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Harry Styles fronts a Gucci collab

Harry-Styles-Gucci-hahaha-thefutureparty
Ha Ha Ha // Illustration by Kate Walker

Harry Styles fronts a Gucci collab

 

The Future. Harry Styles is bringing his eclectic fashion chops to Gucci with a new line called “HA HA HA.” The collaboration with arguably one of the most influential musicians in fashion is part of Gucci’s ambition to reach Millennial and Gen Z customers. But, the clothing line’s sky-high price point (probably more expensive than attending one of Style’s shows) may test whether a young clientele has the money for such a luxury… no matter how much they want it.

Harry’s Style
Harry Styles is moving from Harry’s House to a fashion house.

  • According to WSJ, the pop star and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele designed a collection dubbed “HA HA HA.”
  • The high fashion collection, which includes 70s-style “sport coats with meaty lapels, neckerchiefs and glen-plaid topcoats,” will drop this October.
  • And don’t expect the clothes to be offered at an accessible price point; Michele says, “it’s about beautiful pieces […] they are not that cheap.”

In true COVID fashion, Styles and Michele designed most of the collection remotely over WhatsApp — don’t be surprised if Meta tries to find a way to use that as marketing.

Gen Gucci
Collaborating with Harry Styles — an artist who has become almost as famous for his fashion choices as his music — is part of Gucci’s plan to attract a younger clientele.

  • It collaborated with adidas on a line that included suits adorned with the footwear giant’s recognizable stripes.
  • It’s opened virtual stores in The Sandbox and Roblox.
  • It dropped an NFT collection inspired by a short film made by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways) for a recent runway show.

The new initiatives are an effort to ramp up Gucci’s sales. Kering, the fashion label’s parent company, told investors that it plans to boost sales from $10.3 billion to almost $16 billion by capturing “the high potential of Young Millennials and Gen Z” consumers.

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SoleSavvy unboxes COLLECT resale platform

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Courtesy of SoleSavvy

SoleSavvy unboxes COLLECT resale platform

 

Future. SoleSavvy dropped its COLLECT sneaker marketplace for its members — a destination where real people can buy, sell, and trade their collections without rampant profiteering and the help of algorithms. For the more casual sneakerhead, COLLECT could prove to be a lower-stakes way of getting the kicks they want.

Humans only
SoleSavvy believes that its community can show the sneaker world at large how to do business responsibly.

  • The member-only platform has launched a marketplace app called COLLECT, where users can buy, sell, and trade personal sneaker collections.
  • SoleSavvy won’t take any processing fees and hopes to cap resale prices.
  • The app will also have a unique verification process so users can’t get scammed.

After a brief test back in March, the COLLECT app is now available to everyone on both iOS and Android.

Community try ons
According to Input, the goal of the app is to “bring a face back to otherwise anonymous transactions.” That means having a marketplace that isn’t overrun by both checkout-disrupting bots and opportunistic resellers.

With COLLECT, SoleSavvy is trying to get ahead of issues that have plagued other resale sites, such as StockX, Goat, eBay, and Nike’s SNKRS. While COLLECT probably won’t drive the demand and sale prices of those other marketplaces, that’s entirely the point — SoleSavvy, like LACED and Kickstroid, is a community platform first and foremost (at a pretty steep $33 per month).

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Nike and RTFKT Studios drop digital Dunk

https://futureparty.com/stories/nike-rtfkt-dunk-genesis-cryptokicks-thefutureparty
Dunk Genesis // Courtesy of RTFKT

Nike and RTFKT Studios drop digital Dunk

 

Future. Nike and metaverse sneaker creator RTFKT Studios are dropping the first of Nike’s new line of CryptoKicks — the Dunk Genesis. Virtual-first, customizable, and updateable, Nike’s sneakers may be the mainstream offering needed to make digital shoes a bonafide trend.

Step into the metaverse
Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT is paying off with its first virtual shoe.

