On September 30, Dolce&Gabbana (D&G) set a $6 million record for fashion NFTs with Collezione Genesi, a nine-piece collection of digital NFTs alongside some physical couture. The collection was auctioned by UNXD, a curated marketplace for digital luxury fashion. Of the nine pieces, five were physical creations designed by Dolce&Gabbana, with virtual versions created by UNXD for the metaverse. The remaining four pieces were purely digital.
Collezione Genesi’s success shows that NFTs have a promising future in luxury fashion. As far as real-world applications of NFTs go, physical luxury fashion is probably the most promising use case right now. Aside from evidencing authenticity and ownership, NFTs also provide a new model for driving customer loyalty and engagement in a way that is more suited to premium, high-status brands than what traditional membership programs enable.
A New Mode Of Engagement
Memberships and loyalty programs are often employed by fashion brands to drive engagement, but this doesn’t work with luxury brands for a number of reasons. Loyalty programs tend to encourage customers to buy only when promotions are available, and this could cheapen the perception of the brand. Brand image in luxury fashion is very important, and maintaining their high status and exclusivity means that offering promotions or sales is out of the question.
Furthermore, luxury brands don’t just offer high quality products, but also the best customer service and shopping experience. These factors mean that there’s not much more that can be added to improve customer experience, at least in terms of what membership and loyalty programs can offer. NFTs, however, have created a whole new way for luxury brands to drive customer loyalty and engagement. Let’s take a look at how this was achieved with Collezione Genesi.
Dress From A Dream is an NFT from Collezione Genesi which has physical, digital, and experiential value built in. Here’s what the NFT holder receives:
- Physical version of Dress from a Dream, custom-fitted to the wearer.
- Original signed sketch of Dress from a Dream personally drawn and signed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (The designers behind the D&G brand)
- 4K rendered animation
- 4K rendered stills
- Custom digital recreation of Dress from a Dream in 1 open metaverse of choice. Redemption window: 2 years
- 2-year access to Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria, and Alta Gioielleria couture events in Italy
- Private tour of Dolce&Gabbana atelier in Milan
- 2-week exhibition of Dress from a Dream in Dolce&Gabbana flagship store in Milan with collector’s name
- 2-week exhibition of Dress from a Dream in any Dolce&Gabbana store anywhere in the world with collector’s name
The purchase of a single dress offers much more than the dress itself – it offers a tie-in to the virtual world (how many of your clothes exist in 2 worlds?) and the token also functions as a limited membership that encourages the buyer to engage with the brand over the course of 2 years.
One can’t just buy this membership though, you’d have to be one of the 9 people in the world who actually wins the NFT auction. This means that this particular type of membership is extremely rare, expensive, and exclusive – perfect for luxury brands.
Aside from what D&G has done, there are many other ways this can be utilized. NFT holders can be given early access to another collection, allowing them to purchase items months before it becomes available for public sale. They could be given access to exclusive styling services by the brand’s designers, which encourages additional purchases. They could even be featured wearing their NFT fashion in the brand’s visual publications, which would strengthen the association between the brand and their own identity, thus reinforcing brand loyalty.
Luxury brands are all in on NFTs
While D&G is the first major luxury brand to release a physical NFT collection, many other brands have already ventured into the NFT world. The very first was Gucci, and their debut NFT was a four-minute film inspired by their Aria collection.
Later, Burberry created NFTs for Blankos Block Party, a play-to-earn video game. The brand designed their very own Burberry Blanko character – a shark named Sharky B – which is an NFT that can be purchased, upgraded, and sold within the Blankos Block Party marketplace. The accessories collection includes a jetpack, armbands and pool shoes, which players can apply to any Blanko they own.
Shortly after, Louis Vuitton released their very own NFT game. Louis: The Game is a story-driven RPG that illustrates the history of the French fashion brand. Available on Google Play and the Apple Store, the game features embedded NFTs, as well as art from Beeple – the artist who made the most expensive NFT ever sold.
NFTs have opened up many new avenues of expression and engagement for luxury fashion brands. Gucci’s NFT film is a novel addition to a physical collection that beautifully expresses the story and inspiration behind the designs. Burberry’s game items allowed the brand to expand into the virtual world, and Louis Vuitton’s game is a great way for customers to learn about the story and identity of the brand itself.
As the NFT market grows, more brands are exploring how they can use NFTs to create better experiences for their customers, and the possibilities are limitless. While the fashion world has only just begun their journey in the NFT world, they look set for a very exciting future.