We witnessed the striking confluence of fashion, gaming, and the NFT worlds in 2021 when the top fashion brands explored the uniqueness of the metaverse for the first time and tapped into its endless potential. So, to begin with, let’s quickly refresh your memory about non-fungible tokens or NFTs and metaverse.
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are crypto assets typically based on Ethereum blockchain technology and have unique identifiers that distinguish them. It is a unique digital token encoded with the artist’s signature for authentication and represents exclusive ownership of collectibles like artwork, video clips, music, fashion apparel, and more. These NFTs are stored in the owner’s crypto wallet, and their records and value are stored on the digital blockchain ledger. Although they use the same technology as cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not currencies, hence cannot be traded. Metaverse is a virtual world that extends beyond gaming and allows users to interact virtually and experience real-time activities. In essence, it combines virtual, augmented, and physical reality into a single environment that blurs the boundaries between online and offline environments.
Fashion NFTs are digital collectibles and do not replace actual physical clothing. Instead, it presents fashion brands with a significant opportunity to establish themselves as leaders in the digital space and tap into a burgeoning market of digital-savvy new generation consumers. Fashion houses such as Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, fast-fashion retailers like boohooMAN, and other smaller brands are all getting involved in NFT in creative ways and trying to make a name for themselves. They are setting up fashion NFTs on different marketplaces, but some do well, and some are still figuring out. Brands have entered the sphere by offering virtual replicas of their products in existing games, while others have created entirely new gaming worlds. Some are releasing tokens, while others have reimagined their apparel styles.
Although still in its infancy, the NFT world offers new possibilities to the fashion industry through collaboration with crypto designers and geeks. Even your fashion gets a vibe check in a year like 2022, and not just in the real world anymore. Let’s become a trendsetter in the virtual realm as well. We brought to you some of the top brands that launched in the digital space while everyone else was trying to figure out what NFTs were. Have a look below and find out what we can look forward to in 2022!
Gucci feels even more luxurious now. In 2021, the Italian fashion house ventured into the digital world and what we saw was astonishing. Gucci auctioned off a newly minted NFT inspired by its recent Aria collection in a week-long online auction hosted by Christie’s. Christie’s described the NFT fashion film as a mix of “dream-like landscape and effervescent energy,” which incorporated Alessandro Michele’s runway presentation into a four-minute 4K video. This is not the first time Gucci has entered the digital space. Before, the brand experimented with digital fashion through augmented reality (AR) by launching virtual sneakers dubbed “Virtual 25” on its app for $12 each. Gucci’s first NFT comes in the form of a short 4K film that is part of its landmark Aria collection, which celebrates its 100th anniversary and features a collaboration with Balenciaga.
The auction was titled “PROOF OF SOVEREIGNTY: A Curated NFT Sale by Lady PheOnix.” Initially, the bid was set at $20,000 and ended at $25,000, payable in Ethereum only. All the proceeds garnered were donated to UNICEF USA. It is an excellent attempt to expand beyond its existing clientele and tap into the potential of Gen-Z customers in the digital world. However, we would be intrigued to see what luxury NFTs Gucci may introduce this year.
In the past, we only saw luxury brands flocking to the metaverse but not any fast-fashion brands making their way there. So when boohooMAN made this announcement, we were happy to finally see the ball rolling as we closed out 2021. As boohooMAN unveiled its first NFT collection, it became the first fast-fashion brand to enter the ever-expanding virtual realm with a stunning array of 8 futuristic 3-D NFTs. It dived deep into the metaverse and took a modern take as it reimagined its apparel collection with a contemporary edge that gave futuristic vibes. Don’t trust us? Then take a look at it yourself and prepare to be transported into the virtual world of fashion!
This collection contains absolutely unique, brand-new items that you can transform into a futuristic-looking stylish streetwear outfit for your digital avatar – or you can keep them as a collection for yourself. It’s time to own your style and become a trendsetter in the virtual realm with boohooMAN.
One of the biggest global luxury brands, Louis Vuitton, entered the metaverse by launching a visually stunning mobile video game integrated with 30 NFTs to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its founding father. The game is called Louis: The Game, in which we, as players, take on the role of main character Vivienne, the mascot, and embark on a quest-filled journey that traces the history of the brand. In the game, players travel through six worlds to collect 200 candles and win NFT collectibles as prizes, ten of which were created by well-known artist Beeple. However, these tokens are not commercialized as Louis Vuitton strives to create an interactive, alluring, and informative experience that engages a mass audience. Although LV is no stranger to the digital realm, its latest endeavor in fashion NFT follows the overwhelming popularity of NFTs in 2021, and it is bound to capture the attention of young, digitally savvy consumers.
Burberry made its first foray into fashion NFTs in partnership with US developer Mythical Games and released a limited-edition NFT collection under their flagship game, Blankos Block Party. Blankos Block Party is a free play-to-earn multiplayer universe game based on blockchain technology featuring digital vinyl toys (Blankos) owned and created by players.
