For luxury, NFTs (“non-fungible tokens”) or non-fungible tokens are already a dual-trigger weapon. These unique creations enhance the image of the brands and develop a new area of exclusive expression. But these cryptoassets are also versatile digital assets, reinforcing a unique bond with the customer, as well as the traceability of the product, with certification on the blockchain. Among the luxury NFTs, some launches have been spectacular. In the fall of 2021, the Italian Dolce & Gabbana sold nine virtual pieces at a record price. Highly coveted, they climbed to 1,885.73 ethereums, then the equivalent of about $4.8 million. Since then, the house has turned its attention to its NFT community, the “DG family”, who chose it in mid-February to identify itself.
While Bitcoin has lost half of its value, at $30,000 (up from 68,000), luxury brands are not giving in to the storm; on the contrary. The industry’s positions in the metavers have never been more numerous. Two blockchains occupy the premises, the AURA consortium, which includes LVMH (owner of “Echos”), Prada, Richemont and the OTB group, and the French alliance Arianee.
Making a difference by partnering with a digital artist is a fundamental trend for major brands such as Prada, Givenchy or Gucci. Kering’s flagship brand, which first invested in the virtual world of gaming (game) like Louis Vuitton, was launched in May 2021 in the NFT. She offered a unique artistic work as part of a charity sale. It then kicked up a gear last February by suddenly launching 10 NFTs designed with the American brand Superplastic. The project titled Supergucci is a concept of unique works for collectors combining object and NFT in an ultra limited edition. It was born from the association of Gucci’s Artistic Director, Alessandro Michele, and two artists presented as “synthetic”, Janky & Guggimon.
Hublot and Murakami NFTs
Anyone dealing with cryptocurrency is also thinking about other developments in the metaverse. For example, TAG Heuer is considering ambitious projects in the world of Web3. Hublot is already in the race against time for NFT launches that make a difference, teaming up with Takashi Murakami. In January 2021, the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black was presented, a limited edition watch that sold in just a few days. “After this success, we have decided together with Takashi to offer a second version (the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow, editors note) this time in color.
This limited edition also sold out within a few days, says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. NFTs were offered to holders of Murakami/Hublot watch models (200 and 200 units respectively), but they were issued in slightly higher numbers (216 and 108 units), so that they could also be obtained by lottery. “We raffle 10 NFTs for the general public. 2 NFTs are reserved for the “Hublotista” community. By already owning a Hublot watch, it was therefore possible to participate in the 2 draws and significantly increase your chances,” explains Hublot about the operation performed on OpenSea.
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The two credentials of NFT Murakami Hublot appear under the same contract on Ethereum. They can be bought on May 31 for 50 ETH, or about 95,000 euros. This project is not directly dependent on AURA. But to request its NFT, the authentication of the watch was done with an advanced technology called Hublot e-Warranty.
Not all NTF experiences in the metaverse are so pleasant. Hermès started proceedings in January against the artist Mason Rothschild who launched the MetaBirkin project without permission and proposed several variations of the emblematic bag of the French saddler. The sale constitutes an intellectual property infringement, he says. Even virtual Birkin bags are not within everyone’s reach. On OpenSea, all sales would have amounted to more than 1 million euros.