A view of the DressX X Printemps pop-up in Paris
A little over a year ago, a Kate Moss NFT led the charge of the fashion industry to embark on the world of non-fungible tokens as the latest marketing endeavor. It’s been a whirlwind year of brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Balenciaga and Dolce and Gabbana all jumping on the NFT bandwagon. How the next phase of this new medium plays out is beginning to surface, with several partnerships this past month signaling how every player in the industry wants to get in on the action.
Digital Goes Brick and Mortar
NFTs live in the digital world in places like the Metaverse. But that doesn’t stop in real-life physical stores welcoming their sale in person. Selfridges in London just debuted a project with French Maison Paco Rabanne. The tony retailer has taken the founder’s 1966 innovative, somewhat radical concept of the “12 Unwearable Dresses” into today’s version of a futuristic tool, reviving the 12 styles as NFTs. The dresses, shown recently at Decentraland MANA fashion week, will be available online and with a physical presence inside the shop. A screen within an immersive space highlight Op Art works from Victor Vasarely and physical pieces of the Spring 2022 collection will be available for customers to view the 12 dresses. Customers can pay via a crypto wallet or a credit card and a custodial wallet can be used that contains a layer-2 blockchain framework.
Paco Rabanne reimagines the founder’s 12 Unwearable dresses as NFTs.
French department store Printemps opened its doors to host DressX, a virtual closet founded by Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova in 2020 that creates digital garments, NFTs and AR AR looks that generate zero waste, no carbon footprints, or chemicals during production. The digital platform is dipping its toes into the physical world with a ‘phygital’ pop-up. The activation, in-store until May 18th, includes five digital pieces in the signature Printemps green, allowing a real-time dressing experience showcased on a human-sized interactive screen. Guests can try on and record videos of themselves wearing the computer-generated garb choosing from the unique collection or an archive of AR outfits. Getting folks to try virtual clothing on in a physical setting may also serve to get skeptics over the hump in exploring this new technology.
DressX has been announcing new partnerships almost bi-weekly beyond the Printemps pop-up. They recently collaborated with American Eagle for three digital jean styles to mark ‘Earth Month’ from April 25th to May 2nd. Each pair has its unique water pattern, such as cascading waterfalls, that demonstrate the possibility of digital clothing. Earlier in the month, the platform partnered with the popular Gen Z social game Roblox for a Metaverse-wearable collection. DressX also teamed up with Italian cross-reality curator Xbinary to give a new life to a selection of sculptural ‘artwear’ pieces by American artist Kris Ruhs from the archives of Fondazione Sozzani. Initially presented DressX Xbinary Genesis Jewelry NFT drop during a DressX event at 10 Corso Como during Milan Fashion Week.
NFTs can be more than treasured pieces of digital art. Some of them have jobs, such as those dubbed “utility NFTs.” Enter ORIGYN, a Swiss foundation “dedicated to identifying, authenticating, and unlocking the powers of ownership for objects of value.” In layman’s speak, the platform, which boasts funding from Paris Hilton and Bill Ackman, uses utility NFTs containing blockchain technology to trace the product’s genesis and trace previous ownership—considering the popularity of the second-hand luxury watch market, their recently announced partnership with WatchBox, a collectible luxury timepiece marketplace. The partnership will allow buyers even more peace of mind that their purchase items are legitimate.
NFT FUND ME
A collage of the images taken by Fred Siegel of Octogenarian members of the MPTF Country home … [+]
Others use NFTs to assist in fundraising efforts. In the winter issue of Ac Magazine, photographer Fred Siegel captured 14 Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) Octogenarian residents such as Lee Meriwether, Corrine Conley, Johnny Gunn, Maggie Abbot, Anthony Lawrence, Toni Smith Lawrence, Alan Sloan, Sally Sloan, Kay Weissman, Susan Germaine, Susan Nathe, Toni Sawyer, Wini Hammond and in a heartwarming and playful accessories shoot. The former entertainment industry models were styled with pieces from brands such as Shinola, Ted Baker, Marchon, and Collection 18, including Kurt Geiger London, who sponsored the shoot. The images will be available as collectible digital artwork NFTs on the Black Snow platform. Money raised Proceeds will fund the many services MPTF provides to working and retired members of the Southern California entertainment community
“We embraced the shoot idea when we discovered that MPTF was celebrating its 100th Anniversary, and this was a perfect time to celebrate non-traditional models,” said AC President Karen Giberson. “At the same time, we were watching the NFT market evolve and thought there could be an innovative way to use the Ac Magazine images to raise money to support the 100th Anniversary of MPTF, bringing the NFT collection project to life.”
A TEACHING MOMENT
As the technology is new, others in the industry recognize the need to inform traditional creatives. To help forge a path for American designers curious and new to the technology form, the CFDA has joined forces with 5Crypto, a global web3, cryptocurrency, NFT, metaverse and blockchain marketing practice; The Sandbox SAND2 metaverse, and Polygon MATIC Studios, a service supporting developers building decentralized apps on their platform by providing Web2 and Web3 teams with a suite of services such as developer support, partnership, strategy, go-to-market, and technical integrations, to guide American fashion into this new frontier, creating a web3 blueprint for the industry.
“This is a remarkable opportunity for the CFDA to guide the American fashion industry into the future of commerce and creativity,” says Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “Our mission is to position our members as leaders in the global innovation of fashion and retail via digitally-led strategies to support growth and expansion. With the support of The Sandbox and Polygon Studios, the CFDA is poised to educate and empower business leaders for generations to come.”
A view of the DressX X Printemps pop-up in Paris