Luxury Fashion Designers Enter The Metaverse
A wide range of innovative luxury fashion designers are entering web3. Those include Nicholas Kirkwood, Franck Muller, Giuseppe Zanotti, Phillipp Plein, Republiqe, Tommy Hilfiger. Each has taken a unique approach to merging blockchain with luxury and global fashion markets.
Let’s have a look at what these legendary designers have been up to in the Metaverse.
Visionary aesthetics are no stranger to designer Giuseppe Zanotti.
In 2021 he released his snake-wrapped COBRAS sneakers with rapper Young Thug, and now he has released a limited edition digital version of the same parakeet green trainers in the Metaverse. Holders of NeuCard (a VIP membership from the Neuno Marketplace) will receive a digital outfit designed by Neuno and Deadfellaz.
“When I listen to people talking about metaverse, I remember the first conversations we had about e-commerce: it was like a taboo and the first experiments were not really successful….Now we cannot live without it.” Giuseppe said.
Fashion designer Nicholas Kirkwood dropped an NFT collection at MVFW with the Decentraland objet d’art community character White Rabbit, offering specific digital wearable boots, with the next step being collectible NFT PFP artwork, in partnership with Dematerialized, which itself utilizes the sustainability-focused Lukso network.
“It was kind of inspired by light refraction…elements I played a lot with. But now, I can give it a whole new sort of spin,” Kirkwood said.
Plein created a digital fashion show plus seven digital outfits (and a DJ set) the MVFW, teaming with artist Antoni Tudisco of the Crypto King$ (@antonitudisco x @philipp_plein) to develop matching puffer coat and bucket hat combo featuring ‘Lil Monsters.
Plein created the Museum of NFT Arts (M.O.N.A) inside of 120 foot tall Plein Plaza skyscraper, situated on his 1.4 million USD plot in Decentraland; M.O.N.A encourages and showcases new and upcoming NFT artists. This follows a Lil Monster$ Gang NFT drop by Plein earlier this year.
Franck Muller launched a bitcoin watch. Known as the Vanguard Encrypto, its dubbed as “the world’s first functional Bitcoin watch” with the dial using a laser-etched QR code with a public wallet address.
Tommy Hilfiger created in 2022 the Tommy Hilfiger Island community existing with the Animal Crossing space. In December 2021, the brand partnered with Roblox community creators to recreate signature pieces, producing 30 wearables. For their MVFW pop-up store, Hilfiger created NFTs redeemable for physical products from their Spring 2022 collection, made possible via Boson Protocol.
“The trend we see now is that digital, over time, will become the leading dimension for everything we do.” said Martijn Hagman, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; “This is a completely new frontier for nearly all our business functions, it is not a matter of simply upskilling associates, this is about building and executing completely new business models.”
Republiqe, a digital native clothing outfit company founded by James Gaubert, offered limited edition wearables of labels such as Coach, Wandler and Ester Manas, plus five bespoke outfits for its digital store in the 💯xARt Luxury Fashion District of Decentraland for MVFW. This was in collaboration is Monnier Paris, who now offer cryptocurrency payment options at its stores. In December, the brand launched digital sneakers along with Koi Footwear.
The “funny thing is, the real world is just the part-time metaverse.” That’s the legendary Virgil Abloh.
One must also recognize the contributions (and some posthumous ones) that Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White, has made in advancing fashion and design into the metaverse. Through a collaboration with Stevie Williams and DGK, Abloh crafted a limited edition skate deck NFT.
Before he passed away, Abloh had plans to create a completely new web3 DAO and open space for artists and creators, which he called Skyscraper, foreseen as a design house built via collaborations with physical architects in the digital space and a curatorial board which included the Swiss art historian Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator of London Serpentine art gallery.
“I want to make virtual clothes to paint pictures physical clothes cannot, and let buyers access a new dimension of their personal style — no matter who they are, where they live, and the virtual worlds they love”, said Abloh in a statement.
Virgil Abloh was at the forefront of a movement that is still quite nascent. He had a vision that continues to permeate the culture of web3 communities across the world, going beyond fashion:
“What I have running in my head is to start a real-life, digital museum. For it to become an institution where the currency used in that space is my unique social token. Inside the space will be my work, but also the work of a community of adjacent artists operating on a token of the space.” ~ Virgil Abloh
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