NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, had a viral year of success in 2021, and now, a few months into 2022, there’s at least one trend that seems like it’s on track to last: wearable NFTs.
While the idea of wearing a digital token may seem mind-boggling, many big names have launched crypto fashion collections that are selling for millions of dollars. These famous names include Gucci, Nike, Louis Vuitton, and more.
From augmented reality (AR) fashion to digital avatar fashion to physical NFT jewelry, as the world of NFTs grows, so do the possibilities of displaying those NFTs and flexing on your peers—on and offline.
NFT Fashion Demand on the Rise
With technology powered by blockchain, users can digitally “wear” these unique assets in virtual worlds. NFTs generally also continue to rise in value, even when other crypto markets tumbled earlier this year. Currently, the total number of Google searches for “NFT fashion” has increased by 7900% in the last two years.
All in all, these are solid signs for NFT fashionistas and the major luxury brands who have invested in the NFT hype.
Big Names in Wearable NFTs
Today, major fashion brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Gucci have created their own digital wearables and couture for the virtual runway.
In September of 2021, Dolce and Gabbana sold a fashion collection of nine NFTs for $5.7 million. Throughout the first half of 2021, major metaverse platform Decentraland sold over $750K in wearable NFTs, a 300% increase from 2020’s sales. Today, Decentraland continues to add more users and partnerships, like with game giant Atari, which continues to drive sales growth.
Other major fashion names like Crocs are taking their baby steps into the world of NFTs. The shoemaker filed a trademark application on January 11th that may lead to digital asset sales.
To buy your wearable, NFT, UNXD, The Dematerialised, and LuxF offer auction marketplaces. Other platforms, such as Exclusible, Lukso, SpatialPort, and Neuno, provide unique tools that allow where you can edit and digitally “hem” your own wearable NFTs.
Where Can You Wear Your NFTs?
Once you’ve snagged your very own NFT from a marketplace or auction, there are many ways to virtually, and even physically, wear your digital asset.
Deck Out Your Virtual Avatar in Unique NFTs
Most commonly, holders use their NFTs to decorate their virtual avatars in various metaverses or computer-generated virtual worlds. While many of the virtual worlds crypto fans know and love are located on the Ethereum blockchain, like Cryptovoxels and Decentraland, there are great alternatives found on competitors like Solana.
Portals is perhaps the best-known Solana metaverse, which hosts real estate from big names like Binance.US, Magic Eden, and FTX.US. Enviro is a virtual art gallery platform on Solana that allows users to cultivate custom rooms.
Wearable NFTS in Gaming
Digital wearables also crop up in gaming spaces, where users can deck out personal avatars with the custom array of unlocked or purchased NFTs. As a result, even luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry have launched their own blockchain-based games with limited-edition NFTs.
Part of the success of NFT fashion is that it taps into the existing world of virtual, wearable game “skins.” In-game skins are part of a lucrative market to match the fanbases of the most popular games. For example, just one skin from the huge game Fortnite brought in over $50 million for Epic Games.
Wearing Your NFTs in the Physical World
To add to the layers and blurred lines between the metaverse and physical universe, yes, you can now even wear your NFTs IRL.
One way to do so is by using software that allows you to show off your NFT on your Apple Watch screen. Other companies have followed suit in offering methods for NFT holders to flex their digital assets physically. For example, Hypebrother now sells backpacks with pixelated screens that can host your NFT as you’re heading to school. Similarly, Stekkel has a handbag in the works with a see-through slot to place an iPad showing off your one-of-a-kind NFT wherever you go.
The Allure of NFT Fashion
NFT fashion is a fun and inventive addition to the growing crypto economy, but if you’re curious why wearable NFTs are so popular, you’re not alone.
Fashion NFTs have value for two main reasons. First, like other NFT art forms, wearable NFTs give users the chance to express themselves in the brave, new digital world. Second, fashion NFTs are another way to invest in a digital asset that may accrue additional value over time.
CEO at major NFT Marketplace Nifty’s Jordan Lyall says that “Expensive NFTs are like any luxury good in that they communicate the owner’s style and status. But unlike Supreme clothing, fancy watches, or rare sneakers, NFT owners can flex both in the real world and inside the metaverse.”
What’s more, NFT fashion is more sustainable than physical fashion as it saves production and shipping costs – you’ll never see NFT clothing ending up in a landfill.
As a result of the demand for wearable NFTs, the market is already seeing the launches of digital-only fashion brands. These include the virtual sneaker company RTFKT which was acquired by Nike and Fabricant, which envisions “a future where fashion transcends the physical body.”
As millions continue to pour into the wearable NFT industry and with more exciting experimentations in the real of digital fashion, this trend won’t be going away any time soon.
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Amanda is a professional writer who is passionate about helping people share their vision with more audiences using SEO, data, and storytelling. She often writes about cryptocurrency, fintech, politics, and the law. Her background is in policy and research, with a degree from NYU and certifications from Harvard, Google, and more. When not writing, Amanda enjoys painting, dancing, and playing chess.