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You may be familiar with NFT art or avatars. NFT fashion is another large genre, comprising items like avatar wearables in the metaverse, exclusive avatar collectibles and even branded areas of the metaverse.
What is NFT fashion?
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are unique assets that live on the blockchain. They can be nearly anything: art, game items, GIFs, trading cards — even wearable clothing in the metaverse, which is where NFT fashion shines.
NFT fashion is evolving as designers and major clothing lines release branded NFTs, and creators design their own line of clothing for dApps. (Short for “decentralized application,” a dApp is like any other app you have on your phone, though it runs on the blockchain, keeping your data out of the hands of any one company.)
NFT fashion is popular in the same way that fashionable IRL clothing is. People buy fashion NFTs to signal status, wearing different brands for bragging rights and as a form of self-expression.
Image source: OpenSea.io
Avatars can be equipped with wearables, and NFTs are digital fashion worn and displayed in the metaverse. Fashion NFT can be bought, sold or collected as matching sets.
A factor that determines value of an NFT is its scarcity. If a clothing brand releases a limited edition collection of clothing in a metaverse game, players may jump at the chance to be among the few who own those official items in the metaverse — and it’s already happening in a big way.
What are fashion NFTs used for?
- Marketing. Clothing companies are creating their own NFT collections to be released or dropped to dApps. Fashion NFTs can help build brand awareness, attract public attention and play a part in a larger marketing campaign.
- Wearables and expression. Buy fashion NFTs for your metaverse or gaming avatars as a form of self-expression. Depending on the game, wearables might even enhance your avatar’s abilities.
- Trading. You can buy and sell fashion NFTs thanks to blockchain technology, which features transparent ownership history that can’t be edited. You could sell your NFTs for a profit, or buy NFTs to build a valuable collection.
- Income. NFT creators can earn royalties thanks to smart contracts. When a company creates a line of NFTs, each time an NFT sells on the secondary market, it earns a percentage of the sale price in perpetuity.
Which fashion brands are invested in NFTs?
It may initially sound odd that clothing companies would care about crypto. However, digital assets can become digital advertising, with big-name brands dipping their toes in crypto and blockchain applications.
- Nike — In December 2021, Nike bought a digital clothing creator called RTFKT, which more deeply involved the multinational corporation in NFT fashion. Earlier that same year, RTFKT had reported netting $3.1 million from selling 600 pairs of NFT shoes in six minutes. Nike released its special edition Flying Formation Air Max 1 shoes in 2022 alongside mints of limited NFT versions of the shoe. Nike also teamed up with the online game platform Roblox to develop a virtual world called Nikeland, where gamers can wear their digital Nikes while playing sports.
Image source: RTFKT, The Verge
- Adidas — Released limited edition NFT profile pictures and other metaverse content in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club, a popular series of NFTs owned by Yuga Labs. The content was slowly revealed in digital and physical comic books, in a comic series called Punks Comics.
Image source: Adidas Metaverse
- Ralph Lauren — Teamed up with Roblox to release the Ralph Lauren Winter Escape, a holiday-themed event with digital clothing. The company has also teased the idea of polo NFTs and metaverse fashion shows.
Image source: Ralph Lauren in Roblox
- Dolce and Gabbana — Released an NFT collection on the Polygon blockchain called Collezione Genesi.
Image source: UNXD, “Dress from a Dream: Gold” Collezione Genesi collection by Dolce and Gabbana
- Vans — Vans collaborated with Roblox to create Vans World, a massive in-game skate park.
- Gucci — Gucci has had multiple projects with NFTs and various metaverses. The brand bought land in the decentralized metaverse game The Sandbox and recently collaborated with SUPERPLASTIC to drop NFT collectibles first accessible through Gucci Vault.
Image source: OpenSea.io, Gucci collectible by SUPERPLASTIC
- Louis Vuitton — Created a mobile game called Louis: The Game in which players collect NFTs designed by famous NFT creator Beeple.
Image source: “Louis: The Game”, Google Play
Where to get fashion NFTs
Many fashion NFTs are initially released through exclusive drops. Clothing companies typically announce when and where these drops will take place through social media, Discord or even news outlets. Keeping your eye out for news and subscribing to an NFT marketplace or metaverse’s newsletters are ways to stay in the know.
Wearable collectibles are often available in specific metaverse games, like Roblox or Decentraland. However, many fashion NFTs are also available on the secondary market. OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway are mixed NFT marketplaces on which you can search for special-edition wearable NFTs.
Compare marketplaces to buy NFTs
How to make money with fashion NFTs
You could try your hand at creating your own line of exclusive clothing NFTs, but the reality is that large companies like Nike and Adidas are already taking over the space. And branded NFT content made by famous companies are likely to hold more value.
However, trading exclusive fashion NFTs and hoping your assets appreciate is likely a better earning strategy. There’s no guarantee that your NFT will appreciate in value, but if you get access to exclusive drops and wrangle a valuable fashion NFT, you may be able to sell it for a profit.
Metaverse games like The Sandbox also allow creators to set royalty percentages on wearable NFTs.
What makes fashion NFTs valuable
- Ownership history. An NFT’s ownership history is accessible thanks to blockchain technology. If a celebrity or notable collector owned an NFT, it may appreciate in value.
- Rarity. NFTs are often described as one-of-a-kind digital collectibles. The rarer an NFT or collection, the more value it can hold. Many NFT creators assign rarity levels — such as common, rare and legendary — to their own collections to signal rarity to buyers.
- Creator ethos. Who created an NFT can affect an NFT’s value. Famous NFT artists like XCOPY and Beeple are established creators, and their creations can carry more value than NFTs created by other artists. In fashion NFT collectibles, the brand behind a collection can influence its value.
- Community. You can find entire communities dedicated to collecting exclusive shoes, and so it makes sense that a Nike NFT would do well as a collectible. The bigger a clothing brand and the larger the fan base, the more likely a clothing company’s NFT collection will appreciate.
Fees associated with NFTs
When minting, buying and selling NFTs, users must pay a fee — known as a gas fee — which powers the transaction on the blockchain.
Gas fee amounts depend on the complexity of the transaction, speed and congestion of the network.
Marrying these two industries makes sense — users pine after exclusive clothing the same way that some users in the metaverse seek out exclusive NFTs.
Today’s fashion NFTs are more often an element of marketing for well-known brands, but you can get in on the action by collecting, reselling and even minting a wearable NFT of your own.
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