Today, NFT fashion brands are more popular than ever. Metaverses like Decentraland boast over 8,000 daily visitors, most of whom are ready to play, collect, and have fun. What does that mean?
This means digital avatars are more important than ever. People are now willing to spend a lot of money on NFT clothing that they can wear (“wearable” – accessories that integrate computer processors, electronic technology and many other useful features that people we can wear/wear on our body) in the metaverse. Like physical clothes, virtual clothes and accessories help you make a statement or show off your status.
This has created the perfect opportunity for high-end fashion brands to step in – and that’s exactly what we’ll explore in this article.
Mainstream interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) reached a fever pitch in late 2021, as the market grew 21,000% to reach $17.6 billion, according to Nonfungible.com and L’Atelier.
From Louis Vuitton and Burberry to Web3-only brands like RTFKT and The Fabricant, here’s an inside look at the top luxury fashion companies in the NFT scene. But before we get into that, let’s answer a few important questions.
Why are fashion NFT projects becoming a trend?
As stores closed and fashion shows were canceled during the pandemic, brands turned to video games like Fortnite, Roblox and Animal Crossing to connect with consumers and generate revenue. As the current interest in the metaverse (3D virtual environments) shows, demand for digital fashion is not waning in the post-lockdown landscape.
Rather than creating a trend, the pandemic simply highlighted consumers’ growing interest in virtual fashion and the need for fun, personalized and immersive digital experiences – from brand activations in video games to virtual dressing rooms like YourFit, where shoppers can virtually try on clothes and get size and fit recommendations through their smartphones before they buy clothes.
So it’s no surprise that interest in fashion NFTs, which meet the need for greater digitization and enable personalization in the online world, is so high.
10+ luxury brands venturing into the NFT playground
Typically, NFTs are attached to digital assets such as images or videos, but are also increasingly used to record ownership of physical goods such as real estate, artwork, and clothing.
So what is NFT in fashion? Fashion NFTs come in many shapes and forms – virtual clothes that customers can wear in virtual environments; digital content that owners can interact with; or digital twins of physical creations.
In 2023, metaverse fashion is as important as real-life fashion. Millions of users want to express their personality, interests or even financial interests – and what better way than to wear them in the metaverse? However, like real-life fashion, the Web3 world also needs someone to set trends.
High-end fashion brands saw this opportunity in the wake of the 2021 NFT boom and immediately jumped on board. Even blockchain games and phygital collections are successful as mentioned above.
Now, events like Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week host impressive runways with seasonal collections. Luxury brands improve their reputation and popularity, increasing their sales. The NFT fashion niche is in a state of immense potential despite fluctuating cryptocurrency values – and this is just the beginning.
However, here are two other important reasons why so many luxury brands are entering the NFT market:
Many luxury NFT brands have opened their own virtual stores in the metaverse. Besides exposure, digital stores often increase a brand’s NFT sales.
For example, Gucci’s Gucci Vault store at The Sandbox features the company’s rarest vintage Gucci apparel. It’s an accessible way for visitors to know the brand, its values, and its history; most users can never access this experience in real life.
Phygital is a combination of physical and digital used to describe the interaction between both worlds, allowing users to obtain both a digital and a physical version of an asset.
Many luxury fashion brands have launched digital NFT replicas of their latest physical outfits for a good cause. Dolce & Gabbana’s Collezione Genesi is a leading example of NFTs linked to physical items. This NFT collection was auctioned for a whopping $5.7 million, proving that physical NFTs have huge potential.
With so many metaverse perks, it’s no wonder dozens of iconic fashion brands IRL (in real life) have established their Web3 presence.
If one luxury fashion brand loves phygital NFTs, it’s definitely Prada. The iconic company launched its first NFT collection in September 2022; users must purchase their physical goods to own digital assets. For now, it appears that Prada will continue to follow the same NFT minting system.
Throughout 2022, Prada continues to release a number of Timecapsule NFTs. For a Prada collection, you must keep an eye out for their upcoming Timecapsule physical clothing releases. At this time, the floor price for this collection is 0.41 ETH (about 17.7 million VND).
Yves Saint Laurent
L’Oréal Group’s most luxurious fashion brand, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, launched an NFT in June 2022. In terms of design, the 10,000 YSL Beauty Golden Blocks NFT are essentially 3D blocks on a white background. However, each collection has opened the doors to the brand’s exclusive Web3 community.
Half a year later, in January 2023, the company launched a new collection to honor their Black Opium perfume line. Like Prada, these NFTs also come with the purchase of a physical Black Opium perfume from the company’s website.
Out of all the brands on this list, Gucci had the most anticipated NFT launch via Christie’s. The prestigious auction house launched the brand’s first video collection – “Aria” in May 2021, which sold for $25,000.
Throughout 2022, Gucci opened the VAULT store at The Sandbox, showcasing its most prized vintage apparel. In addition, the luxury fashion brand also cooperates with 10KTF, joins the Roblox supermarket and “shakes hands” with famous creators such as BAYC’s Yuga Labs.
