July 6, 2021News
NFTs are a booming business. If you’ve been on Twitter or Instagram lately, you’ll have come across the infamous non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs. While it’ll take most of us a while to wrap our head around the idea, we’re here to help you understand it. NFTs are a form of cryptocurrency blockchain and is a digital asset. What makes the NFT non-fungible is that it is irreplaceable. It’s a one-off, original, and exclusive item.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, NFTs have taken on a whole new life. They’re appearing in every sector, whether it’s literature, music, or photography, with art being the most common type of NFT. Everyone from influencers to high-profile celebrities are tipping their toes into the world of cryptocurrency, including the infamous NFTs. They’re not just buying NFTs, they’re selling them.
Emily Ratajkowski has been auctioning a virtual essay that she’s written for The Cut and fellow supermodel Kate Moss is selling several videos of herself doing everyday things like sleeping and driving. They’re not the first celebrities to try and make a pretty penny from NFTs. Actress and entrepreneur Lindsay Lohan sold a portrait of herself as an NFT for more than $50,000.
If you want a more extreme example of how much an NFT can make, look no further than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He sold his first-ever tweet for almost $3 million. It was bought by Sina Estavi, a CEO of a Malaysian-based blockchain service. He compared the tweet to a modern-day version of the Mona Lisa.
When you think of all these celebrities getting on board, it’s no surprise that NFT sales have bounced by 2000% between 2020-2021. If you’re able to get your foot into the NFT business, you can make a pretty penny.
Some of the recent NFT sales give you an insight into the interesting world of NFTs and what is making the top-ticket price.
Do you remember the iconic ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video? It was one of the first YouTube videos to go viral, featuring Charlie biting the finger of his older brother, Harry. It was auctioned off by their family and earned almost £540,000. Now that the video has been sold, it will be removed from YouTube. The Charlie video is an interesting example, as the video is widely available elsewhere online.
On the fashion side, the Parisian luxury accessory store, Labodet, has unveiled its first NFT in the form of a mobile phone wallpaper. The original item behind the wallpaper was handcrafted by a specialist artisan using exotic crocodile leather and features 18k gold that is satin-brushed onto the fabric.
At another end of the spectrum, we have a more poignant example of NFTs. Khaled Jarrar is selling solid from the Palestinian city of Ramallah, located in the central West Bank. His work is entitled, ‘If I don’t steal your home, someone else will steal it’. The title is a reclaiming of the phrase used by an Israeli settle when they were evicting Palestinian families the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. Khaled Jarrar chose to offer his work as an NFT due to the public attention on the industry and to bring awareness to the issues citizens face in Palestine.
The art industry remains the most popular niche within the NFT sector. The famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence has just sold a Michelangelo NFT for almost £120,000. The painting, the Tondo Doni, is one of the prized pieces from the gallery’s Michelangelo collection, and focuses on the holy family. The painting dates back to 1506 and is an example of heritage art being brought into a contemporary setting. The Uffizi Gallery is planning to sell other works from their collection as NFT, including the famous Birth of Venus painting by Botticelli.
It’s not just art that has found its way into the NFT market. FC Dynamo Kyiv, the top team in the Ukranian Premier League, has started selling NFT tickets for their 2021 season. This new style of ticket will be launching at the end of the month and is part of the brand’s strategy to become the ‘greatest technological leader of football within the next two years’.
Luxury fashion brands are currently debating whether they want to take the plunge into the world of NFTs. While they are all the rage right now, fashion brands don’t want to attach themselves to a momentary phase. Are the millennials who are obsessed with crypto-currency interested in purchasing the NFTs from luxury fashion brands? Would it dilute the value of the brand? How complicated would it be to set up NFTs alongside brand’s existing products?
Everywhere we look, there are stories of record-breaking NFT sales, some of which we’ve featured in this article. While the art world is awake to the sound of NFTs, the luxury fashion industry is still making its mind up about NFTs.
Gucci have told Vogue Business that it is “only a matter of time” before brands within their niche release their first NFT. The publication claims to have been told my multiple sources that there are numerous luxury fashion brands who are planning to release NFTs in the near future. The question around NFTs and the luxury fashion industry is who will be the first person to bring one to the market.
It’s a well-known fact that luxury brands are on the back-foot with the e-commerce industry, but it’s clear that they are becoming more willing to embrace the world of NFTs and blockchain technology.