As part of this collection drop, Burberry introduced a limited-edition character NFT toy- ‘Sharky B,’ and in-game NFT accessories, including a jetpack, armbands, and pool shoes embellished with the TB Monogram that you can apply to any Blanko they own. The ‘Sharky B’ costs $300 for a limited number of 750 units, and users can order up to four, and the Jetpack is $100 for a limited number of 1,500 units. ‘Sharky B’ sold out within 30 seconds of being launched, making it a remarkable feat for this digital endeavor. With Burberry becoming the first global luxury brand to appear in Blankos Block Party, we can anticipate digital ownership of luxury brands in gaming in the future.
FEWOCiOUS and RTFKT collaboration brought a radically new dimension to the rapidly evolving NFT art scene. It is the most innovative and exciting collaboration that we have seen thus far, unlocking the enormous potential and limitless possibilities of digital media leveraging NFTs and next-generation technology. RTFKT Studios is a creator-led digital studio that creates virtual sneakers, collectibles, and accessories for the metaverse. It is the brainchild of three friends who aim to accelerate the digital future with innovative technology. With massive fashion NFT ventures already under its belt, RTFKT seamlessly merges fashion with gaming. However, magic happened when RTKFT joined forces with teen virtual designer FEWOCiOUS and created a unique experience unlike any other.
In addition to acquiring RTKFT, sportswear giant Nike had already dabbled in the metaverse with the launch of Nikeland – a virtual world created in partnership with Roblox that lets players customize their digital avatars with Nike products and unlock exclusive virtual goods. Currently. “Air Force 1,” “Nike Blazer,” “Air Force 1 Fontanka,” and “Air Max 2021” are available, and more product integrations will follow, but they will not be cheap.
Nikeland runs in real-time and online play is powered by GPS accelerometers that detect real-world movements. You can also enjoy a variety of mini-games, including “the floor is lava” and dodgeball, as well as design your own mini-games. Players will receive blue ribbons and gold medals to compete, build their yards, and find Easter eggs. In general, Nike‘s efforts to connect with the digitally-connected audience are intriguing and admirable, but we’d like to see them drive a revolution in the digital space. Our eyes are set on what Nike has in store for us, leveraging the NFT world.
Let’s begin by saying that Adidas nailed it with this campaign. There is no doubt that NFTs are causing a stir, and Adidas has also entered the NFT/metaverse space and surprisingly emerged victorious. Adidas launched its NFT collection last December in partnership with the hottest hawkers in the market, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comics, and cryptocurrency investor GMoney.
Please hold your hearts before telling you about this collaboration because we know every fashion lover or budding entrepreneur dreams of this experience. In partnership with Virtual Brand Group, American fashion retail brand Forever 21 unveiled a brand new game called Forever 21 Shop City on Roblox, the online game sharing platform. The metaverse is one of the most revolutionary innovations since the emergence of the internet, and these fashion ventures are pushing it to new heights. It will fulfill the dreams of all fashion lovers and shopaholics as Roblox users will be able to simulate owning and managing their own virtual Forever 21 stores. The game will allow players to buy and sell Forever 21 merchandise, hire employees, customize locations, interior, and merchandise range. Were we right when we said this would make you squeal with delight?
Users can expand their stores and customize their interiors and exteriors by completing missions and earning points. The feature that appealed to us the most was that Forever 21 Day would also take place on the 21st of every month, bringing themed activities and content to the game. The Forever 21 x Roblox collaboration seamlessly integrates the physical and virtual worlds. It sounds interesting, but what does it mean? Forever 21 will release its new collections in the real world and within the virtual world simultaneously, which means users will be able to sell the merchandise in their in-game stores or customize their avatars. Aside from store management, players can explore four themed districts, play role-playing games, build communities, and display their virtual styles in Yellow Carpet Zone and share their avatars on social media as user-generated content.
Overall, this is the best fusion of the metaverse with the reality that opens up new possibilities for the future. How come you are still here? Hurry up, and check out ‘Forever 21 Shop City’ on Roblox now.
Expansion of mega luxury brands and fast-fashion brands into new horizons feels exciting as we experience the fascinating convergence of the fashion, gaming, and cryptocurrency worlds. From a business standpoint, it is wise to look beyond the current clientele and introduce yourself to potential customers, especially the digitally-connected Gen-Z buyers who are in tune with the new trends. As we continue to redefine community spaces and explore the virtual world, these collaborations will push the boundaries by unlocking the moments of inspiration, innovation, and creativity as these intersections are revolutionizing the face of fashion, NFTs, and gaming!
How do you feel about the current trend of NFTs and cryptocurrencies? Could the metaverse be the future? Would you like to see other brands explore NFTs in 2022? Comment down below or tweet us at @TheHoneyPop! Want the daily drip? Get the latest pop culture news and inside scoop by following us on Instagram and Facebook!
What's Your Reaction?
Khushboo Malhotra works as a freelance journalist, digital marketing & media strategist, and content marketer featured in various global and national media publications and works alongside B2B, B2C, and eCommerce brands. A wide range of her work spans music and entertainment culture, sustainable lifestyle (including sub-niches), and SaaS. She enjoys writing novels and designing screenplays, grooving at concerts, or exploring new fashion and cuisines that tickle her taste buds when she is not working. Have a story? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org