  • The pair are releasing the Dunk Genesis — a virtual silhouette of the classic Dunk sneaker with “Skin Vials” tech that allows customers to switch out the sneakers’ color schemes.
  • So far, the Dunk Genesis is available in eight limited-edition skins and will be more customizable as time goes on.
  • The sneakers are up for auction on OpenSea, with the lowest bid already at 2.31 ETH ($6,926.39).

The drop comes on the heels of RTFKT airdropping an NFT collection called “MNLTH” in February to owners of the company’s previous sneakers, the Clone X. “MNLTH” was simply a metallic cube adorned with the logos for both RTFKT and Nike — you know, just a big tease.

After completing a series of “quests and puzzles,” according to Input, holders finally were able to unlock the box — finding a pair of the CryptoKicks, a Skin Vial, and, yes, another “MNLTH” NFT.

Out of StockX
With the Dunk Genesis, Nike has finally cemented its Web3-focused CryptoKicks plans.

  • The company had already filed for a handful of related trademarks (an NFT marketplace, a crypto wallet, a remix feature called “shoe offspring,” etc.).
  • It also created a world within Roblox called “Nikeland,” which connects to a user’s mobile phone accelerometer in the real world.

But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Nike. The company is still locked in a legal battle with resale platform StockX over the latter’s VaultNFTs — a lawsuit that could determine who holds the ultimate right to issue an NFT of physical sneakers.

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Rares turns sneakers into stocks

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Rares // Illustration by Kate Walker

Rares turns sneakers into stocks

 

Future. Rares is acquiring rare, high-value sneakers so that they can turn them into “mini-companies” users can invest in for as low as $25. That fractional ownership will hopefully net users a profit as the shoes appreciate and Rares sells them off down the line. With several other companies also getting into the alternative asset game, the ability to invest in shoes, clothes, cards, etc., may be the perfect gateway into learning to invest with disposable income while still young.

Fractional footwear
Rares is unboxing a new asset class.

  • The company, founded in June 2020, lets users (those over 18 and who live in the U.S.) invest in a pair of rare sneakers that the company acquires (and expects to appreciate in value).
  • By filling the shoes with the SEC to make it a tradeable item, it splits into thousands of shares and then does an IPO on its platform.
  • Investors get a payout when Rares liquidates the shoes once they’ve peaked in value — typically 6 to 24 months after Rares acquires them.
  • Users can also trade their shares to other users instead of waiting for Rares to liquidate the shoes.

To give an example of what Rares offers, it acquired the Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers that Kanye wore at the 2008 Grammys for $1.8 million — the most ever paid for a pair of shoes. The company then split the shoes into 72,000 shares that it sold for $25 per share.

Streetwear suits
Founder and CEO Gerome Sapp (who used to play in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens) started the company to give Millennial and Gen Z investors an asset option that wasn’t the usual stocks and mutual funds. The idea being that some people would rather invest in something that they understand and have an appreciation for. “The cultures and communities that made the sneaker industry what it is today — that made it popular and valuable — at some point were left out of the secondary appreciation of these sneakers.”

Eventually, Sapp wants to lower the buying threshold to $1 so that anyone can start investing. He also wants to expand beyond sneakers into anything else that can be considered an alternative asset — “high-end handbags or vintage tees or collectible cards” — to become the “Amazon of alternative asset investing.” He may have some competition.

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Fashion houses claim ownership on colors

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Brand colors // Courtesy of Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Brady, and Supreme

Fashion houses claim ownership on colors

 

Future. Following in the footsteps of Tiffany’s world-famous “Tiffany Blue,” fashion houses, streetwear brands, and sportswear entrants are minting their own colors to create the most elemental form of brand awareness. With marketing becoming more immersive, experiential, and layered, everything from a physical wall to an Insta Story to entire environments in the metaverse could become awash in unique colors to promote a brand.

Color authority
The hottest new trend in fashion is having your own color.

