From video games to art to exclusive events and communities, NFTs have proved a versatile and innovative way to participate in a new, digital economy.
The fashion NFT is a natural next building block for the digital world.
These creative digital items are commanding every bit as much fervor and top-dollar investment as the more widely covered NFT art collections. Their utility could even extend beyond video games and change the way we experience fashion in the physical world.
In this guide, you’ll learn exactly what fashion NFTs are, where to find them, how to use them, and which brands are blazing trails in the digital space.
- What Is a Fashion NFT?
- Where to Get a Fashion NFT
- How to Use Fashion NFTs
- How Fashion NFTs Could Change Shopping
- Fashion Brands Producing NFTs and Digital Digs
What Is a Fashion NFT?
An NFT, short for non-fungible token, is a digital token on the blockchain that represents ownership of a unique asset. NFTs are most commonly connected with digital art, like images, graphic designs, 3D models, gifs, and videos.
A fashion NFT is a type of NFT that represents ownership of a unique digital garment.
Major fashion houses like Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana have designed items for game platforms, making fashion yet another realm of collectible NFTs and inviting speculation about their potential value.
Where to Get a Fashion NFT
Depending on where an item or collection is released, you might be able to buy fashion NFTs through NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, or you might have to buy them within a closed gaming platform.
Also emerging are so-called metacloset apps like DRESSX, where you can purchase digital items to wear virtually yourself (without an avatar).
Through DRESSX, you can purchase a 3D-modeled garment as an NFT, and it includes the functionality to wear the item digitally in AR in the DRESSX app—i.e. have the item edited onto your live image in real time—or take a photo of you “wearing” the item that you can share across social media.
Learn All the NFT Basics
NFT Fundamentals – Buy, Create and Sell NFTs
How to Use Fashion NFTs
Fashion NFTs function like other NFTs tied to virtual worlds or game platforms. They’re most widely available for avatars in video games and virtual worlds. Players can purchase them with a game’s cryptocurrency, and they can use, sell, or trade them just like other in-game items.
Some NFTs are designed to work only within the closed space of a single virtual world or game, like traditional video game items.
But some are designed to be used anywhere on the corresponding blockchain, which means they can travel from world to world. You could use an item for characters across multiple games, or sell an item to someone to use in a different game from where you bought it.
Once you’ve added a fashion NFT to your collection, it becomes part of your character or avatar’s repertoire, along with other in-game items. You can wear it, sell it, or trade it as you like.
For NFTs that aren’t tied to a single virtual world, you could resell the items through an NFT marketplace or use them with multiple avatars in different worlds.
How Fashion NFTs Could Change Shopping
Technologists and designers looking ahead to a future metaverse (or multiple metaverses) speculate that digital fashion could reduce our reliance on fast fashion, the cheap and trendy clothes that raise concerns about waste, environmental impact, and human rights.
The thinking is that physical fashion will become less important as interactions in the physical world become less important. If the majority of your interactions are through video calls, social media, and the metaverse, you can express yourself through digital fashion and need a far smaller physical closet.
As fashion NFTs grow in popularity, NFT marketplaces dedicated to fashion—rather than art—are popping up. And some creators are even designing virtual malls for NFT shopping, including Metajuku in Decentraland.
Fashion Brands Producing NFTs and Digital Digs
Which brands are using NFTs to connect with new consumers? Given the allure of exclusivity around NFTs, it’s no surprise that the world’s top fashion brands are getting on board with the digital trend.
In 2021, luxury coat designer Burberry partnered with NFT game company Mythical Games to launch an NFT collection for the platform’s multiplayer party game, Blankos Block Party.
Burberry designed a branded limited-edition, limited-quantity collection of the game’s digital vinyl toys, called Blankos, adorned with its TB Summer Monogram. It also created branded NFT Blanko accessories, including a jetpack, armbands, and pool shoes.
Dolce & Gabbana
In 2021, the Milan-based women’s fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana partnered with digital luxury NFT marketplace UNXD to create the nine-piece collection Collezione Genesi.
Unlike many NFT garments, the pieces in Collezione Genesi came in both digital and physical forms. NFT buyers owned both versions, as well as access to high-end fashion events in Italy. The digital forms of the pieces live on the Polygon blockchain and can be transferred across digital worlds.
In summer 2021, fashion house Gucci partnered with the art auction house Christie’s to auction an NFT for a fantastical four-minute video, “Aria,” inspired by Gucci’s fashion line of the same name.
The NFT sold for $25,000 in ETH at auction, and Gucci committed to donating its proceeds to UNICEF to support an initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
To celebrate the brand’s 200-year anniversary, the international fashion house created Louis The Game, a role-playing game that takes you on an exploration of fantastical worlds that represent eras of the company’s history.
A collection of 30 NFTs are embedded in the game for players to find, along with digital fashion accessories and birthday candles.
In fall 2021, the Parisian ready to wear designer dropped the Balenciaga Fit Set collection for the massively popular online game Fortnite. The collection includes branded looks—“skins”— designed for the game’s characters.
The collection launched in conjunction with a similarly-designed physical line of Balenciaga X Fortnite looks.
The Next Fashion Frontier
We don’t expect you to shed your physical clothes for fashion in the metaverse anytime soon—but a more integrated digital-physical closet might not be far off.
Whether you’re supporting independent designers taking advantage of the low barrier to entry in digital fashion, or getting in on the ground floor of digital collections from top brands, fashion NFTs are worth keeping an eye on for anyone following the latest trends in fashion.
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