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Fashion NFT

Footwear Goes Digital: Exploring NFT Sneakers

The 21st century has witnessed the hobby of collecting fashion transition from a fringe pursuit to a heated competition among wealthy collectors. This change in mentality is fueled by the availability of rare and exclusive fashion collectibles on digital marketplaces, facilitating instant bragging rights on social media. 

With the increasing digitalization of our personal lives, digital fashion is also evolving rapidly. Non-Fungible Tokens, popularly called NFTs, are the latest buzz in the digital collectible world, crossing $2 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2021—a gigantic 2000% increase from the preceding quarter. With the growing popularity of NFTs, fashion brands worldwide have been taking notice of the business possibilities that are arising in the booming world of cryptocurrency. 

The advent of the fashion metaverse has more people looking for creative ways to express themselves by dressing up their digital avatars. Despite the lack of a physical product, people are finding deep satisfaction in adding fashion collectibles to the list of their digital assets. The sale and purchase are carried out exclusively between the creator and the buyer, and the transaction is verified through blockchain technology. Once the transaction is complete, the buyer acquires exclusive ownership over the digital asset, since all NFTs are unique and no two NFTs are alike.  

This desire for uniqueness and exclusivity has paved the way for fashion brands to leverage NFTs to create virtual products and generate revenue. The trend of owning digital collectibles has also made its way into the footwear space, and brands are beginning to launch limited-edition sneakers with blockchain-managed ownership. 

Finding the NFT opportunity too lucrative to give up, here are the top sneaker brands that are exploring newer horizons as a new fashion metaverse marks its arrival. 

RTFKT Studios

RTFKT has finally emerged out of the shadows after working underground as an undefined collective for several years. Known for providing futuristic designs and concepts to game companies and fashion brands, the collective has now expanded their services into the public meta-market, after three friends founded RTFKT Studios in January 2020. 

Boasting extensive manufacturing experience combined with blockchain authentication and augmented reality, RTFKT’s mission is to create unique sneakers and digital artifacts, that include memes and collectible exclusives. In March 2021, RTFKT collaborated with an 18-year-old artist, Fewocious, to hold an NFT sale of digital sneakers, raking in over $3 million in under seven minutes. After recently raising $8 million in a seed funding round, RTFKT looks to continue playing a role in shaping the future of fashion and commerce in the virtual world. 

CryptoKickers

Diving into the endless possibilities offered by the NFT market, CryptoKickers is well on its way to creating a gaming platform where sneaker-lovers can create, customize and mint their own NFT sneakers. CryptoKickers’ unique and funky designs aiming straight for the metaverse got them the first-ever completely virtual shoe deal with NBA veteran Wilson Chandler. 

The organization aims to make sneaker transaction seamless through its incorporation of the blockchain Solana, in association with Metaplex. Once the transaction is complete, the buyer retains complete ownership of the virtual sneakers, enabling them to customize attributes such as color, shape, design and text. These customized sneakers could then be resold on the same marketplace, or platforms such as Airdrop and Hodl. 

Capitalizing on the growing trend of owning virtual sneakers, CryptoKickers is already luring sneaker enthusiasts from the physical resale market to the sneaker metaverse.    

SNKR Project by Arc Footwear
https://www.startengine.com/arc-footwear
Arc Footwear

Leading the pack of innovative ideas in building a virtual fashion metaverse is Arc Footwear with their brand-new venture, the SNKR Project. The firm is led by an expert team of marketers, developers, creators and technologists, mutually sharing passion for manga comics and cyberpunk fantasy art, merged with an obsession for sneaker design. 

After reaching tremendous growth in the physical sneaker market with placement in over 270 stores, the eclectic organization is launching a limited-edition sneaker-backed NFT digital card pack on the Wax.io network, one of the most sophisticated NFT trading platforms out there. 

The digitally trade-able card pack will be supplemented by SNKR Tokens, SNKR WARS digital game, and a groundbreaking DeFi NFT fashion metaverse, set to be launched in 2022. The campaign’s uniqueness lies in offering the customers full ownership of digital collectibles, such as the NFT card pack backed by limited physical product, a gaming platform, and one of the first ever fashion metaverses. 

