You’ve probably noticed the huge excitement surrounding NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, since the beginning of 2021 and how they’ve invaded the digital landscape since then.
Fashion, as an industry that never misses a trend, would undoubtedly join the NFT frenzy. Customers can wear virtual world clothes, as well as exclusive content and virtual flagship stores.
There has undoubtedly been much discussion, research, and even implementation of the relationship between fashion and NFTs. Although clothing, accessories, and footwear are often used tangibly, fashion NFTs exist to create a unique “phygital” experience for fashion consumers.
Keep reading this article to find out 6 creative ways that fashion brands are capitalizing on NFTs.
How does NFT relate to fashion?
NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens that serve as proof of ownership of an asset. To ensure transparency around authenticity and ownership, these tokens can be traded safely, with transaction history logged to a blockchain – a decentralized, digital public ledger.
NFTs are typically associated with digital assets such as images or videos, but they are also used to register ownership of physical items such as real estate, artwork, and, increasingly, clothes.
So, what exactly is an NFT in fashion? Fashion NFTs can take numerous forms, including virtual clothes that buyers can wear within virtual surroundings, digital content with which owners can engage, and digital twins of physical works.
Benefits of fashion NFTs for designers
Designers face long hours and poor remuneration despite being the creative engine behind many of the traditional fashion industry’s brightest trends. Even if they have the talent and passion to launch their own collections, most fashion designers are stymied by the initial investment required to bring their ideas to life. An initial collection can cost up to $10,000 to release due to several rounds of sampling and high minimum order numbers. This means that most of the best talent goes unnoticed or is substantially filtered by a huge corporation’s creative demands.
Fashion NFTs level the playing ground, allowing the finest talent to shine while costing a fraction of the initial startup costs. While physical garment development has significant production constraints and feasibility issues, practicality is an afterthought in digital fashion.
It is safe to assume that the fashion business suffers from a lack of sustainability. Fast fashion emits more carbon dioxide per year than international aviation and maritime shipping combined, and textile dyes are the world’s second-largest polluter of fresh water. Meanwhile, the production of digital garments requires no manufacturing, packaging, or delivery trucks, generating 97 percent less CO2 than physical garment production and conserving 3,330 liters of water in each item on average.
Furthermore, digital fashion allows for a faster, less wasteful product creation process with little to no sampling required. This results in more informed purchases and fewer markdowns.
Of course, digital fashion is not yet ready to supplant traditional fashion, and it probably never will be. After all, real apparel will always be required in our wardrobes. 3D digital modeling allows for the fabrication of more accurate digital samples, which will nonetheless benefit the business regardless of whether the finished clothes are ever issued to the blockchain. While NFTs have their own environmental effects for fashion designers worried about climate change, digital fashion is a step in the right direction.
Designers with both physical and digital design skills can experiment with Phyigtal collections, which combine in-person and digital aspects. This is already being seen at fashion events, as well as with the introduction of augmented and virtual reality fitting rooms.
NFTs give an economic model that the traditional fashion industry has never experienced, in addition to greater profitability due to decreased manufacturing and labor expenses. Designers can now benefit from supplementary royalty structures built into smart contracts for the first time. With the advent of secondhand fashion, this trend is likely to spread to the digital world, returning value to the designer each time a garment changes hands.
However, the impact of advantages extends beyond the designers. Designers of digital materials can potentially increase their earnings by selling their patterns as NFTs. NFTs can be composable and modular in nature with the use of appropriate token standards, allowing material creators to receive a royalty each time their pattern is commercially used in a master garment.
NFT fashion: 5 creative ways that fashion brands capitalizing on the NFT trend
Brands are combining fashion and NFTs in a number of inventive ways, which are listed as below.
Augmented reality clothing
Although an NFT is a digital asset, many customers still want to wear the clothing they buy. This is made feasible through augmented reality, which superimposes digital pictures over real-world camera video.
AR fashion is becoming increasingly popular, with companies like DRESSX and XR couture producing expensive digital clothing that buyers can ‘wear’ using AR. Similarly, businesses like GAP are experimenting with virtual try-on technology.
Brands are increasingly using AR and NFT technologies to create clothing that customers can collect, wear, and trade. Nike and RTFKT, for example, just released Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks, a set of 20,000 NFT sneakers that owners may envision in real life via a Snapchat filter.
Similarly, Rebecca Minkoff has collaborated with fashion NFT marketplace The Dematerialized to create a number of NFT ensembles that clients can engage with using their smartphone cameras.
With emerging blockchain-backed worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox boasting millions of registered users, brands also allow customers to wear their digital goods through the metaverse.
Numerous major fashion retailers also seized the chance to offer NFT wearables so that buyers could style their avatars. You can read this article to learn more about the fashion metaverse.
Virtual land acquisition
Because digital fashion can only exist in a digital world, it’s no wonder that fashion giants are already purchasing virtual locations. Adidas, for example, paid more than 400 ETH ($1.7 million) for 144 parcels of land in The Sandbox metaverse. Users that visit Adidas’ Sandbox plots will get access to exclusive virtual activities and products.
Nike, another digital fashion firm, created a virtual place on Roblox called NikeLand where followers can connect and participate. Nike headquarters and gaming venues are present in the immersive 3D metaverse, just as they are in the physical world. Tag, the floor is lava, dodgeball, and even designing their own mini-games are available to participants.
Users can also display their NikeLand avatars wearing unique Nike fashion NFTs in a digital showroom. They can even buy virtual apparel such as the Air Max 2021, ACG, or Nike Tech Pack.
Video game collectibles
Brands have cooperated with video game producers to offer rare NFT trinkets to their virtual worlds, capitalizing on the luxury consumer’s passion for collecting and exclusivity.
Burberry has announced a range of (virtual) vinyl toys in the online world Blankos Block Party, becoming the game’s first premium brand. Likewise, Louis Vuitton chose to develop its own game in which players explore realms and gather 30 embedded NFTs. When enough coins are collected, players are placed into a raffle to win an ultra-rare NFT, which is portable between platforms and can be used as a distinctive avatar on social networks.
Customer support and management
Crypto-native fashion companies are using the digital environment to build long-term relationships with their clients. Users who own NFTs from a specific brand have access to an exclusive community with exclusive advantages and bonuses. As a result, NFTs have evolved into a great tool for onboarding new clients and retaining existing ones.
A type of apparel NFT is more than just a collectible in the owner’s wallet. NFTs are much more than just digital files, and they have immense potential to enable new types of communication between customers and businesses. Customers, for example, can use their NFTs to redeem tangible clothing or to gain early access to upcoming releases and design drops. Furthermore, NFT wallets can replace monotonous emails as direct ways for delivering seasonal offers and discounts.
NFTs are also a wonderful opportunity for customers to contribute to initiatives that they care about.
Are you a premium brand or creator looking to get started with NFTs? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to checkout the solution might help your company.