“For us it was obvious we should try NFTs,” Diz says. “We like to say we have an audience and not only customers. We believe that luxury brands have also become media, and for us, NFTs are an interesting and powerful tool.”
How to develop a Web3 strategy
When Teddy Pahagbia, founder and chief executive of luxury fashion consultancy Blvck Pixel, explains Web3 to clients he says: “Web3 is the next stage of the internet — the internet of value. We won’t just transmit information and content over the web, but we can also transfer value, and this means people getting back the ownership of their identity and who they are.”
Often the terms metaverse and Web3 are part of the same conversation. For Nelly Mensah, VP of digital innovation at LVMH, her role encompasses overseeing these efforts at the group level. Mensah says that Web3 technologies, including tokenisation and decentralisation, are positioned to revolutionise what can be done in the metaverse. Samuel Jordan, digital fashion designer for gaming platform Roblox, distinguishes the two terms this way: Web3 refers more to the backend and technical aspects, while the metaverse “represents a change in culture and how you live, versus the backend tech”.
Mensah and Pahagbia shared that among the brands they work with, all functions are inherently involved in the education and strategic process. “It’s imperative that everyone educates themselves on Web3 and the metaverse — they have a wallet, they have an avatar,” advised Mensah. This is perhaps more so the case with the current shift compared to the shift of social media a decade ago, because the changes happening now more directly and immediately stand to impact the business model, Pahagbia says. “They can implement their vision literally into a code.”
During the second part of this session, Condé Nast’s Ciara Byrne revealed the publisher is developing a Web3 strategy and team. As the director of new business innovation at Condé Nast, the parent company of Vogue, GQ and Vogue Business, key themes guiding these efforts include harnessing the company’s heritage of community and culture, radical transparency and the notion that not everything has to be perfect. “It does need to be authentic, well thought-through and built with the community in mind,” Byrne says.
Lessons from the sneakerverse
Sneakers and their surrounding hype culture are often in a class of their own. Luxury can learn valuable lessons from the category about making a meaningful and strategic entry into Web3. Sneakers and luxury both run on a “scarcity model”, George Yang, the CEO and founder of Cult & Rain, tells Maghan McDowell. Cult & Rain, which sees NFTs as “VIP passes” to the brand, defines itself as the first Web3 luxury brand.
Also on this panel was Charis Marquez, VP of fashion at eBay, and Lucy Crivelli, the head of content at Aglet, discussing sneakers in the metaverse and how footwear’s path into digital worlds carries implications for what customers will expect from luxury brands.
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