The French fashion house joined the Web3 world during the NFT boom in August 2021. In fact, their first product was a game app featuring the company mascot, Vivienne, on a journey in Paris. Players must find and collect NFTs created by Beeple, one of the best-selling NFT artists to date.
In April 2022, Louis Vuitton also launched the PFP NFT collection, which also features mascot Vivienne. Limited edition content is only available to users who have played the Louis: The Game Web3 experience and leveled up.
Burberry first exploited NFTs in June 2021 when, along with open-world game Blankos Block Party, they launched a limited edition NFT Phygital toy collection. In 2022, the two launched a second NFT sale featuring an NFT character named Minny B.
While these metaverse drops aren’t all about wearables, each digital character features Burrbery’s signature style in print and texture.
Dolce & Gabbana
It is the first luxury fashion house to release an NFT collection. Launched in September 2021, the Doge crown from the Collezione Genesi NFT collection sold for 423.5 ETH, equivalent to 1,275 million USD. In total, the collection was sold for 1,885,719 ETH, or $5.65 million. An unbelievable revenue figure once again shows that NFT products are extremely popular among the world.
Since then, the brand has increased its presence across the metaverse. In 2022, Dolce & Gabbana partnered with big names in the NFT market, including The Fabricant and inBetweeners.
The luxury fashion house launched its first 1:1 NFT in a surprising collaboration with Barbie in January 2022. Their Web3 journey continues with the NFT project through MINTNFT. Balmain’s latest innovation is the launch of an exclusive NFT membership club for Paris Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2022.
As one of the leading French luxury fashion brands, Givenchy was among the top trendsetters during the NFT boom in summer 2021. Their first collection was in honor of Pride Month and They said they will also launch their debut collection soon: A charity NFT collection in conjunction with Chito.
Throughout 2022, Givenchy Parfums launched another commemorative NFT collection for Pride Month and collaborated with streetweaer fashion brand – (b).STROY launched a one-of-a-kind phygital fashion collection, including t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, varsity jackets, bags and shoes for men and women.
Although Jimmy Choo didn’t launch as many NFTs as other luxury brands, its digital shoe sale was memorable. Back in October 2021, the luxury brand released its first NFT collection via Binance Marketplace. The mysterious drop of 8,888 boxes, including luxury virtual shoes and NFT sneaker auctions, is said to be a strategy to help this brand expand its influence in a playground that belongs to no one.
Tiffany & Co
Leading luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. ventured into the NFT space by purchasing contemporary artist Tom Sachs’s “Okapi” NFT for 115 ETH in 2021. Tiffany & Co. made a rocket-style NFT their profile picture on Twitter. On April 1, Tiffany & Co. also produces TiffCoins, a limited edition of 400 18 Karat gold coins with the company logo individually engraved on each coin.
Nearly a year later, the brand has completely disrupted the market with “NFTiff,” a collection exclusive to CryptoPunks holders. Essentially, each CryptoPunk owner can claim a pendant made of diamonds and gemstones for 30 ETH each. As a result, they sold out in just 20 minutes, earning a total of 12.5 million USD.
Ferragamo is one of the most luxurious Italian fashion brands, so fans were delighted when their first NFT dropped in summer 2022. Surprisingly, the brand actually delivered NFT for the first customers of their new store in Soho, New York (USA).
Visitors can use the creative NFT booth, customize and mint unique NFTs, all expenses paid by Salvatore Ferragamo. In fact, this is the first time a luxury fashion brand has used a customizable NFT feature to reward its customers.
This is perhaps the most significant NFT launch for a luxury brand as it celebrates the birthday of the late Karl Lagerfeld. In September 2021, owners can cast one of 777 digital avatars representing a 3D version of Lagerfeld himself.
The collection sold out in less than 50 minutes – one of the most successful drops of any IRL (in real life) luxury fashion brand.
In cases where it is possible to create NFTs using the IP (Intellectual Property Rights) of brands?
Ultimately, this is an important question every content creator should ask before creating NFTs based on existing fashion brands. Why?
This is an example that probably everyone interested in NFTs and fashion knows. Earlier this year, artist Mason Rothschild launched a collection of NFT bags called MetaBirkins. True to their name, these digital bags resemble Hermès’ iconic Birkin bag design.
The collection was a huge success, but Rothschild had no legal right to use the Birkin trademark. As a result, Hermès filed a lawsuit against him (they won) and received $133,000 in damages. In short, you should do careful research before using another brand’s design, name or other details.
On the other hand, some projects and brands give up all their IP so that NFT owners can do whatever they want with their NFTs. The term is called Creative Commons Zero (or cc0), and projects like Goblintown, Mfers, and Loot have adopted this trend. In short, if you own a cc0 NFT, you can use it any way you want (including creating new digital works of art).