Paris Fashion Week 2023 is upon us. It is the conclusion of a month of global fashion shows - New York and London Fashion Week 2023 have also just taken place. Running in parallel in each city are the Digital Fashion Weeks, showcasing the continuing integration of blockchain, NFTs & fashion.
A profound transformation is underway in the way fashion is created, presented, and consumed. NFT fashion has the potential to allow brands to increase customer loyalty, fight against fakes, and even to redefine the experience of buying and wearing clothes.
As Paris Fashion Week 2023 unfurls its elegance, we take a closer look at how labels worldwide are embracing blockchain's potential.
Luxury NFT Drop at Paris Fashion Week 2023
"Technology is something we have approached with a very open mind,” said co-founder Peter Dundas in a recent interview with CEO Magazine. “And it has proven very beneficial."
During their traditional Paris Fashion Week event this year, the brand offered attendees digital fashion NFTs as souvenirs. The digital tokens serve as evidence of attendance and can be collected like digital memorabilia, granting the audience their own exclusive access to a D24 collection Paris Fashion Week 2023 experience.
The incorporation of digital wearables also holds considerable importance for the company, a sentiment echoed by both Dundas and Co-founder Evangelo Bousis, who appreciate how it expands accessibility to DUNDAS designs. "It’s part of inclusivity for us,” says Bousis. “People who can’t buy your real products are able to buy into your brand at a much cheaper price and it’s immediate."
Maintaining a digital presence has also considerably broadened their market reach. The company now offers its apparel on platforms like Roblox, catering to a younger demographic, some of whom may have parents unfamiliar with the DUNDAS brand.
The brand envisions a future where digital closets play a significant role, potentially featuring virtual renditions of their real garments, demonstrating a deeper commitment to this technological frontier.
Ukrainian NFT Fashion Ingenuity in London
Ukrainian digital fashion and NFT designer Julia Blanc is at the forefront of a groundbreaking movement in the industry, blending haute couture with blockchain technology.
She uses cutting-edge digital tools to design a physical collection accompanied by digital replicas of the same outfits. Those digital outfits, totally unique, can be worn in the virtual worlds of the Metaverse.
Her pieces - both physical and digital, or ‘phygital’ as it’s being coined - went on display during London Fashion Week 2023. There, audiences witnessed live models wearing outfits designed using digital tools and almost photorealistically reproduced in the virtual world on giant screens nearby.
Blanc's creations transcend the physical and digital realms, existing as unique, blockchain-authenticated pieces of NFT fashion art. Each garment designed by Julia Blanc carries a digital signature, a testament to its authenticity and origin. Her work exemplifies the potential for innovation in the industry, where the virtual realm is a canvas for boundary-pushing design.
Blockchain Counterfeit Solutions
Luxury watchmaker Panerai also chose Fashion Month to announce the new blockchain technology initiative it is taking against counterfeiting by implementing a digital passport system for all its watches.
Each Panerai timepiece is now equipped with a distinctive digital identity, safeguarded by blockchain encryption. This unchangeable ledger houses vital information about the watch, from its inception to its ownership lineage. Blockchain guarantees that the data is secure, transparent, and tamper-proof - particularly important in the realm of luxury, where provenance is paramount.
This move not only combats the prevalence of counterfeit watches but also enhances trust and transparency within the luxury watch market. Panerai's blockchain venture extends to its supply chain, recording the origins of the materials used in their watches. This transparency not only assures customers of quality but also underscores Panerai's commitment to ethical sourcing.
SYKY Digital Fashion Platform
London Fashion Week 2023 saw the launch of the luxury incubator founded by Ralph Lauren and former Burberry Global Director of Digital, Alice Delahunt. Called SYKY, the platform's objective is to shine a light on up-and-coming digital designers worldwide, providing them with a platform to exhibit their creations. Simultaneously, users will have the opportunity to explore, assemble, exchange, and distribute their digital collectibles.
The platform will introduce limited-edition releases, not only from its lineup of digital designers but also from well-known fashion houses. These releases will encompass both purely digital pieces and unique physical creations. Furthermore, the platform will serve as a secondary market for the exchange of digital assets.
“Consumers already live in both physical and digital worlds, and the SYKY platform is both a testament to that fact as well as a call to action for the entire fashion industry,” said Delahunt.
“We’re focused on building a world with blended realities, built on-chain, that gives consumers new ways to express themselves through fashion while championing the global talent we believe will lead the luxury fashion houses of the future.”
By spotlighting emerging global digital designers and offering a platform to showcase their work, SYKY is redefining how fashion is curated, traded, and shared. Their inclusive approach bridges the gap between physical and digital fashion, providing a space for innovative talent to flourish.
Gucci Metaverse Show
Gucci's "Dream Big" division, focused on Web3 and metaverse initiatives, introduced a pioneering metaverse experience alongside the brand's debut showcase led by Creative Director Sabato De Sarno at Milan Fashion Week. The event, named "Gucci Ancora," spanned three major metaverse platforms - Roblox, ZEPETO, and China’s QQ - showcasing Gucci's original concept and merging art and fashion in a digital space.
The occasion, known as "Gucci Ancora" which translates to "encore" in English, was originally envisioned near the esteemed Accademia di Brera. In the virtual realm of Roblox, Gucci has revitalized the space formerly known as "Gucci Town," which was initially introduced in May 2022. This area is now rebranded as "Gucci Ancora," with its updated design drawing inspiration from Milan's vibrant Brera district, showcasing the city's artistic richness.
Among the interactive chambers is one featuring transformative art, leading to engaging tasks that unveil segments of the show and provide access to concealed treasures and gateways. As stated on the Roblox platform, exclusive rewards like fashion NFTs can be "attained by participating in all three mini-games within this imaginative community where art and fashion converge."
NFTs are emerging as a game-changer in the fashion industry, and Gucci's recent Ancora Fashion show exemplifies this shift. By collaborating with platforms like Roblox, ZEPETO, and China's QQ, Gucci successfully extended its reach to a global audience.
The Future of the Fashion NFT
As the curtains draw on Paris Fashion Week 2023, blockchain technology in the fashion industry continues to resonate. Labels are not merely presenting collections; they're presenting a vision of a future where NFT fashion is transparent, sustainable, and seamlessly integrated with the digital realm. The question isn't whether labels will adopt blockchain, but how soon. The future of fashion is here. It’s just waiting for the visionaries to weave it into the fabric.
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