2021 has been specifically named the year of digital fashion and NFTs. And for good reason. As with most other industries, NFTs have propelled the fashion industry into a new digital age. Luxury fashion brands and major fashion houses are constantly launching new NFT drops. This article presents a timeline of digital fashion innovation and shows how fashion brands are using NFTs successfully.
January 2021: Auroboros x Drest Collaboration
Auroboros, the fashion house that creates virtual clothes inspired by bio-tradition, has released a digital-only fashion collection on Drest, a fashion design game. Although not technically an NFT, it is an early example of how fashion designers can present digital clothing. Auroboros is now accepting entries for upcoming NFT drops.
February 2021: RTFKT Studios made over $3 million selling virtual shoes
Digital fashion brand RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) made history by collaborating with 18-year-old crypto artist Fewocious on a virtual NFT drop that grossed over $3 million in less than 7 minutes. RTFKT and Fewocious made three virtual sneakers. Potential bidders can “try on” the shoes via Snapchat before bidding on them. The winning model also received the physical sneaker.
March 2021: Susanna Bastian launches virtual jewelry called NFT
JEWELRY (“v” stands for “virtual”) is an Ethereum NFT platform for collecting and virtually wearing virtual jewelry and fashion accessories. Each wearable piece of art is available as an NFT that can be worn in both augmented and virtual reality.
April 2021: Overpriced™ sells NFT-Wearable hoodie
High-end streetwear brand Too Expensive, a brand that creates “fashion for the crypto generation,” has sold an NFT-linked hoodie for $26,000. The virtual hoodie has been sold on digital art market Blockparty.co to an anonymous buyer who can “wear” the digital hoodie by scanning a unique V-token. Owning NFT hoodies gives unlimited physical replacement. “If at any time the hoodie is lost, stolen, damaged or sold, the V-tokens may be voided and a new hoodie will be shipped to the address selected by the new owner, becoming the new original,” Very Costly explained.
May 2021: Gucci’s NFT Movie: Aria
Gucci was one of the first luxury fashion houses to enter the world of NFT. To celebrate its centenary, Gucci has created an NFT film inspired by its Aria collection. The short four minutes were auctioned at Christie’s and sold for $25,000 – proceeds donated to UNICEF to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.
June 2021: Paris Fashion Week presents the shows of NFT
Fédération Française de la Mode et de la Haute Couture and Arianee, the NFT platform for the luxury and fashion industries, have teamed up to present the NFT to guests of the Paris Spring/Summer 2022 menswear shows and Paris fashion shows.The latest trends in fashion.
July 2021: ASICS launched digital shoes
ASICS became the first major sporting goods company to digitize versions of some of its most iconic shoes. ASICS has described the NFT collection as “a celebration of sport and the birth of an idea for connecting physical and digital activity.” Proceeds from the collection were used to create the ASICS Digital Goods Artist-in-Residence Program, an opportunity for digital artists to partner with and receive direct investment from ASICS to design digital goods that inspire physical activity.
August 2021: Burberry Blankos NFT
Burberry has teamed up with multiplayer game Blankos Block Party from Mythical Games to launch its own NFT. The game features digital games called Blankos that live on the blockchain and feature NFT accessories that can be purchased to decorate any Blankos in the game. Burberry has also created a limited edition vinyl NFT called Sharky B. It debuts in the game.
September 2021: Dolce & Gabbana breaks the record for the most expensive NFT outfits
D&G launched the 9-piece NFT collection during Venice Fashion Week. The NFTs were auctioned for $5.56 million. Buyers of each NFT received not only NFTs, but physical versions of items and exclusive access to D&G events.
October 2021: Ray-Ban launches NFT glasses
In collaboration with artist Oliver Latta, Ray-Ban launched the first NFT Aviator glasses. The company describes NTF as “a one-of-a-kind virtual product that will create an unparalleled brand experience, which will once again allow fans of our brand to express their individuality.”
November 2021: Patek Philips Nautilus 5711/1A-010 NFT
This discontinued model is one of the toughest watches to come by. The NFT issue was valued at $120,000 and was broken into 1,000 breaks with 920 for sale. The token was created by INTELLIGENT in partnership with a private collector from the Middle East.
December 2021: Nike acquires RTFKT Studios
Nike has acquired RTFKT Studios (the digital fashion company that made over $3 million selling virtual sneakers). John Donahoe, President and CEO of Nike Management, Inc. The agreement was not disclosed. RTFKT was valued at $33 million at the time of the acquisition.
January 2022: Barbie x Balmain Collection
Balmain and Mattel collaborated to create three virtual Barbie and Ken dolls decorated with Balmain prints and silhouettes. Digital clothing was sold alongside physical clothing at Balmain’s online store. All winning doll auctions exceed ready-to-wear items prices.
February 2022: SUPERGUCCI
Gucci and SUPERPLASTIC, maker of limited edition celebrity animation, vinyl toys and digital collectibles, have unveiled SUPERGUCCI, a limited collection of CryptoJanky NFTs and handcrafted ceramic sculptures.
March 2022: Metaverse Fashion Week
Inspired by New York Fashion Week, Metaverse Fashion Week was the first Metaverse event of its kind to feature digital clothing and accessories. The four-day event was hosted at Decentraland and featured fashion shows, showrooms and panels hosted by the brand. Vogue noted that “the entire experience was blockchain-based, created on land sold as NFTs and digital fashion bought and worn as NFTs.”
April 2022: NFT Paris Day
As part of Paris Blockchain Week, Paris NFT Day was the first European event focused on blockchain, crypto and NFTs. Representatives from fashion brands and technology companies attended the event and discussed some of the biggest NFT projects in the fashion industry to date and the future of luxury brands and NFTs.
As you can see, the fashion industry has fully embraced NFTs and the market for virtual fashion and crypto apparel is growing rapidly. Fashion brands are gradually using NFT and blockchain technology to attract, verify and connect with customers around the world. What do you think of NFTs and the fashion industry? Engage with the Ingram NFT Newsroom as we discuss new developments related to NFTs weekly.