The NFT industry is one that rarely misses out on a trend. The industry went from finance to fitness to gaming and has now set its sights on fashion. The fashion industry is also open to new experimentation and won’t pass on the NFT interest.
NFTs, as we know, are digital tokens representing proof of ownership over an asset. They are associated with digital assets, but they can track the ownership of tangible objects. These tokens can be safely traded on the blockchain to provide transparency around authenticity and ownership.
Fashion NFTs come in various shapes and sizes. This includes digital twins of actual objects and virtual clothes that users can wear in virtual settings. In 2021, 17% of the brands studied by the Vogue Business Index reported working in some capacity with NFTs. And when more fashion companies enter the market, the burgeoning luxury NFT market will reach $25 billion.
NFT Representation in the Fashion Industry
Brands are fusing fashion with NFTs in various inventive ways. This ranges from digital twins that enhance the traceability of expensive and rare clothing to virtual goods. Customers, in turn, can buy, wear, and collect the received virtual goods. Let’s examine NFTs’ representation in the fashion industry.
Augmented Reality Clothing
Even though an NFT is a digital asset, many customers still want to wear the clothes they buy. Augmented reality, which overlays digital visuals over camera footage of the real environment, makes this possible.
Brands like DRESSX and XR couture sell luxurious digital clothing that clients can “wear” via augmented reality. This has, in turn, increased the appeal of AR fashion. Companies like GAP are also testing virtual try-on technology.
Brands are increasingly fusing AR and NFT technologies to create apparel consumers can collect, wear, and trade. As an illustration, Nike and RTFKT recently unveiled the Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks. A line of 20,000 NFT shoes that owners may see in the real world using a Snapchat filter.
Similarly, Rebecca Minkoff created some NFT ensembles that clients may engage with through their smartphone cameras. For this project, she is in partnership with the fashion NFT marketplace, The Dematerialized.
Blockchain-backed virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox keep developing in popularity and have millions of registered users. This pushes fashion brands to let customers wear their digital goods through the metaverse.
The first Metaverse Fashion Week, held in Decentraland, was where the interest in fashion in the metaverse was most pronounced. Over 70 brands participated in branded catwalks at the fashion show, including Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, and Karl Lagerfeld. These partnerships with well-known digital designers were on display.
Numerous firms have seized the chance to offer NFT wearables for clients to style their avatars in there. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger provided digital renditions of some of its famous designs, including varsity jackets and trademark hoodies.
Fashion labels have been purchasing a few NFTs to sell to youthful consumers. These NFTs often come in the form of virtual land where they may construct stores and showrooms.
Users can purchase land tracts as an NFT in virtual environments like The Sandbox. Some high-end retailers like Gucci have already opened shop there. Gucci plans to work with the platform to develop an interactive fashion experience. It will be based on the premium brand’s conceptual environment, Gucci Vault.
The metaverse is not just home to Gucci. For instance, Selfridges debuted the first NFT department store in the world in Decentraland. Customers may view exclusive NFTs and browse Selfridges goods on them.
According to a Scalefast survey, 25% of NFT buyers would willingly buy NFTs if it came with a physical good. Unsurprisingly, many companies pair NFTs with tangible goods that customers can touch and wear.
Dolce & Gabbana’s record-breaking Collezione Genesi, the first premium NFT collection to contain digital and physical works, is an illustration. Winning bidders received a physical and digital copy of the design they purchased at auction, which raised $5.7 million.
Another illustration is Nick Graham’s NFT/AR outerwear collection. Each product contains a QR code that customers use to validate clothing on the blockchain and unlock restricted AR experiences.
Other companies, like Overpriced, are utilizing NFT technology to enhance traceability. The actual NFT-linked sweatshirt may be scanned to demonstrate authenticity and ownership via the blockchain.
Fashion firms are looking into potential beyond virtual clothes. This is partly due to the success of image-based NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club. The sector’s first significant entry into the field wasn’t with a wearable NFT. Instead, it was a 4-minute movie that drew inspiration from Gucci’s Aria line.
Since then, the high-end company introduced its “Gucci Grail” NFTs. This includes brand-inspired avatars based on 11 well-liked collections, including World of Women and Cool Cats. Similar partnerships between Adidas and well-known collections like Punks Comic have started.
Similarly, clothing brand MANGO released an NFT collection inspired by Spanish artists Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, and Miquel Barceló. Rather than selling the collection created to commemorate the inauguration of its New York flagship store. The brand will exhibit the artwork in its physical and online stores to engage with young customers.
Video Game Collectibles
Chinese Gen Z customers spend 61% of their money on luxury fashion products. Another 24% and 45% feel that these purchases give them confidence. Therefore, businesses have worked with video game developers to capitalize on the need for exclusivity and collect luxury for consumers.
Burberry was the first luxury brand to appear in the Blankos Block Party and released several vinyl toys there. Similarly, Louis Vuitton decided to develop a game where users can explore several realms and gather 30 embedded NFTs.
In the game, players can enter a raffle to win an ultra-rare NFT, transferable across platforms. They can be used as unique avatars on social networks once they have accumulated enough points.
This sums up how NFTs are and can be represented in the fashion industry.
NFTs in the Fashion Industry: The Future or A Passing Fad
Data from Chainalysis shares insight into the future of NFTs in the fashion industry. The analysis was between January and April 2022. According to the study, monthly spending on NFTs decreased from over $12 billion to less than $8 billion. This slowed the market’s swift rise in 2021.
Although the growth declined, market spending and the number of active purchasers were still significantly higher than in 2021 beginning. This is a good indicator since it shows that there is still a lot of consumer interest.
High-profile brands are also essential for the NFT industry to expand further. According to Scalefast, 31% of consumers persuaded to buy an NFT would do so, given a condition. That is, if a reputable brand produced the NFT.
NFTs appear poised to have a significant impact on fashion. Consumers, especially Gen Z, will want and demand digitization and customization. The metaverse continues developing to give users more venues to display their digital purchases.
80% of consumers are more likely to make purchases from brands that provide tailored experiences, according to Epsilon. Regarding technology, an NFT is a digital record marked on a blockchain. However, it’s an opportunity for consumers to interact with brands they value and benefit immensely from their chosen digital formats.