Through the digital game, called SNKR WARS, players will battle for SNKR tokens, which are then used to purchase add-on characteristics for the trading cards. After each SNKR Wars digital trading card NFT Drop, the player will have the opportunity to choose between a sneaker and a robot asset to create their minted, highly customizable NFT trading card. The brand is allowing people to realize the full potential in accruing profit through secondary market opportunities, and by merely looking at their future plans in the crypto-world, it is certain that they are just getting started.

TL;DR

With sneaker brands entering the virtual fashion ecosystem, the age of digital flexing is here. Soon enough, the digital avatars of countless online players will don digital sneakers, which would be trade-able and perhaps, transferable across different gaming platforms. Despite the enthusiasm around NFTs, a common concern among consumers is spending extensive amounts of money for a product that is only available as a digital asset, not backed by a physical product. Several sneaker brands realize the importance and attachment of physical products among customers that will always exist, and many will possibly fabricate real-world samples of their digital sneaker designs—as was the case with RTFKT’s CryptoPunks collaboration. As the fashion metaverse gains more popularity in the world of social media, an exhilarating future awaits creativity and innovation in the digital footwear space.

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Fashion NFT

NFT Project ‘Exhibition 4444’ Blurs Fashion’s Physical and Digital Realms

One of the coolest things about the burgeoning NFT space is how it allows creators to blur the lines between digital and physical art projects. Exhibition 4444 is one such project, which—by including a physical aspect to the digital rendering—masterfully invokes two worlds: digital art and fashion.

The multi-dimensional project was created by designer 4×1111, 3D artist Tropicalratchet, digital artist Starpressure and curator/director of photography CNNNR. CNNNR told ONE37pm that the goal of the effort was “to curate a unique NFT experience, combining the precedent and quality set forth by 4×1111’s craft and highly attentive-to-detail mentality in the fashion industry to our matched aesthetic in the virtual world.”

What makes the project so interesting is how buyers have an opportunity to potentially receive a physical jacket. In their description of the project, the team noted: “Not only are collectors set to bid on a digital collectible exhibition, but the one collector to hold the piece for 4 consecutive weeks will receive the physical, handmade Jacquard Woven Knit Tapestry Jacket, modeled down to the exact threading and stitch patterns, indistinguishable from the virtual garment.”

All 4 of the artist involved have a background in fashion, which is part of why the project was able to come together in such a unified, cohesive way. The only member of the collective without a professional fashion background is CNNNR, but the team cheekily noted that: “Connor, well, he just be dressin‘.” What is fashion about if it’s not about drip?

The project is launching on Foundation tomorrow; the digital art is tied to a verifiable token existing on the Ethereum blockchain, and the physical garment defines a new form of hybrid collectible. For more info on the project, check this link. And for a look back in history, take a look at CNNNR’s previous piece for ONE37pm on his genesis in the NFT space.

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Fashion NFT

Levi’s 501 Day Features Trading Cards and NFT’s for Charity

Every year on May 20th, Levi’s celebrates “501 Day”, paying homage to the patent date of the 501 Original back in 1873. This year is the 148th anniversary and Levi’s has come out with a commemorative trading card set featuring Barbie Ferreira, Emma Chamberlain, Hailey Bieber, Jaden Smith, Marcus Rashford, Naomi Osaka, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. 

What’s Inside the Packs?
Jeff Carvalho

The cards boast simple designs and feature the celebrities and athletes sporting Levi’s outfits on solid colored backgrounds. Roughly 8,000 packs will be distributed globally, but they aren’t for sale. They are only available through Levi’s stores globally, as well through the website. If you order a pair of 501 Jeans you will be gifted a pack in the back pocket. 

Inside of each pack you will find white base cards with the possibility of hitting chase cards such as red parallels /50, blue parallels /10, grey parallels /50, gold parallels /1 as well as numbered autos and denim relics containing patches of Levi’s jeans that were worn by the talent embedded in the cards. 

