Reading Time: 9 minutes

INTRODUCING NFTS IN THE FASHION SECTOR

As NFTs are one of the hottest topics of 2022, people question their impact on big industries. This article presents NFTs’ entrance in the fashion scene and the inevitable change they will bring to the market.

Words By Bilgesu Altunkan

13/04/2022

What Is An NFT?

The non-tradable token, or non-fungible token (NFT), is a unit of data stored in a digital ledger called a blockchain, which confirms that a digital asset is unique and therefore not interchangeable. Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. However, it should be noted that other blockchains may implement their own versions of NFT. A recent report from NonFungible.com, a company that publishes market information on NFTs, says that in 2020, NFT trading exceeded $250 million, increasing by almost 300 percent according to the previous year. 

According to Dragan Boscovic, “an NFT could be anything, such as an iconic tweet, a widely shared video, digital artwork, or a photograph”. For example, Lebron James’ slam dunk video NFT was sold through the NBA Top Shot application for $77 thousand; Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s tweet was sold for $2.9 million. Elon Musk is one of those who keep up with this trend. Musk auctioned off his tweet, which he shared with a GIF, as an NFT. Blockchain technology is a very important technology for creating NFTs. Cryptography is used to chain blocks to a growing list of records. Each block is locked to the previous block with a cryptographic hash or string of characters that uniquely identifies a dataset. This design makes it very difficult to change the transaction data stored on the blockchain.

What Makes NFTs So Special? NFTs have unique IDs and other metadata that no other token can copy. An NFT is a method that securely distinguishes the original and unique version of the work it represents from other digital copies, allowing the work to be bought, sold, or verified as authentic on a public blockchain network. Thus, Token, which is the technology used by cryptocurrencies, is used to register the originality of works of art or collectibles.

NFTS IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

What about the fashion world, how has digital fashion been developed in this situation? Luxury brands quickly integrated into the concepts of NFTs and the Metaverse. We can say that the transformation brought by the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of digital fashion into a multi-million dollar industry. Here are some NFTs of luxury fashion brands.

RTFKT Sneakers

The RTFKT brand was founded in 2019 and specializes in selling virtual sneakers. In early 2021, when NFTs were getting popular, the business had a collaborative project with “Fewocious,” a popular crypto artist. They designed 3 virtual sneakers where bidders could try on the sneakers via Snapchat and then enter an auction to buy. And the results were very good. The brand was acquired by Nike in late 2021.

Gucci NFT

The NFT of the iconic Italian fashion house was not one of its fashion products, but a movie inspired by the “Aria” collection in collaboration with Alessandro Michele. This 4-minute movie was sold for $25,000 million at Christie’s auction.

Entering Fashion Week

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion week has turned into a digital format by means of the big role of NFTs. “French Fashion” and “Haute Couture Federation” have partnered with the “Arianee” platform to create exchangeable NFTs during Men’s Fashion Week fall/summer 2022 in Paris and other high fashion exhibitions. These tokens give their users access to exclusive designs; one of the collaborating designers is renowned digital fashion artist Richard Haines.

Louis Vuitton NFT Game

To celebrate its founder’s 200th anniversary on August 4, Louis Vuitton combined fashion and technology by introducing “Louis the Game,” an adventure-style game in which players have to go through a dollhouse owned by Vivienne. Apart from that, the players can go to different worlds to collect 200 candles to represent the 200th anniversary. The adventure was made in collaboration with “Beeple”, a popular NFT artist, and included 30 hidden NFTs.

Burberry Sharky B

Luxury clothing brand Burberry has put its NFT collection on the market in Mythical Games’ Blankos Block Party blockchain game. New Burberry Blanko has a shark character named Sharky and the TB summer monogram of Blueberry. This design of the brand, inspired by Animal Kingdom, is an NFT character that can be bought, increased, or sold. The interest in NFTs has been increasing because a lot of companies on digital platforms like Epic Game, The Fabricant, and Dress X have adapted their collections to the metaverse quickly.

Are NFTs As Innocent As They Seem?

There is no use of water or chemical use in the production of NFTs, so are they as innocent as they seem? There are concerns that NFTs are not environmentally friendly because they are based on the same blockchain technology used by some energy-hungry cryptocurrencies. For example, every NFT transaction on the Ethereum network is said to consume the equivalent of the daily energy used by two American households. For most of today’s blockchain networks, security relies on special computers called “miners” competing to solve complex mathematical puzzles. This is the proof-of-work principle that keeps people from playing with the system and provides incentives to build and maintain it. The miner who solves the math problem first gets a reward in virtual coins. Mining requires a lot of computational power, which drives electricity consumption. Our every move, everything we do, even our email accounts have a carbon footprint, and every machine learning step has a carbon footprint. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint on the web, you can visit https://mlco2.github.io/impact/#learn

The Metaverse, virtual reality, augmented reality, digital fashion, digital art, and NFTs are developing every day. Will the technologies that shape the future gradually enter every part of our lives? We will see how humanity will be shaped, but for now, all we can say is that all these sensational issues are very dynamic and are constantly changing.

This article served to simply showcase the rapid adoption of digital fashion within the industry, and the space NFTs have already taken in the market. In a following article, we will dig deeper into NFTs’ impact on sustainability in the fashion industry, and in a broader way, question the sustainability of the Metaverse.