In the third month of our fashion metaverse series, we’re looking at what brands have entered the space, why it matters and what they are bringing to the table. Here, the metaverse is defined as the future of the internet, a shared 3D virtual universe that users can exist in perpetually.
2021 was certainly the year of digital fashion and NFTs, and December has been no different when it comes to releases in the fashion space. You can get a refresh on NFTs in our NFT explainer and delve into NFT brand strategies with Glossy’s look at Nike’s foray into NFT’s and retailers’ moves to bring them into physical stores.
Here, we have a look at three brands that have taken the leap and stepped through the digital door into the metaverse. This month, streetwear brands are battling it out for the biggest NFT acquisitions, and fast-fashion brands are opening up to the potential of NFTs and digital worlds.
Adidas: Engaging in the community with the Bored Ape Yacht Club
Sportswear brand Adidas announced last week that it had collaborated with Bored Ape creators Yuga Labs and others in the space to launch the “Into the Metaverse” collection via its lifestyle label, Adidas Originals. The 30,000 NFTs went on sale on December 17 for 0.2 Ethereum (about $800) each, selling out in minutes and making the company more than $22 million in the span of an afternoon. The digital and physical wearables for NFT owners will be made available in 2022.
Adidas also purchased #8774, one of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, turning it into Indigo Herz, a metaverse character that it plans to use in future projects. According to public Ethereum blockchain data via marketplace OpenSea, the NFT was purchased in September for 46 ETH (just over $156,000 at the time). The idea of purchasing something already existing in the community and re-working it is one of the prime ways of community building within the metaverse.
Why it matters: Nike and Adidas have both been delving into the metaverse, with Nike acquiring digital fashion company RTFKT earlier this month. However, Adidas currently seems a lot more immersed in the space, considering its expansion within digital communities. In November, Adidas announced a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in November as an initial step into crypto wallets. It’s also purchased a plot of virtual land in The Sandbox, a metaverse game. Meanwhile, Nike has only taken tentative steps. However, as the Adidas launch did hit a few snags, perhaps proceeding with caution is better.
BoohooMAN: The fast-fashion NFT play
BoohooMAN has launched an NFT collection contest consisting of eight three-dimensional, futuristic pieces across a range of T-shirts, tracksuits, outerwear and hoodies. The pieces will be given out randomly to entrants who own a crypto wallet through the brand site. As the first foray into NFTs by a fast fashion brand, it could herald the advent of other forms of digital fashion for the brand as it ventures further into the metaverse. CEO Samir Kamani said that the brand has great ambitions, in terms of future NFT collections, collaborations, digital fashion pieces and games.
Why it matters: Interestingly, the BoohooMAN NFT collection may be the most sustainable range the brand has ever created. Away from the fast-fashion production standards and minted through Polygon, a more sustainable blockchain platform, the NFT collection will neither result in waste nor emit carbon during production or transport.
Forever 21: Fast fashion building a digital world on Roblox
Another example of fast fashion brands entering the metaverse this month is Forever 21, with its Shop City experience launching on Roblox. The world, which the brand created on the platform, allows users to choose and swap their locations anywhere in the game, and take part in shop tasks like stocking inventory and assisting customers. They can also get digital merchandise that matches physical pieces being sold in stores.
Why it matters: Many fashion brands, from Gucci to Nike. have launched stores and mini-worlds on Roblox. For now, fast fashion brands in the digital world are keeping gamification firmly embedded in the experience. However, the Forever 21 and Roblox digital collab is designed so that the digital fashion pieces could counter some impulsive shopping behavior. The idea of connecting physical fashion garments with their digital counterparts could eventually encourage users to exclusively shop digital pieces.