During the 2023 edition of Metaverse Fashion Week, March 28-31, Gucci announced a new collaboration with NFT (Non-Fungible Token) giant Yuga Labs, creators of the famous NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club collections and currently owners of CryptoPunks and Meebits.
Every day, an increasing number of major companies are approaching Web3 ecosystems and the metaverse in general, and the fashion giants are no exception; in fact, it is fair to say that they are at the forefront and competing to grab a slice of a market in the making with immense potential.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, the so-called Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are not interchangeable, meaning they cannot be duplicated. This means that different digital assets (e.g., drawings, videos or GIFs) can be authenticated and become unique and indivisible assets resulting in a deed of ownership for the buyer. In addition, the owner will have access to a multitude of services and opportunities in addition to the object itself depending on the NFT purchased, as well as the ability to be able to sell and buy tokens for collection or mere profit.
Gucci’s journey into the NFT sector: this time there will be Yuga Labs
This is not the first time Gucci has ventured into cryptocurrencies. Last year, the Italian fashion house announced that it will accept ApeCoin (APE), a cryptocurrency affiliated with the world-famous NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, in some US stores, becoming the first major brand to accept APE payments.
In addition, Gucci has made other investments within the Web3 and metaverse ecosystems, including:
- In February 2022, it purchased an undisclosed amount of land in The Sandbox game as an experimental base to host virtual experiences. Within The Sandbox metaverse, it is possible to develop your own video game using the free Game Maker software, but also to design and conduct business. In fact, built on the Ethereum blockchain, inside The Sandbox it is possible to buy and customize virtual land using the token called $SAND.
- In March 2022, it signed an agreement with the popular NFT project called 10KTF (a digital fashion start-up also acquired by Yuga Labs), to launch its own unique and customized ‘Gucci Grail’ collection, designed by Alessandro Michele and made by digital artisan Wagmi-san.
- In June 2022, it purchased $25,000 worth of native NFT SuperRare market tokens to participate in the DAO and open a digital art vault.
A further step was taken this Monday inside Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 within the Decentraland metaverse, as reported by Robert Triefus, Senior Executive of Gucci Vault & Metaverse Ventures, the company was in fact excited to reveal the success of an agreement for a multi-year partnership with Yuga Labs, strengthening the engagement between the communities of both companies and promoting the convergence of the fashion and entertainment industries in the Otherside metaverse of Yuga Labs and its 10KTF collection, with the goal of exploring joint opportunities between fashion and Web3 entertainment.
“We are excited to unveil this multi-pronged partnership with Yuga Labs, a leader and creative pioneer in Web3, this will give us an active role in the ongoing narrative of Otherside and 10KTF, which will unfold in multiple forms.”
The potential of NFTs in the fashion industry
In 2023, the NFT market reached an estimated value of $22 billion, growing about 220 times in not even one year in 2021, with recorded sales of $25 billion.
Despite a total collapse of the market that began in September 2021, with sales dropping as much as 90%, thanks to projected investments in the Web3 world, the NFT market growth forecast is approaching $80 billion by 2025.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the sharp decline in NFT sales that began in late 2021 has forced industry giants such as Yuga Labs to seek new partnerships to achieve ever-changing avenues of remuneration.
On the other hand, big corporate giants, starting from the so-called big-tech (such as Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Meta, Ebay, and Twitter), to fashion or entertainment giants (Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, etc.), are increasingly curious to approach and implement Web 3.0 solutions given the public interest, commercial advantages the potential and creative insights that this world can offer, while also having the means at their disposal to always explore new solutions.
Creators of non-fungible tokens and these large companies therefore have a common interest in converging toward new partnerships and interconnections, as both can gain tremendous potential gain.
As we noted earlier, the luxury fashion giant Gucci has always been at the forefront in this regard, given the advances and investments presented to the public in recent years there is no doubt that more exciting updates will be on the way.
Given the weight of the company and Yuga Labs’ expertise, there is no doubt that a proven partnership can produce potentially game-changing innovations for the entire luxury digital fashion market and beyond.
Consumer attention to brands such as Gucci and its prowess in creating the right hype, its know-how in marketing campaigns and new product creation, may shed a new light on the entire luxury digital fashion market, bringing excitement back to consumers and competing companies, enticing them to join the fight to conquer the metaverse.
Therefore, one needs to pay close attention to the next moves, so as not to fall behind and arrive prepared when ready to venture into the world of digital fashion and NFTs in general.
There couldn’t be a better time, given the sharp downturn in sales and the market in this recent period, it is good to use your time to expand your knowledge and stay abreast of the ever-rapid times in this industry so that you are prepared for a possible positive counter-trend and enter the market at the right time.