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  • Alexis Ohanian wore a CryptoPunk NFT at the MET Fashion Gala.
  • Fashion outlets and labels integrate NFTs to embrace digital creative and authentic assets.
  • Valentina Sampaio created a CGI dress that’s being auctioned as an NFT through OpenSea.

The value of NFTs is often misunderstood by the broader public, as they recount the absurd sales of simple jpeg images, though NFTs have proven to be applicable in the current society. Tokenization and a shift towards an ownership economy creates new adherence precedents for any industry. Much like other industries where creativity is acclaimed, the fashion industry is starting to form its own appraisal of NFTs.

NFTs Striking a Pose

The MET Gala is an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Costumes and celebrities are on display, with the main focus being on the costumes.

NFTs have taken over the MET Gala. As a social phenomenon, NFTs have transcended their digital boundaries to become integrated in real-world physical activities. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian wore a CryptoPunk NFT pin, “depicting his wife,” Serena Williams. In a tweet, Ohanian stated, “Decided to bring a #Cryptopunk of my wife (that I bought for her) to the#MetGala.”

NFTs are the 1 for 1 exhibition of unique digital and, more recently, physical assets. For example, Valentina Sampaio released a film to match the 2021 MET Gala theme, in which she featured a CGI dress, which was later auctioned on the OpenSea platform. Reports show that the dress, featured in V Magazine’s digital edition, was sold for $300,000.

Although NFTs have been represented on several occasions by labels; Daniel Weiss, CEO of Metropolitan Museum of Art, told The Times that it’s too soon to tell if NFTs hold value in the art world, indicating their role is to “canonize,” rather than speculate.

The NFT Fashion Protégés

According to Gary Vee, NFTs are a status symbol for belonging to a group. Similar to how exclusive fashion garments provide status and dislocation from the masses, blue-chip NFTs have similar applications.

Fashion collectors seek exclusivity,” and through their proof of authenticity and ownership, NFTs provide similar affordances. During a Vogue Conversation, Amber Slooten, co-founder at The Fabricat, emphasized that NFTs can showcase both status and uniqueness. In their view, NFTs accentuate the scarcity element, which will continue to hold value in the digital space.

As new locales for cultural convergence develop online through metaverses and virtual realities, NFTs will connect multiple realities. Yat Siu emphasizes that NFTs will become implemented and lucrative because blockchain allows digital assets to become platform agnostic. Similarly, Amber Slooten argues that interoperability will enable the NFT economy to develop as users will be able to use their NFT purchases across multiple universes.

On The Flipside

  • NFTs are more expensive than any regular product because they are a 1 for 1 interpretation of a product.
  • Fashion specialists find real-world tangible NFTs hard to understand and deconstruct, and still need time to get accustomed to them.

The Hybrid Evolution

Fashion labels are starting to comprehend the value NFTs add to the economic landscape. Innovation drives business growth. Appending new value to an existing company helps the brand to stay relevant. Louis Vuitton and Gucci have endeavored to create their own NFTs, the latter being inspired by the Christie’s auction, whilst companies such as Vans have embedded their products in games such as Roblox.

Vogue has created an application layer to NFTs in the fashion world by designing and releasing an all digital NFT magazine, accessed through a QR code. Norman Tan, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Singapore, highlighted that Vogue sees NFTs as a creative expression for the new digital generation, and hybridizing the space by integrating both recurring fashion patterns as well as new ways of expressing creativity.

Why You Should Care?

Investors and specialists were concerned that NFTs were merely a bubble due to their speculative nature. While that is true in some instances, NFTs do provide beneficial ways for digital artists, and even fashion designers, to use their tools to create products for a growing digital market.

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