES

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

The Chainsmokers are the First in the Music Industry to Share their new Album Royalties with Fans via the NFT Drop

The famed music duo The Chainsmokers’ new album features an NFT giveaway, which provides 5000 fans a 1% royalty split.

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#nft #nfthours #chainsmokers #royalties #cut

The electronic music duo, The Chainsmokers, are best known for classics like “Closer” and “Paris,” but they’ve also established a reputation as Web3 pioneers. The most recent example is their new album “So Far So Good,” which will include a drop of 5,000 NFTs that will allow fans to share in 1% of the revenues.

This is the most high-profile case of musicians using NFTs to distribute royalties to fans to date. While artists such as Nas and Diplo have published royalty-generating NFTs for individual songs, this is the first time a band has done so for an entire album for free.

In an interview, Taggart and bandmate Alex Pall said that they chose their most devoted followers, of which 5000 will receive an NFT, by examining data from concert purchases, song streaming, and Discord engagement.

In this scenario, the NFTs will grant fans access to a members-only area of The Chainsmokers’ Discord channel and the opportunity to meet with the duo personally.

Those who get the NFTs will be notified when they receive a payment on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. If customers decide to sell the NFT, a smart contract (basically a computer program) will transfer 7.5 percent of the earnings to The Chainsmokers (one of the benefits of NFTs for artists is the opportunity to receive a share of secondary sales), which the duo plans to gift to the album’s songwriters.

The new record will be released on Friday, and the NFTs will be handed out on May 17. The Chainsmokers use Royal, a platform that uses the Polygon network and was behind Nas’ and other significant artists’ recent NFT drops, to distribute the NFTs.

The Chainsmokers claim to have arranged for the NFTs to be released in a fashion that does not require their supporters to have any crypto knowledge. While crypto enthusiasts can request that the NFT be sent straight to their Web3 wallet, beginners can request that Royal construct a wallet and rely on the site to display and store it.

To reduce fan friction, the duo has arranged for them to be able to acquire and transfer NFTs without incurring any transaction fees. So allow Royal to establish a wallet for them, which will be shown and stored on the site.

The music industry is entering the Web 3 era

The Chainsmokers aren’t new to the crypto industry, but this is their first time issuing NFTs. For years, the two have run an investment group that has sponsored various Web3 projects, including Royal, created by another artist, Justin Blau, aka DJ 3Lau.

According to Pall, Pall and Taggart first discovered bitcoin six years ago while playing a corporate gig for Google. A random guy approached their trailer during a break between scenes and gave them a blue streak about the revolutionary power of blockchain. This event convinced them of the technology’s promise.

Pall claims that they recognized right away how an immutable blockchain record might help them create new relationships with their fans and, potentially, solve the problem of secondary ticket sales. Scalpers (sometimes using bots) sweep up large blocks of tickets and resale them for an enormous profit, which has long irritated fans and singers alike.

Using NFTs on a blockchain can help bands avoid scalpers and ensure that resale earnings go to them or their fans.

The Chainsmokers are a rising number of musicians who have realized that blockchains can be a better alternative to traditional economic structures that include layers of attorneys and music industry middlemen.

Blockchain-based record and distribution platforms give musicians a new method to communicate with listeners and provide the most dependable approach for monitoring royalties, which has been a long-standing issue in the industry.

The Chainsmokers are eager to point out that NFTs and other blockchain-based technologies have yet to be demonstrated in the music industry. “Everyone is still trying to figure this out,” Taggart says.

However, the rising popularity of platforms like Royal, which just funded $55 million, and the growing number of prominent musicians adopting crypto suggest that Web3 is likely to be the way forward for the music industry.

If that’s the case, the NFTs linked with their record will be yet another win for The Chainsmokers, both as musicians and businesspeople. One of the duo’s other businesses is a successful tequila brand.

When asked how they got their entrepreneurial spirit, the duo praised Jimmy Buffett, claiming that the Margaritaville singer built a corporate empire by carefully selecting ventures that fit his brand and personality.

Pall remarked that the duo’s Web3 endeavors would come in handy if his stage appeal wanes. But, he joked, “I’m not going to look amazing in leather pants forever.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Madonna’s Nude NFT Debut Elicits a Range of Reactions from the Community

The community reacted to Madonna and Beeple’s latest NFT release in a variety of ways, from being inspired to criticizing the artwork’s “flaws.”

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#nft #nfthours #madonna #beeple #mothernature

Mother of Creation is a series of nonfungible tokens created by the queen of pop and record-breaking performer Beeple. It includes three NFTs titled Mother of Technology, Mother of Nature, and Mother of Evolution. The NFTs depict Madonna in 3D, giving birth to robot centipedes, butterflies, and plants.

While the markets were going crazy over stablecoins displaying instability, Madonna and Beeple thought it was time to show the community something even crazier: NFTs depicting a 3D model of the 63-year-old singer’s vagina. 

Following the release, the community reacted in various ways, with some being inspired and others criticizing the artwork. Emiko Inoue, a Twitter user, stated that the artwork is “the most motivating” and would “gladly buy one without thinking” if she could afford it.

Twitter user artbyjstelco, on the other hand, stated that he “totally despises” the artwork. Many aspects of the NFT were attacked, including how nature should “not wear make-up” and have “artificial tits and hair.” According to the Twitter user, giving birth is a painful process, and the artwork does not reflect this.

The NFTs are presently valued 28 Ether (ETH), which is around $56,000 at writing. The auction will conclude in 35 hours. The money raised from the drop will go to three separate charities that help women and children worldwide, according to the collection’s description on the NFT marketplace SuperRare.

Three-dimensional NFTs are becoming more popular. Sony announced a partnership with Theta Labs to launch 3D NFTs last week. This, according to the electronics company, illustrates the capabilities of its new product, the Spatial Reality Display. Users can examine objects in 3D on the monitor without having to wear standard 3D equipment.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Lina Valentina’s NFT Collection “No More” was released to raise awareness about domestic violence

Since the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the full usefulness of NFTs has been recognized as a revolutionary tool.

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NFTs have evolved from hype-driven collectibles to become a means of expression, making them more than merely an investment tool. With these NFTs, Lina Valentina’s latest collection wants to make a much more profound change.

People from all across the world who supported Ukraine did everything they could to help the country. The Ukraine NFT flag, for example, was broken down into 3,271 individual components and was able to raise $6.75 million for the country.

Today, the No More collection uses a similar method to raise awareness to a critical issue affecting women. The collection attempts to transmit the message of rejecting domestic violence around the world by using the power of web3 and NFTs.

Lina Valentina, one of the most notable feminist artists, discussed her NFT collection with Cointribune, which was developed to bring courage to those women who are still silent while enduring this awful violence.

Each of the collection’s 7,777 individual NFTs will reflect a feminine face – the aesthetic touch that made Lina Valentina renowned (primarily the mouth and the open zipper).

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