There’s no denying that embracing blockchain and cryptocurrency is a burgeoning trend, with brands across a host of different industries taking note of the opportunities they offer to retain current customers, as well as gain new ones.
Casinos and gaming platforms, have made moves to allow customers to play using their cryptocurrency wallets, although it’s still possible to play using PayPal and other more traditional payment methods, too – while the luxury market has been going all out to get ahead of the curve, diving head first into the digital world, welcoming cryptocurrency purchases and coming up with a host of unique concepts that have disrupted the way we shop.
The luxury market has welcomed the concept of NFTs with open arms, and when it comes to designer brands, the world’s biggest names haven’t hesitated to take on the challenge of slowly evolving and expanding into the metaverse. With opportunities still wide open in terms of how the blockchain can be integrated into the metaverse, we’re seeing some unique and individual ideas being executed as brands like Gucci and Philipp Plein take new risks to ensure they remain current and relevant – with the latter having just recently opened the world’s first ‘crypto concept store’ and NFT museum on London’s famous New Bond Street.
They aren’t the only ones, and there are now a host of highly sought-after new NFTs up for grabs from some truly iconic brands. Here are some of the most exciting ones to consider investing in this year.
Renowned fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo has recently opened its latest concept store in the trendy New York district of Soho, dedicating the event solely to its brand new NFT initiative. With an installation booth allowing customers to design their own bespoke pair of trainers thanks to its innovative holographic tool, they can project their vision onto a six-foot-tall wall to see what it would look like before they buy.
Meanwhile, the physical world blends with the Web3 digital realm in an immersive installation that allows visitors to take their pick from a selection of backdrops exclusively designed by Shxpir to mint their customised artwork on the Ethereum blockchain via OpenSea, with a limit of 256 individual NFTs. These are being given for free with every pair of trainers sold, after which the line will become rare digital assets that can be traded on blockchain.
Classic British brand Burberry has long been hailed for its instantly recognisable printed trench coats and other luxury attire, and now, it has also plunged headlong into the world of NFTs. Partnering with Mythical Games, it has recently introduced its second NFT collection under the entertainment company’s flagship title, Blankos Block Party – a ground-breaking, multi-player party game featuring digital vinyl toys known as Blankos. Each of these live on the blockchain, and include new characters such as Minny B the Unicorn, who also happens to wear the latest Burberry Summer Monogram.
Inspired by the brand’s Animal Kingdom house code, Burberry’s presence in Blankos Block Party is the first foray from a luxury brand. A shark named Sharky B has become a limited edition NFT that can be purchased, upgraded and sold within the Blankos Block Party marketplace, with Burberry launching its own branded, in-game NFT accessories, including a jetpack, armbands and pool shoes, which can be applied to any Blanko a player owns.
The famous watch brand Tag Heuer, has created its Connected Calibre E4 smart watch, which allows users and owners of NFTs to display their collections from their watch screens. The free software update will also allow existing smartwatch owners to take advantage of this exciting new update via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, making them compatible with all NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain, and it will also allow them to securely connect to crypto wallets.
As the first of its kind – an accessory that permits digital identity and assets to form in the physical world – it is most likely that this brand is on to something special, and we can expect to see other luxury makers clamouring to follow suit in one way or another over the coming years.
Gucci is yet another luxury brand that has positioned itself at the forefront of innovative NFT initiatives. Its new ‘Gucci Town’ concept, which is available exclusively on online gaming platform Roblox, allows fans of the brand to come inside this permanent digital destination and partake in a range of virtual activities, bringing the vision of creative director Alessandro Michele to life.
Including art experiments, digital activities over the metaverse, and most importantly, rare Gucci pieces and recreations that can be purchased online, users can use their personal avatars to try them on as well as buy, offering a completely new and exciting experience that allows you to shop from afar whilst eliminating the surprise factor.
Gucci Town is just the latest in a string of other immersive experiences pioneered by the brand, including ‘Gucci Garden’, which launched in May of last year. Proof, if you needed it, that Gucci is well and truly ahead of the game, and is an example that many other brands could learn from.