Naomi Osaka NFT’s for Charity
Jeff Carvalho

Today at 1pm, there will be an auction for digital NFT’s on Bitski that will have two versions available, including a red 1/1 featuring Naomi Osaka, and a white open edition that costs $50 and is time based, meaning they will mint as many as people order.

All proceeds will be donated to Naomi Osaka’s foundation, Play Academy by Naomi Osaka via Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Osaka will be on Clubhouse tonight at 8:01pm (5:01 PST) as the auction closes. 

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Fashion NFT

Jeff Staple and GaryVee’s VeeFriends Team Up on Streetwear Capsule

Last week, Gary Vaynerchuk’s long-awaited NFT project VeeFriends dropped and practically shut the internet down. The collection features numerous doodles from the king of content himself, each captured by an alliterative adjective-noun: “Adaptable Alien,” “Adventurous Astronaut,” “Tenacious Termite”, to name a few. One of the most beloved characters in the collection—immediately following its announcement—was Perspective Pigeon.

For the streetwear aficionados out there, there are few names more recognizable than Jeff Staple, who famously uses his iconic Staple Pigeon in many of his designs. Fans of GaryVee and Staple alike drew the connection immediately, tagging Jeff in the comments of the post. This IG image sparked the collaboration, which happened incredibly quickly. GaryVee told HYPEBEAST: “I’ve been a fan of Jeff’s work for a long time and I immediately DM’ed him and we got on a call that day.”

We spoke with Andy Krainak, Executive Vice President at Team GaryVee, who was immensely involved in the VeeFriends launch and, now, the collaboration with Jeff Staple. In our conversation, similarly to Gary, he emphasized how rapidly the collaboration came about. “It’s cool to see, for how notable Jeff is, how easy he’s been to work with and how quick this was able to happen,” Krainak told ONE37pm. He went on to say: “It’s only been three weeks from that Instagram post to today’s launch.” That’s the digital age we live in.

If you’re trying to cop the gear, the Staple x GaryVee collection is available now exclusively on staplepigeon.com for the 55 hours following its launch earlier this morning. Additionally, all of those who own a VeeFriends Perspective Pigeon NFT will receive the collection for free. Part of what made VeeFriends so great was how much utility it provided to buyers, and this drop continues to build on that ethos.

“My great hope is that people look back at this in two or three years and say, ‘wow, that was one of the early indications of how we could do things creatively with NFTs and collaborations,’” Vaynerchuk told HYPEBEAST. This collaboration allows NFT drops to continue to evolve after their release; NFTs are about building an ongoing community. The Staple x GaryVee collaboration will surely be the first of many like it.

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Fashion NFT

Wearable NFTs: The Ultimate Digital Flex

NFT Wearables are how you flex inside the Metaverse! If you want NFTs that you can use daily, you’ll want some NFTs you can wear. Well, not you per se, but your digital avatar. Yes, your digital avatar. They need drip too!

Just like in the material world, people also want to be seen and show off in the virtual world. What better way to do that than fashion? Whether physical or digital, the clothes we wear express to the world who we are and which brands we choose to associate with. Simply look at the success of Fortnite skins. For this reason, I believe the market for NFT Wearables will be massive.

Virtual Worlds and Clothing

Currently, on the Ethereum blockchain, there are various open, persistent, and shared virtual worlds (i.e., Cryptovoxels, Decentraland) that are collectively referred to as the Metaverse. Within these blockchain-based worlds, users can attend events, hang out with friends, play games and purchase a variety of NFTs, including Land NFTs, Name NFTs, and Wearable NFTs. Today, I’ll briefly touch on Decentraland Wearable NFTs.

First, a quick explanation of the other aforementioned types of NFTs.

Land NFTs provide the owner with space inside the virtual world to build upon, lease, or resell. Just like the real world. Is anyone interested in being a virtual estate developer? Name NFTs are also resellable and can be used to simply name your avatar or as a payment address. 

Decentraland / Connie Digital

Wearable NFTs are exactly that, wearable. They are the virtual wardrobe for your virtual life. Just like the hats, jackets, jeans, sunglasses, and sneakers you wear every day, so too will your avatar. The thing is, though, those sneakers you want are limited edition, and they might not be easy to get your digital hands on. In the same way the advent of digital scarcity is transforming the way creatives monetize their works (i.e., NFT Art and Music), NFT Wearables will also benefit from brand and scarcity.

