Last update on: 5:57 am February 29, 2024 by fashionabc

Just a year back, NFTs were niche virtual assets known mostly to tech geeks, but with fashion moving towards digitalisation, it is now witnessing mass interest and a surge in popularity with many of the world’s leading brands including Adidas, Nike and Puma all tapping into the craze. 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.

Image Source: CoinGecko

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.”

CultureTrip has an interesting viewpoint: “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.” Per CoinGecko- the world’s largest independent cryptocurrency data aggregator-: ‘Twenty-one out of the top fifty fashion brands worldwide have NFTs, or slightly below half (42%)… Moreover, most of these fashion NFT collections can be considered as unimportant, with low awareness or impact due to brands investing less resources compared to their overall marketing efforts. This suggests that even when traditional fashion brands are open to exploring NFTs, most are cautious and do not currently consider NFTs as a meaningful part of their marketing strategies.’

CoinGecko has compiled a lot of data on top global fashion brands using NFTs. ‘Adidas is the top fashion NFT brand from the traditional apparel industry, with twelve NFT collections to date and a dedicated web3 internal team known as the Three Stripes Studio. Adidas launched their first fashion NFT collection Into the Metaverse in late 2021. Since then, the German sportswear brand has added five more solo fashion NFT collections and a web3 artist residency program. Adidas has also been active in partnering other brands including Bape and Bugatti, with six collaborative NFT collections in total so far.’

Adidas is closely followed by sportswear brands Nike and Puma which envisions becoming the most desirable and sustainable sports-lifestyle company in the world. Widely acknowledged as one of the leaders in fashion NFTs, largely through its purchase of virtual marketplace Rtfkt, the brand has now developed Dot Swoosh, a Web3 platform and ecosystem found in the domain Per CoinGecko: ‘After launching six fashion NFT collections under RTFKT, Nike created its own web3 platform .SWOOSH run by an internal team Nike Virtual Studios. Through .SWOOSH, the US sportswear brand has launched two sneaker NFT collections and an identity NFT collection… Puma’s six NFT collections are similarly a mix of solo launches and collaborations, including a redeemable sneaker collection with NFT project Gutter Cat Gang and basketball player LaMelo Ball.’

And while fashion brands continue to find new creative ways to capitalise on NFTs.. the application of NFTs it is still in its infancy in the luxury fashion industry. Right now, clothes offered through NFT is fashion as art, not necessarily fashion as a utility. Per CoinGecko, luxury fashion brands with notable NFT efforts are Gucci’s multi-faceted approach to web3, with its 10KTF Gucci Grail collaborative collection, NFT artwork collections and Sandbox avatar NFTs; Yves Saint Laurent which has created a series of NFTs around its beauty line; Prada’s Timecapsule NFTs which are still minting monthly; and Tiffany & Co’s collaboration with CryptoPunks for its NFTiff collection.’

The unprecedented success of these luxury brands’ foray into NFTs may inspire others to take a deeper interest in Web3, which offers an unprecedented opportunity to reach new audiences and engage with customers in new and exciting ways. By leveraging the latest technologies, such as blockchain, decentralized applications, and digital assets, luxury fashion brands can create meaningful and valuable experiences for their customers including providing exclusive access to limited-edition products, creating loyalty programs, and offering a secure way to store and transfer digital assets. Finally, web3 also offers luxury brands an opportunity to create virtual showrooms, interactive experiences, and much more, enabling customers to engage with the brand in a completely new way.