  • Valentino branded its own shade of pink called “Valentino Pink PP,” which was everywhere during its Fall 2022 show in Paris.
  • Supreme has gone into overdrive, putting its special shade of red all over products, like skateboards and couches.
  • Bottega Veneta has “elevated” its longtime shade of green to the trademarked “Bottega Green.”
  • Tom Brady’s new clothing line, Brady, developed its own shade of blue prior to launch called… you guessed it… “Brady Blue.”

How does one trademark a color exactly? It has to be done so with the Pantone Color Institute, and the color has to have a “secondary meaning” — that the color is connected to a good or service that customers associate with the brand.

Mood tone
Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, noted that brands are developing their products and color in unison, especially as digital media provides endless opportunities for brands to bombard customers with their signature pop of color  to “build the psychological bridge between hue and brand quicker than they could before.”

Can a simple shade communicate a vibe? Can it let customers know what they’re all about without actually saying anything? That may be a lot to ask of a color, but brands will likely make sure that customers make that connection… whether they realize it or not.

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Cala upgrades merch into full fashion lines

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Courtesy of Cala

Cala upgrades merch into full fashion lines

 

Future. Fashion design and manufacturing company Cala has launched an iOS app that gives creators the ability to create and distribute a fashion line right from their phones. With company co-founder and CEO Andrew Wyatt claiming it’s as automated as “creating a TikTok,” digital platforms like Cala could become the go-to powerhouses behind millions of small businesses.

Fashion first
Why have just some merch for sale when you can have a full-scale fashion line?

  • Cala’s platform gives users the ability to sketch designs, source materials, coordinate production, and oversee distribution.
  • The app has two subscription tiers: a free Starter Pack with very limited features and a Professional Pack that comes with all the bells and whistles for $29.99/month per person.
  • When a fashion line is ready to enter production, Cala will handle all the “non-creative” logistics for $500/month.

Cala takes a 20% fee on production costs (sourcing and manufacturing) and a 10% fee on fulfillment costs (shipping returns, storage).

Got the goods?
If it feels like every creator and their mom has a merch line these days, you’re not wrong. Most are just the creator’s logo slapped on a T-shirt or hoodie, but creators like PewDiePie and the D’Amelio sisters have taken those merch ambitions to the next level.

While it has strong competition from Represent (which has worked with names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lopez) Cala has already attracted names like comedy group Friday Beers, Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, and Atlanta-based skater Tyreek Morrison.

Let the merch games begin.

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Nike battles StockX over NFTs

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Nike vs. StockX // Illustration by Kate Walker

Nike battles StockX over NFTs

 

Future. Nike is taking StockX to task over its planned rollout of its StockNFTs. Nike says it holds the sole right to make NFTs of its product, while StockX says its NFTs have nothing to do with the unique identity of the shoes themselves. In a world where NFTs represent physical objects, can an NFT of the thing itself and an NFT that denotes current ownership exist simultaneously?

Not in your vault
Nike is trying to quiet the hype around StockX’s VaultNFTs.

  • Refresher: VaultNFTs is StockX’s way of creating a unique digital certificate for each pair of physical sneakers that they have in stock.
  • Nike says not so fast — StockX is a resale store, and Nike says it should be the only one who has the right to mint their shoes as NFTs.

Nike, of course, is making inroads into the metaverse, and being able to offer NFTs of its shoes (especially through its acquisition of RTFKT) is key to its strategy.

Meanwhile, StockX’s VaultNFTs aren’t meant to be the NFT of any particular shoes, but a way to buy and sell shoes among customers in a more sustainable (and cheaper on the company) way.

Who wins? That answer comes down to what kind of ownership NFTs truly represent — forever and always that of the initial creator or whoever currently owns the product?

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StockX creates avatars of real shoes

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Courtesy of StockX

StockX creates avatars of real shoes

 

Future. Resale marketplace StockX is introducing VaultNFTs, which allow customers to buy and sell tokens that represent what the company has in stock. That means customers can buy and sell shoes without ever even seeing the physical versions (or the shoes even leaving the warehouse). VaultNFTs could be yet another innovation in blockchain-backed tokens… but StockX will probably need a lot more warehouses.

