Welcome back to Now Runway, where we report to you from the frontlines of the digital fashion revolution. This week has been full of events. But before we dive in, I want to talk about Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee giant.
Starbucks Odyssey, the coffee company’s Web3 loyalty program, launched its first-ever NFTs this week. Dubbed the “Siren Collection,” it features different versions of the company’s Siren logo. The NFTs were priced at $100. Except that Starbucks isn’t calling them NFTs. They are “Stamps.” The 2,000-piece collection sold out in just 18 minutes!
In any case, I was hopeful when they announced the collection. But sadly, none of the sirens depicted in the Stamps have clothes. As such, Starbucks definitely does not fall under this (former Starbucks dirty chai drinking) writer’s purview of digital fashion or luxury, So, let’s move on to what happened in digital fashion this past week.
Metaverse Fashion Week
The second annual Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) will take place in just over a week. It runs from March 28-31 and continues to expand its programming, with new announcements from various platforms and brands every day. Decentraland and UNXD power the event, and this year’s theme is Future Heritage.
There is already a lot of buzz across social media channels, and various news outlets already ramping up their coverage. So later this month, we can expect the biggest Metaverse Fashion Week to date.
So far, MVFW has announced experiences created by Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Ben Bridge, and many more. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for new announcements over the coming week. And if you are surprised that such big names are experimenting with metaverse technologies, know that beauty brands were likely experimenting with VR, AR, and AI long before most knew the meaning of “nonfungible.”
In February of 2023, French luxury house Hermès International won its lawsuit against Mason Rothschild. Now, they have requested a Manhattan federal court to prevent artist Rothschild from promoting or possessing his “MetaBirkin” non-fungible tokens, which infringe on Hermès’ trademark rights to its famous Birkin bags.
Despite the court ruling in favor of Hermès and awarding the company $133,000 USD in total damages, Hermès decided to take further legal action, as Rothschild continued to advertise his NFTs. In a statement sent to nft now, Rhett O. Millsaps II, legal counsel for Rothschild, said, “As plaintiffs, Hermes gets to file their argument first. This case is far from over. This latest filing is a gross overreach by Hermes and an attempt to punish Mr. Rothschild because they don’t like his art, but what’s new? Mr. Rothschild will be responding in the Court in due course.”
Balmain partnered with Metaverse fashion brand Space Runners to release a digital version of the Unicorn, a physical sneaker Balmain came out with last June. The futuristic design of the physical Unicorn already echoes the space-age feel of design in the metaverse, and the NFTs will accompany physical versions of the shoes. Balmain has previously released NFTs deemed collectibles, but this release will be the first Balmain digital wearable that can be worn in a virtual world.
The Future Rewind Competition
Dolce & Gabbana partnered with UNXD to launch a digital wearable competition called The Future Rewind Competition. To participate, individuals must submit at least five full digital looks, inspired by one of (or a combination of) these iconic Dolce & Gabbana prints: Leopard, Zebra, the traditional Venice Carretto, Blue Mediterranean, the famous DG logos, and quintessential black lace.
The competition will spotlight young creatives. And according to the team, this will mark the first time that a traditional luxury company will offer direct and personal guidance and mentorship for emerging artists.