Exclusive collection with the son of world-renowned artist Damien Hurst
Luxury fashion brand Prada has announced further steps into Web3 and NFTs this week with the launch of an exclusive NFT collection and airdrop with Cassius Hirst, the son of world-renowned artist Damien Hirst. The Prada Timecapsule NFT Collection launches on June 2 and is an evolution of the brand’s previous Timecapsule physical initiative established in December 2019.
The original Prada Timecapsule collection launched in December 2019 drops ready-to-wear physical items on the first Thursday of every month. It features ultra-limited edition items on Prada’s website, available for only 24 hours. Each item comes with a serial number and is delivered in custom packaging.
On Thursday, June 2, the new collaboration project will launch with 100 gender-neutral shirts designed by artist Cassius Hirst, son of Damien Hirst. This time, however, Prada will sell the physical items along with an NFT GIF featuring the unique serial number of the corresponding physical item. At writing, the price hasn’t been announced and won’t be until the day of the drop. Importantly, we know the sale will take place in fiat currency, not crypto.
The launch marks another milestone for NFTs as marketing and customer interaction vessels as a second phase will see holders of any Prada Timecapsule items from the original campaign in line for an airdrop of free NFTs.
Currently, there are no details as to how the NFTs will be dropped to buyers of the physical items, but as mentioned all physical items came with a unique serial number which will have correspondence with the airdropped NFT.
Utilities of the NFTs will be revealed in due course via Prada Crypted, the brand’s new community on Discord. Although the NFTs are being gifted to holders, there are no rules on selling them on the secondary market, and in some cases, these NFTs may represent a refund for purchased physical items. However, knowing the clout and customer profile of Prada customers, these NFTs could go on to generate significant demand and value.
The idea is nice as it goes against the general trend of milking customers in favor of rewarding loyal ones and should help Prada integrate its NFT strategy into an already popular physical initiative.
Big brands diving into Web3
One way of looking at fashion NFTs is to consider them not as digital wearables but as another marketing stream that brands can use to put their products in front of a paying audience. High street brands and luxury fashion houses have jumped headfirst into NFTs over the past six months. Adidas, Nike, and Gucci generated NFT sales of $137.5 million. Dolce & Gabbana’s digital auction brought in $6 million alone.
In September 2021, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana teamed up with UNXD and sold its NFT collection at auction for just under $6 million. The Glass Suit, designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, brought in over $1 million (351.384 ETH). It’s the most expensive suit Dolce & Gabbana has ever sold.
Last December, Nike bought NFT studio RTFKT in a move that raised eyebrows as Nike is well known for standing alone and not partaking in partnerships or acquisitions. Then, In February 2022, the partnership released a series called MNLTH.
As part of this series, a mysterious branded box was airdropped to holders of Clone X NFTs. Clone X is an NFT collection by RTFKT and Taskashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist. With its unknown contents, the airdropped box is currently on sale on OpenSea for $12,325 (4.5 ETH). While fans eagerly discussed the contents and then posted videos of them opening their boxes, Nike receives free marketing.
The bigger picture
Having a bunch of digital clothing items in a blockchain wallet while cool is still a speculative part of the market. There is hype around fashion NFTs, and they are popular, but as we all know, things can change fast in the crypto space. How will they fare if there is still no real utility for such items in one or two years? As mentioned, they appear to have a clear place in the marketing and comms budgets of major brands, but to go mainstream, people need a place to wear them and, more importantly, show them off.
One place to look is the gaming world, where avatar skins are big business. Fortnite inadvertently revealed that it made $50 million from just one range of NFL-branded skins. League of Legends, which makes a lot of its revenue selling in-game assets, skins, and gift bags, made a reported $1.75 billion in 2020.
With the online gaming community reaching 3.24 billion people in 2021, the market is there for boutique and established NFT fashion designers to move into. For now, fashion brands take advantage of the metaverse by being present and active inside it, building strong digital tribes, and preparing for the advent of metaverse living.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds positions in various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and RADAR.