The Rise of ‘Digital Fashion’: Why Adidas, Nike and Givenchy are dropping NFT wearables?

In the fashion industry, it’s not enough to just be pretty. You have to be smart, too.

Big brands, like Nike, Adidas, and now Givenchy are dropping their own line of NFT merch. How are NFT wearables now a thing?

Despite the crackdown, big brands are still bullish. They have now fully embraced the craze of metaverse to “finally build some good fucking NFT”.

Digital Fashion is a resourceful outlet for the fashion industry‘s in-between. And it’s all-inclusive, forward-thinking mantra is challenging the traditional fashion paradigm.

The NFT is a powerful tool for creators and consumers alike, allowing them to create and upload their own designs from home or on the go, while also providing an opportunity for them to purchase items from other users’ designs. This means that you can design garments and accessories that are personal to you, without having to worry about whether or not they will be available in stores or online. You can also upload images of your own designs onto the platform, which allows other users to purchase them directly from you!

Adidas Originals unveils a limited collection of blockchain-based virtual wearables, released as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Representing the brand’s first NFT collection of wearables, which is a new, interoperable product category adidas calls “Virtual Gear”, the launch accelerates adidas Originals’ drive towards strengthening its community-based, member-first, open metaverse strategy.

Adidas isn’t the only big business to have released NFT wearables recently. Nike was one of the first with its acquisition of French web3 studio RTFK. Some of this digital merch has been a hit – famously, the RTFKT Space Drip x Nike Air Force 1 sold out in a minute, like their other drops. 

But how did this happen? Speaking on the launch, VP of the adidas /// studio (‘Three Stripes Studio’), Erika Wykes-Sneyd said, “We’re laying down a marker in this new age of originality – one that unquestionably serves the community, heroes the purveyors and collectors of emerging style and culture, benefits the value creators, and supports the diversity of expression and utility that blurring virtual worlds has allowed us all to explore”. 

As part of the continued collaboration with the brand’s earliest Web3 partners, the collection also includes three limited edition creator-led wearables – each representing the creative flair of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Gmoney, and Punks Comics, respectively. Designed to be worn by virtual avatars, and accessible through a PFP dressing tool, every piece within the latest NFT offering is interoperable with other identity-based projects and worlds. This means that the adidas collection is able to respond and adapt to the metaverse environments being built, so that the ‘Virtual Gear’ is ready for all frontiers of Web3.

This interoperability unveils new possibilities for brands, especially in metaverse. You’ll be fully able to pimp your avatar with your favorite brands, with your own style totally borderless. If you have ever dropped on these TikTok videos where kids are asked to describes their style and where they get their clothes, this is basically what Web3 brands will offer in the future. No need to continuously spend cash on new digital wearables, sell the ones you don’t wear and get new clothes. Upcycling 3.0

Matthew M. Williams, Givenchy Creative Director, says “Brick and Du are longtime friends who share my vision of fashion as an inclusive space for experimentation and expressing personal style. Together, the three of us focused on creating streetwear with unexpected treatments that resonates beyond fashion and enters the realm of contemporary art on the street and in Web3”.

The NFTs minted for the Givenchy x (b).STROY collaboration were created by FELT Zine, the experimental Web3 artist collective, in partnership with Matthew M. Williams, Brick Owens and Dieter “Du” Grams.

“FELT Zine collaborators are directly influenced by talents like Matthew M. Williams who allow us to create freely and see our aesthetics and interests reflected at the highest level of art and fashion. With Givenchy, we are actualizing our inspiration in real time while making a Web3 contribution to the House’s heritage,” said FELT Zine founder Mark Sabb, an artist, curator, and creative technologist.

Aside from the hype factor, it’s clear that the NFT wearables are also earnestly intended to appeal to brand-obsessed Gen Z and millennials: the Depop kids and those into the latest streetwear drops. What these brands worked out is that they are aiming at Gen Z, who are notoriously known to be literally stuck to their screens. 

They don’t really read magazines – they’re all online. Everything is done through social media and TikTok. So they’re really hard to get to. This is creating something that’s kind of like cult wear or meme fashion, where you’d wear it to post it online.

I also think that brands entering Web3 will fully embrace a more inclusive ecosystem, where anyone can truly be themselves without being pointed out by the society. If this new trend is currently led by experienced crypto-enthusiasts it won’t take time for the rich kids to dive in and create their own clubs.

The psychological pressures created by the digital world of fashion has created a society of just-so Millennials who know how to present solely one facet of themselves in a world where both creators and consumers are subject to the soul-shriveling uniformity of corporate culture. The power, then, is with the creators. The futures of both fashion, and personal identity, may come down to who controls our online identities now – and after we’ve switched back into our ‘off’ mode.”

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