Fashion Goes Digital with NFTs
Last week RenaiXance, The Fabricant’s new digital garment collection in collaboration with RTFKT studios, launched on THE DEMATERIALISED platform as limited edition NFTs. As a follower of all things fashion and blockchain, I wondered if these digital versions would sell–but they did. The collection was sold out in hours.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is best defined as a unique digital identifier created and observed on a blockchain. In simplest terms, and NFT is a digital passport for a product that enables authorship and ownership to be transparent. An NFT’s value can be subjective, however, it provides provenance (origin of the item), offers new opportunities for storytelling and it generates market scarcity while securing sovereignty for the creator. Fashion designers should be excited about the advent of NFTs as digital versions of their designs could conceivably give them more control of their designs. This could be the advent of “digital couture.” If couture goes digital, it may not be cheaper than the current bespoke prices. Instead, it could actually be more expensive as NFTs are becoming collectors items that can conceivably live forever in their digital incarnations.
What does digital fashion look like?
The garments created by THE FABRICANT were designed to embody a notion of both fluidity and protection. Their design team was driven to this by identifying how diverse, yet still gendered and over-sexualised gaming characters are. The new wave of fashion re-constructivists (creatives taking garments apart and reconstituting them back together) was also a key source of influence for the corset piece and the overall styling. See the digital rendering of the fashion pieces as worn by a digital mannequin, by pressing the play button on the video below.
The styling of the 3-D model is reminiscent of Avatars in games. This is not a fashion runway with top models, but rather the world of animated digital mannequins devoid of personality, make-up and cutting edge hair styles. Move over Fashion Week.
According to the a statement from RTFKT & THE FABRICANT, “Conceptually, this nods at the importance of re-examining old beliefs and challenging broken systems. The hyper futuristic sneakers, architected by RTFKT complete the look where medieval and ancient aesthetics mix with a punk mentality to create a rebel spirit for the present.”
“This NFT collection offers the community a chance to own a part of digital fashion history. It was a dream to secure exclusivity for this drop with the two leading brands in the space,” note the co-founders of THE DEMATERIALISED Marjorie Hernandez and Karinna Nobbs
How do you buy an NFT?
You won’t head into a retailer or a fashion house to buy this form of fashion. The digital fashion in the form of NFTs can be purchased by consumers who can pay in regular fiat or cryptocurrencies through online marketplaces.
What do you think readers? Would you buy digital fashion in the form of an NFT? These are collectibles to admire, rather than fashion you can dress yourself up in. It’s a novel concept, but it remains to be seen if it will go mass market or be a passing “cool” fad.