The following is an excerpt from Jing Daily’s upcoming report “NFTs: Collaborating in the Metaverse.” Packed with market research, spotlight interviews with industry insiders, and revenue-generating insights, the report is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how NFTs and the metaverse will impact marketing and sales strategy in the years to come. Email us today to pre-order your copy of the report.
Although it may seem as if luxury brands are new to minting the virtual wearables, cartoon avatars, or in-game skins that have largely defined the NFT gold rush since early 2021, many have been relatively eager to leverage the counterfeit-fighting aspect of NFTs and the blockchain. This has translated to a slew of marketplaces and platforms competing to attract brands in the luxury space, from generalized platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway to a fast-expanding constellation of fashion, lifestyle, and luxury-specific upstarts.
Among the blockchain-centered platforms specifically aimed at fashion and luxury brands are Paris-based Arianee (which works with Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Ba&sh), VeChain – which worked with Givenchy to embed authenticity-verifying chips in handbags – and the aforementioned Exclusible. Competition is fierce among platforms to attract the biggest names in luxury. In June 2021, Christie’s burnished its potential as a luxury NFT-selling platform by enticing Gucci to include its “Aria” art film NFT in the Christie’s auction PROOF OF SOVEREIGNTY: A Curated NFT Sale by Lady PheOnix, where it ultimately sold for $25,000.
Meanwhile, for its first NFT offering Louis Vuitton partnered with Wenew, a startup co-founded by artist Beeple which bills itself as “an NFT platform that curates and provisions iconic moments and powerful cultural artifacts.” For its first NFT collection, French cosmetics and skincare brand NARS turned to Truesy, “a curated NFT marketplace featuring culturally iconic work from the intersection of fashion, art, music, sports and technology,” for its NFT collection of three commissioned artworks. Bitski, a San Francisco-based startup with an investor roster that includes Andreesen Horowitz and Jay Z, worked with American cosmetics brand e.l.f. Cosmetics for e.l.f.’s first NFT release in June 2021. Dolce & Gabbana, for its nine-piece digital-and-physical NFT collection in September 2021, opted to work the platform UNXD.
At the moment, this patchwork of NFT marketplaces goes to show that there is no dominant platform in the luxury space. However, as luxury brands more seriously eye NFTs as a revenue driver and a way to enter the wider multiverse, as well as a method of assuaging consumer concerns about product authenticity and provenance, there are indications that greater consolidation may eventually come through the efforts of luxury groups rather than outside startups.
Perhaps the most important validation of blockchain technology by the luxury industry came in April 2021 with the launch of the nonprofit Aura Blockchain Consortium, a collaboration between the Prada Group, LVMH, and Cartier. Open to any luxury brand that pays licensing fees and a fixed fee per product, access to the Consortium offers brands the ability to track and trace products with a unique digital identity based on an NFT. All brands involved in the consortium contribute to blockchain governance and strategy. In January 2022, the consortium rolled out its cloud-based Aura SaaS (software-as-a-service) tool, offering easier and lower-cost implementation of the platform to “address authenticity, ownership, warranty, transparency and traceability.”
Email us today to pre-order your copy of “NFTs: Collaborating in the Metaverse.”