Nike Acquires RTFKT Studios

BY Langston Thomas

December 13, 2021

Only two weeks after RTFKT sold out its long-awaited CLONE X drop, the company has been acquired by Nike. Launched in January 2020, RTFKT Studios has continued to turn heads over the last 23 months, becoming one of the leading brands in metaverse fashion.

For over a year, RTFKT has remained an NFT community favorite when it comes to innovative digital wearables. Having collaborated with numerous artists throughout the 2021 NFT bullrun, including acclaimed young creator FEWOCiOUS and of course, CLONE X creative partner Takashi Murakami, RTFKT has achieved a unique presence in the NFT space as a company both built by and for the non-fungible community.

“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” RTFKT Co-Founder Benoit Pagotto siad in a statement. “Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”

With this latest move, the young company has propelled past would-be competitors as a leading brand that leverages cutting-edge innovation to deliver next-generation collectibles. While legacy fashion institutions like Dolce & Gabbana just now beginning to enter into the world of non-fungibles, and Nike following close behind with its recent virtual goods trademarks, RTFKT founders Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev have long been pioneers in digital wearables, and staples of the NFT community.

Although it’s unclear what Nike has in store for the RTFKT brand — as the clothing giant has stated that the terms of the acquisition deal will not be disclosed — the NFT space as a whole seems to be overjoyed at this win for web3 tech and culture.

“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture,” John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. said in a statement. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

To learn more about the acquisition, read Nike’s full press release here.

Photos courtesy of Nike Inc.

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