- Nike has just acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company valued at $ 33 million.
- The CEO of an agency specializing in NFTs and online platforms says fashion can shape the metaverse.
- He’s also featured an under-the-radar metaverse he’s betting on.
Nike this week acquired RTFKT, a company that manufactures digital sneakers valued at $ 33 million in May.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but this isn’t Nike’s first foray into the metaverse. In recent months, it’s created a metaverse studio and filed several patents related to the virtual world. Several employees also have metaverse-related titles.
“I think something like what Nike is doing is sending a big message to the market that this is not speculation, this is really where we are going,” said Cathy Hackl, who is known as the “godmother of the metaverse, “said in a recent interview with Insider.
Adidas also recently announced partnerships with prominent metaverse personalities as the founder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and the collector NFT Gmoney.
Gaining a foothold in the metaverse could help position brands as leaders not only in the real world but also in the digital world. And fashion and beauty brands are leading the way, according to Hackl.
Sébastien Borget, co-founder and director of operations of a virtual world called The Sandbox, recently said Insider that over $ 70 million in gross merchandise value was generated in The Sandbox during the week ending December 9.
“Fashion is going to be huge, of course, in the metaverse, because you have a character, and your character can wear stuff,” said Dorian Banks, entrepreneur and CEO of Mirror laboratories, a digital agency specializing in NFTs and metaverse.
The branch of the agency Kibaa’s house noted that in October, he sold 10,000 hyperrealistic 3D NFTs, known as the GenX project, for about $ 4.5 million in less than 40 minutes. The project ranks 179th on Rarity.tools, a site that gives indications on the overall rarity of an NFT.
House of Kibaa develops what it says is a realistic metaverse where GenX avatars can be used. The company also 3D renderings designed for Gutter Cat Gang and a proof of concept design for Bored Ape Yacht Club.
“These people who come to us have the foresight that they don’t want to just produce a 2D NFT, drop it on people for money, and then leave – they want to hope for a metaverse interaction with their NFTs,” the researchers said. banks. “So they’re definitely trying to amplify things instead of just dropping a piece of art. “
The usefulness of virtual fashion in the metaverse is already becoming clear. Banks have highlighted three ways virtual fashion could play into the metaverse.
1. Hybrid fashion
Dolce & Gabbana recently sold a nine-piece virtual and physical fashion collection for $ 6 million.
Banks expect to see many more of these types of sales in the future.
“If you buy a limited edition Supreme jacket in the real world, [maybe] you also get the code for the NFT, ”Banks said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of crossovers. ”
2. Virtual storefronts
Banks predicted that more brands would launch exclusive metaverse storefronts where avatars could purchase items for their character in the virtual world.
Blockchains are expected to play a huge role in managing supply chains. Banks have said this will become noticeable among expensive fashion brands where provenance is important.
“You could get a Louis Vuitton handbag, which has the tag on the inside,” Banks said. “But it also has a QR code that you scan directly, and it shows where this handbag came from on the blockchain, and it shows that Louis Vuitton created this handbag.”
Brands seem to be jumping more and more into the metaverse. But Banks said there could be several challenges for the metaverse that already harbor brands.
“I don’t think people have given any thought to what happens when Ford launches their new vehicle into the metaverse and someone dressed as a robot jumps on the car,” Banks said.
He said there would always be anonymous trolls, even in a metaverse environment.
“There has to be a way to handle this; otherwise, these marks will not go on board. Why would Ford have come and exposed his brand to this stuff? Said the banks. “It’s a difficult challenge: how do you invite everyone while controlling or moderating what’s going on? “
Banks have also said the number of metavers that are expected to launch and compete for consumer attention in the coming years will lead to fragmentation.
The metaverse of Maison Kibaa is built on the game development engine Unreal engine and is expected to launch in beta in 2022. There are many other metavers built on Unity, which could complicate interoperability, Banks said.
Banks is bullish on realistic metavers and is investing in Wilder world, a hyperrealistic metaverse set to launch next year. But he said he is taking a cautious approach to his crypto investment because he believes we may be at the start of a minor bear market.
He said that in December there was usually an increase in tax losses in the United States, which could trigger seasonal sales as NFT owners ditch their tokens to raise funds.
“You know you’re going to have a big tax bill, so you sell some of your NFTs that are showing a big loss so you can withdraw that right away,” Banks said, adding, “I see it’s happening a bit. right now, especially in the NFT world, and then it sometimes causes a bear market in January and February.