The fashion industry is full of conversations around the possible incorporation of NFTs with the luxury fashion niche. Some commentators see NFTs as the natural evolution within the digital fashion industry, especially as digital fashion skins have already been embraced by luxury brands. What makes NFTs appealing to luxury fashion industries is that their scarcity and rarity brings their value closer to that of a physical luxury item.
For now, the fashion that is being sold through NFT is art instead of actual fashion. More utility will eventually come into the niche, but for now, it’s clear that the industry is more focused on art NFTs than fashion items. Part of what puts the fashion industry off NFT is that they are not functional. What can an owner do other than look at it? An NFT is not like a Birkin bag that you can carry around with you.
The problem is that the NFT industry doesn’t meet the expectations of luxury shoppers and fails to match the in-store experience or even that of ordering online. The virtual game Decentraland and its fashion NFTs shows that for now, NFTs are a world away from that of luxury fashion. The NFTs that you’ll find focus primarily on sneakers, hoodies, and costumes. Everything is pixelated and has a cartoon-style finish.
The Decentraland game also showcases another problem that the industry faces. Setting up your browser-based Ethereum wallet is not something that is likely to appeal to people who buy from brands like Chanel, Dior, or Hermes.
The solution to these problems is to create a system and experience that gives the audience a luxury experience. The industry doesn’t need another Amazon style set-up, but something closer to MyTheresa or Net-a-Porter.
We’re already seeing start-ups arriving on the market to try and capitalise on this need. Neuno, a Syndey-based start-up, is rumoured to be working with five different luxury fashion brands to help them launch their NFTs. The company’s CEO, Natalie Johnson, has told Vogue Business that they want to create a “universal 3D wardrobe that plugs into everything”. Part of their work includes utilizing social media filters to allow the owners of fashion NFTs to post images of themselves wearing the item they have bought. This technology would also include being able to use the NFT as clothes for gaming avatars.
The current set-up of NFTs allow anyone to upload and sell an NFT on the market. What Neuno hopes to achieve is to work directly with brands to create a premium and luxury experience for audiences, giving consumers the assurance that the items are authentic and backed by the brand. This start-up also aims to streamline the process by allowing consumers to purchase NFTs using their credit card, so that there is no need to have cryptocurrency.
It’s worth knowing that there are already some fashion NFTs companies out there that work as marketplaces. Currency websites include KnownOrigin, OpenSea, and Nifty Gateway. Clothia is an online retailer that offers fashion NFTs as a digital ‘twin’ of an existing and physical garment. Clothia operates by giving winning bids both the physical garment and NFTs of a one-of-a-kind item.
Clothia’s CEO, Elena Silenok, told Vogue that luxury fashion houses should think of NFTs as an additional revenue stream and a way of digitalising their existing product range. NFTs are a way of making brand’s more accessible, just like a Dior lipstick is more accessible for the average person than a Lady Dior bag.
What do you think of fashion NFTs? Let us know in the comments below!
Being a revolutionary tool on its own, Artificial Intelligence has been engraving its place in many industries, helping them throw and renovate. Created by humans after all, it has taken all the faculties of analysis and pattern notice, perfecting it through trial and fail method. Extensive use of data analysis is needed to read the needs and interests of customers, imagine how fast the accuracy of AI grows, the more data there is available. Although it does not become the sole solution of industry challenges and problems like those of wastage in the beauty industry, it is definitely giving a huge hand in figuring out the right approach to more efficient and less damaging sales. Here we will explore how AI can optimize different sides of the fashion industry:
Artificial intelligence is changing our everyday lives, so it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see it popping up in the fashion industry. Thanks to COVID-19, this development has been supercharged and sped up to arrive quicker than most of us expected. While it’s impossible to predict the future, especially where technology is involved, there are a few clear trends that we’re seeing.
Artificial intelligence is a buzzword right now, yet how has it been used to transform one of the world's most significant industries? AI is being used to improve productivity in the textile sector as well as in market administration. Modern and innovative technology may be used to promote sustainability and deliver a tailored, individual consumer experience.
Every day, we are becoming more aware of the dangers of fast fashion. Save Your Wardrobe is the solution to this problem. The app is your wardrobe in your pocket, a digital management app that allows you to upload a photo of everything you own. Inside the app, you can organise your items by their colour, style, or even your mood. You can utilise the app to plan future outfits and even keep track of what you’ve been wearing so you don’t do an outfit repeat at the wrong time.