NFTs have long been known in the blockchain world, but they have also grabbed the imagination of the public with many of the world’s leading brands including the NBA, Louis Vuitton and Formula 1, all tapping into the craze in the wake of the initial noteworthy cases, including the first digital artwork, an NFT by Mike Winkelmann i.e. Beeple, ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’, that sold at auction house Christies for $69.3 million. And, the first ever tweet by Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, that sold as an NFT for reportedly $2.9 million.
Per Forbes, “NFTs are here to stay… they are the first breakaway digital asset that isn’t connected to the price of other cryptocurrencies, as well as the growing number of use cases for NFTs that will ensure that they become an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem… Although still very much in early development, linking real-world assets with NFTs is something that could pop off soon. This can digitize the way we prove ownership of assets by creating tokenized assets of deeds and that can move illiquid items (like houses and lands) onto the blockchain.”
With each passing day, fashion brands jumped on to the NFT bandwagon, including luxury brands which were quiet at the onset. Gucci has one-of-a-kind digital sneakers as NFTs; luxury perfume Krigler released NFTs; Burberry released an NFT gaming character; Louis Vuitton launched a video game where players can collect thirty free NFTs as they follow the brand’s mascot Vivienne to Paris; Luxury watch brand Jacob and Co held a NFT auction in partnership with NFT platform ArtGrail and last week Karl Lagerfeld released NFT figurines.
Cathy Hackl, a metaverse consultant who advises luxury brands, told Forbes, “Most luxury fashion brands are looking at the NFT environment as a new distribution channel. They want to be relevant to the metaverse demographic, and extend their brands into those environments. NFTs lend themselves very well to luxury items because they have provenance, they’re persistent, they don’t decay and they can be displayed in a native metaverse environment.”
boohooMAN is launching its first ever collection of NFTs, making it the first brand of its kind to launch a digital collection. Per Samir Kamani, CEO, boohooMAN, “Blockchain technology and NFTs are on the tip of everybody’s tongue and have been for quite some time. We have seen luxury brands flock to the Metaverse one after another, but we are yet to see any fashion brands in our market enter the space. At boohooMAN we see a future for digital fashion. This collection is us dipping our toe into the vast and complex landscape of the Metaverse.This is our first experiment with non-fungible tokens and we have great expectations for future NFT collections, collaborations, digital fashion pieces, games, and more.”
NFTs play well into the human needs of ownership and authenticity, a primary reason why a lot of brands are looking to integrate with it, which makes it certain that it is not just a passing fad. Per CultureTrip, “As for the madness of the market… Well, what’s anything really worth? Why should a canvas-and-paint Picasso be ‘worth’ $200m? Why do people own gold? It’s all about scarcity or uniqueness, and provenance – and NFTs provide these.”
I worked with Condenast India as Digital Editor and launched Vogue India’s portal. Four years later, I turned entrepreneur and launched my luxury portal www.explosivefashion.in. Perhaps it’s my vision and exclusive content that’s placed Explosive Fashion at the forefront of luxury: reporting from fashion weeks, collaborating with luxury brands, presenting royal families’ vision, championing talent, reviewing hotels and restaurants, writing on travel, heritage. My editorial is of a storyteller, the story of the person behind the brand.