Non-Fungible Tokens: Reshaping the Future of Luxury Fashion Brands | Fashion

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The introduction of virtual fashion shows and digitally immersive experiences has created space for new digital trends to flourish. You may have recently been inundated with NFTs (also known as non-fungible tokens) on social media and how they are taking over the digital space, but what exactly are NFTs? And how are they relevant to the fashion industry?

NFTs are a type of cryptocurrency. The term ‘fungible’ refers to the ability of an asset to be exchanged for other assets of the same value. However, in the case of NFTs, the certification of ownership of the asset (for example, a work of art) would be personally assigned to a single owner. It cannot be traded or duplicated, but can only be further sold to its current owner. Blockchain is an application that is commonly used to track the ongoing movement of NFTs through the digital arena. This is an intriguing concept for fashion houses, particularly in the Metaverse, as an NFT goes beyond physical reality to provide a “phygital” experience for the fashion consumer.

NFTs are fast becoming a new tool for the fashion industry to provide alternative experiences to a younger audience, a generation whose interests lean towards fashion and gaming. Not to mention, the gaming industry was valued at $198.40 billion in 2021 and is expected to hit $339.95 billion by 2027, according to Mordor intelligence. Not surprisingly, there is a greater emphasis on the market. Brands are looking to channel this new medium to build value for the gaming community by encouraging gamers to engage with their brand. Digital fashion and skins have already become user behavior. Getting into fashion brands is natural.

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A popular fashion and accessories brand launched its partnership with a leading online team battle game. The fashion and accessories brand created a look for each of the game’s characters, along with a capsule collection. The brand also created a special in-game trophy case, embodying its iconic chests. Continuing their digital approach, they created a collection of 30 NFTs, all available through their 200 Anecdotas game, created to celebrate the brand’s bicentennial. NFTs created by the fashion brand only existed within the game and could not be sold or traded.

This year, some brands have even filed trademark applications in the Metaverse, one popular brand even presented an NFT collection during London Fashion Week, and another purchased a plot in a virtual world. A popular Italian designer clothing brand is exploring ways in which garments can be transferred across many digital “worlds.” Fashion platforms are working to create opportunities where virtual wardrobes can be moved between different gaming platforms. Players spend a lot of time and money dressing up their avatars, giving them their own personalities. Therefore, visitors to the metaverse will naturally invest in clothing and accessories for their avatars.

NFTs seem to be becoming a space where designers feel less pressured by physical limitations and can create their art without any practical notions. It also allows them to create a secular community that can host private tours and access upcoming NFT releases.

Earlier in the year, a fashion brand collaborated with a toy company for an NFT offering. This saw three digital dolls dressed in garments emblazoned with the fashion brand’s monogram. The doll’s avatars were auctioned off, with the highest bidder receiving sole ownership of both the avatar and a real-life doll, a scaled-down version of the featured look.

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As we see the world of NFTs unfold, we are also faced with new and unforeseen scenarios. Last December, a Los Angeles-based digital artist exhibited his digital art gallery showcasing luxury handbags, which resembled the silhouette of his signature bag.

Without a doubt, the digital revolution created by NFT fashion has made fashion brands attractive to a tech-savvy clientele. Smaller fashion brands have also started selling their work on other digital shopping platforms. With considerable investment in the digital space, NFTs certainly look like an important part of the vocabulary of the future. Furthermore, it remains to be seen how brands incorporate NFTs into design and marketing strategies to appeal to the global fashion community.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.