Rebecca Minkoff returns to the metaverse with an NFT collection for Crypto Fashion Week
Oith the start of Crypto Fashion Week, designer Rebecca Minkoff is launching her brand’s second NFT collection. But this time, the looks are designed to exist strictly in the Metaverse.
“No physical garments will coincide with this collection,” says Minkoff, who recently sold her fashion label to Sunrise Brands for $13-19 million.
“Instead, we focus entirely on fantastic digital looks that still have the brand’s DNA.”
Minkoff unveils a piece from the new collection on the digital runway during Crypto Fashion Week, which kicks off today. The full range will then be available through The Dematerialized (DMAT), a marketplace for fashion NFTs, where customers can view, purchase and style their avatars. “We’re excited to take these garments and make sure they have more utility than previous drops,” Minkoff says.
The 41-year-old designer launched the company in 2005 with her co-founder and brother, Uri, who previously served as CEO. During the sale to Sunrise, Uri took on a senior advisory role focused on innovation and technology. Minkoff retains her title as creative director.
“There is no physics. So the weight of an item of clothing, like a jewel-encrusted dress that would weigh hundreds of pounds in the real world, could work in the metaverse.
“We now have the resources to invest in NFTs in a much larger way,” she says of the Sunrise acquisition. “Eventually I see a world where there is a division for this and something we can focus on, whether it’s separate or internal drops”
Either way, Minkoff expects “NFTs will continue to be part of our brand story. Similar to product development through bags and RTW, this will become an important part of the Rebecca Minkoff product umbrella.
The new NFT line is inspired by the Greek philosophical concept of dunamis, which refers to power and potential. The Dunamis collection includes four digital looks: Athena, Venus, Aphrodite and Persephone.
Along with its Greek goddess theme, the line pays homage to the company’s New York roots and CBGB-gone-chic aesthetic. Her Greek and Manhattan looks, which include dresses, tops, bottoms and accessories, will cost between $100 and $1,400. Buyers can pay in crypto.
Designing digital fashion is especially liberating, says Minkoff, “because there’s no physics. So the weight of an item of clothing, like a jewel-encrusted dress that would weigh hundreds of pounds in the real world, could work in the metaverse. When we had a chance to imagine, we said “Why not be fun, it’s fantasy, there are no rules, let’s play and explore.”
Last fall, ahead of the Sunrise sale, Minkoff became a trailblazer in the world of fashion NFTs when she released her first digital apparel collection for New York Fashion Week.
The Fall/Winter collection debuted at Spring Studios, a central NYFW runway hub, with a series of streaming images shot by photographer Cass Bird. Each photo had a special QR code that led to an augmented reality experience for the live auction.
The first collection of digital NFTs, which cost between $60 and $600, sold out in nine minutes. Minkoff declined to comment on total sales revenue. “We weren’t expecting it, but it proved there’s a greater appetite for accessible luxury in the metaverse and it’s about understanding that fine line between scarcity and opportunity,” she says. , “and give collectors a way to gain value and resell.”
Minkoff also believes NFTs will “transform the entire fashion industry in ways we can’t imagine.”
“It will affect inventory and the cost of clothing,” she says. “And what will that do for supply issues and the physical values of things?” For the buyer side, she envisions a world where an NFT dress can be used not only for her avatar, but also as an instant dress up for Instagram photos.
Minkoff’s CFW debut signifies the designer’s continued desire to engage with Gen Z consumers. To continue those efforts, his second NFT drop will also launch on Roblox, a metaverse platform, and host an eSports event. within High Heel Obby, an obstacle course on Roblox that attracts 10 million players each month.
By purchasing the NFTs through DMAT, each purchaser will become a member of the Rebecca Minkoff Metaverse world, with access to a Roblox-based eSports event on March 25. For the eSports event on High Heel Obby, NFT holders and Roblox players can compete to style Minkoff looks and win brand prizes.
As it pivots to next-gen via Web3, Minkoff will soon revise its physical store strategy. “Brick and mortar is just not a goal for this year, it’s more of a goal for 2023,” she says. “When we re-enter brick and mortar, we are carefully considering what it will look like, but it will have an element of NFT fidelity.” She also plans to return to New York Fashion Week this fall with a live show.
Minkoff also has no plans to abandon her original clientele of millennial women, which she won over 16 years ago with her Morning After Bag and I Love New York Tee. “It’s our job to educate the consumer who buys an NFT from us and may not know where to get it, while growing that already educated audience,” she says. “It exposes them in the metaverse while bringing the rest of our consumers in, it’s definitely straddling two worlds at once and hoping to connect them.”