Slip on these NFTs
StockX is launching an NFT marketplace… as a proxy for real products.

  • StockX is introducing VaultNFTs.
  • Each token on the Ethereum blockchain represents a real pair of shoes that StockX has in stock.

When users purchase a VaultNFT, they can either redeem the NFT for the physical shoes or quickly resell the shoes (without ever having to touch them).

Still in the box
VaultNFT gives StockX the ability to buy and sell shoes without ever having to receive them, which makes particular sense for a resale market. This removes a scenario where someone receives a pair of shoes just to turn around and sell them for a profit… with that process happening over and over again. It’s no different than purely digital NFTs, by the way.

No longer needing to send shoes that a buyer will never wear is not only cost-effective but also better for the environment. StockX noted in its press release that the availability of VaultNFTs will help “reduce transaction fees, minimize environmental impacts, and create provenance” (i.e., no shipping and handling).

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Gucci to open retail store in The Sandbox

gucci-nfts-soundbox-metaverse-thefutureparty
The Sandbox

Gucci to open retail store in The Sandbox

 

Future. With the purchase of virtual land in The Sandbox, Gucci plans on creating an interactive world for the metaverse… which of course will lead to the sale of NFT-backed products. Gucci probably hopes that its products will become the same high-class fashion staple in the virtual world as it is in the real world… but with a fresh clientele.

GucciLand
Gucci wants to bring a little style to the metaverse.

  • The fashion brand bought a virtual plot of land in The Sandbox for an undisclosed amount.
  • The announcement was made on Twitter and in its 73,000-member strong Discord group (which recently had a job opening for a Community Coordinator).
  • The land is meant to expand the brand’s online concept store, Gucci Vault, by adding virtual, interactive experiences.

This has been a long time coming for Gucci, which over the past year has been toying with NFT productsexperiences in Roblox, and virtual goods.

All Gucci
And that’s because Gucci knows that luxury fashion needs to keep bringing in young customers to survive generational shifts in spending habits. According to Morgan Stanley, the luxury-branded NFT market could reach $56 billion by 2030 — mostly powered by the metaverse.

If Gen Z is in the metaverse, into the metaverse Gucci goes.

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MSCHF trolls fashion with designer bags

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ONLYBAGS // Courtesy of MSCHF

MSCHF trolls fashion with designer bags

 

The Future. MSCHF — the artist collective responsible for satirizing troublesome tech innovations and runaway consumer culture — is now selling empty shopping bags from luxury brands so you can pretend that you’re rich and famous. Of course, the product isn’t what matters here, but rather the hype around the product… a concept that may be making the MSCHF team the foremost chroniclers of the absurdities in modern society.

Brand stand
MSCHF has returned to poke fun at our empty class signifiers.

  • The internet provocateur is dropping a collection called “ONLYBAGS,” which is literally just empty bags from brands like Fendi, Prada, Supreme, and Rolex.
  • The purpose is to skew the idea that walking around with luxury bags (even sans merch) denotes power, wealth, and status.
  • The twelve different retail shopping bags are available for $40 each on the ONLYBAGS website.

Did MSCHF get any of these brands’ permission to use the bags? Of course not! The collective might get sued, just like how Nike did… but that will only raise even more hype for the bags.

Showcase
MSCHF is known for its drop manifestos, and this one doesn’t disappoint: “If there’s one thing we know from acquiring our bag samples, it’s that strolling down the street laden with (empty, of course!) Balenciaga, Valentino, Rolex, et al. is one hell of a power trip.”

That superficial power trip is exactly what MSCHF hopes to satire, and there’s plenty of real-world evidence to prove that they are right on the money. Celebrities on shopping sprees are routinely photographed by paparazzi, and luxury shopping bags are even resold online for high premiums. At the end of the day, people just want to feel like they can own something ridiculously expensive.