Rare, Branded NFT Wearables

In Decentraland, there are five different rarity categories: Mythic, Legendary, Epic, Swanky, and Uncommon. Mythic wearables come in editions of 10, while Legendary, Epic, Swanky, and Uncommon wearables come in editions of 100, 1000, 5000, and 10000, respectively. When users first join Decentraland, their avatars come preloaded with a handful of free wearables. But that quickly gets boring. The real action is in acquiring the rare items.

Decentraland / Connie Digital

Imagine showing up to a virtual concert with your limited edition Travis Scott NFT hoodie. There are only 10 of those in existence, and you got one on. Flex! Then, the next day you attend a virtual art exhibition with your new KAWS NFT cap or Yeezy NFT sneakers. Flex! Then the next day…I think you get the point. Wearing your NFT collection will be the ultimate digital flex.

At the time of this writing, digital artists, big brands like Atari, and crypto exchanges like Binance and Kraken have all produced wearables for Decentraland. But this is just the beginning. I fully expect more big brands to jump in-world and start offering limited edition NFT Wearables. Personally, I’m waiting on the Supreme and BAPE drops!

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Fashion NFT

The FEWOCiOUS x RTFKT Sneaker Project is Paving the Way for NFT Collaborations

NFTs are changing the way we interact with all digital media. As the industry continues to expand, digital collectible platforms like NBA Top Shot are making waves, but these collections only scratch the surface of what’s possible with this technology. Physical collectibles can be released with a corresponding digital collectible, further amplifying the value of an asset.

FEWOCiOUS and RTFKT are teaming up to do just that. The 18-year-old artist and next-gen sneaker studio have released a set of collectible sneakers on Nifty Gateway; the drop, titled “FEWO WORLD Open Edition,” includes three physical sneakers that each correspond with a digital token. The artwork itself is gorgeous, but this drop foreshadows the unlimited possibilities available to NFT technology in the future. Not only is the physical sneaker a collectible that may go up in value, but the NFT associated with the product is an asset all on its own.

We caught up with FEWOCiOUS and the team behind RTFKT to talk about their monumental drop, how it came to be and what’s next for both creators. FEWOCiOUS has been making headlines as one of the most lucrative artists in the burgeoning digital art NFT space. When he connected with RTFKT, it was clearly a match made in heaven. 

“RTFKT DMed me and I was freaking out because I’ve seen them all over social media, and I thought it was so sick that they made this whole world from their shoes and showed how much you can say from shoes,” FEWOCiOUS told us. The process of creating the collaboration was unstructured and fun, eventually resulting in three pairs of shoes and a necklace. “It was just us on calls yelling at each other about cool stuff we can do,” says FEWOCiOUS. “It’s okay to just sit and brainstorm, you don’t have to be structured. We’re making art for art’s sake.”

Benoit Pagotto, Co-founder of RTFKT

We’re making this drop to make people experience the future.

The team behind RTFKT is equally exciting about the drop and the collaborative experience. “This collab is the most creative, fun, and groundbreaking we’ve ever had the chance to work on so far. Our thinking was: ‘let’s show what everyone imagines to be the dopest drops will be in 2024, and let’s make that today,’” Benoit Pagotto, co-founder of RTKFT, tells ONE37pm. 

When it comes to working with the young up-and-coming artists, the RTFKT team couldn’t be more complimentary: “FEWOCiOUS is a creative force, a next gen Keith Haring, a brand new generation of creator taking over, combining his power with a next gen Brand, our love of gaming, streetwear and memes, we’re making this drop to make people experience the future, powered by NFTs and limitless creativity.” 

The timeline of the digital landscape is going to be broken up into the pre-NFT and post-NFT era. Moments like this collaborative drop unveil the incredible potential for innovation in digital media allowed by the proliferation of non-fungible tokens.

Keep an eye on both RTFKT’s and FEWOCiOUS’ socials; you won’t want to miss what both creators have in store for the future. And if you’re still looking to learn about NFTs, we’ve got you covered