It's been more than one year since NFTs entered mainstream awareness in the fashion world. Starting as digital collectibles, they have evolved and translated into long-term, tangible business opportunities.
Digital twins, Loyalty tokens, VIP memberships, and access to events are some of the utilities that have come to light.
Here's a roundup of 7 NFT use cases to wrap up this fashion month.
1. Balmain: NFT-based loyalty program
On September 28th, Balmain announced "The Balmain Thread," the house's web3 community and NFT-based membership program.
The program was named after the commitment of the creative director Olivier Rousteing to build creations that, when put together, would tell a continuous narrative. This community will be the entrance to special house collections, exclusive events, and distinctive NFT products that tie its members together in a constant, unified thread.
The program announcement occurred during the third edition of the Balmain Festival (an annual event bringing together the best of fashion, music, and catering). Balmain provided three ways to join the community: via the festival's tickets, via a link distributed in a Livestream, and by experiencing The Moment app (which allows attendees to take a photo at the event and mint it into an NFT).
The membership program, minted on the carbon-friendly XRP Ledger blockchain, hopes to be the home to 10.000 customers who won't need to have any knowledge or cryptocurrency to start experiencing the beauty of web3.
2. YSL Beauty: An Interoperable NFT Wallet, Truly Yours
In June 2022, YSL began its exploration of web3 with the creation of several NFT drops, access to whitelists, and partnerships.
With the first drop of 10.000 YSL Beauty "Golden Block" NFTs launched during Vivatech, the brand created a smooth experience for users:
- Vivatech visitors could claim their YSL Beauty NFT through a QR code distributed from an NFT ATM during the event, while @YSLBeauty social followers could find a direct link in the brand's IG Bio.
- The YSL app embeds a state-of-the-art Ethereum wallet. Users could manage their private keys themselves, meaning they are the actual owners of their assets.
- For web3 newbies, YSL Wallet provides an easier private key backup option with encrypted files on iCloud or Google Drive.
- The YSL wallet is fully interoperable: users can connect it to any web3 app like OpenSea or OnCyber using Wallet Connect!
This operation was significant in many aspects:
- The first ever brand in the Beauty sector to have launched its web3 app, including a wallet and token-gated website
- 30k NFTs smoothly distributed; 30k messages to the wallet directly to users without intermediaries
- 24k wallets for non-crypto native users
To take a step further, a partnership with the decentralized platform P00Ls and two renowned musical artists, Agathe Mougin and Kittens, was launched, inviting YSL Beauté communities to collect their respective tokens.
This activation was linked to a donation to two partner NGOs - It's on Us and En Avant Toutes, leading the change towards a world of inclusive freedom and self-expression.
3. Printemps: User immersion with a virtual store experience
Printemps launched last March 2022 their first 3D-modeled virtual store, which allowed users to dive into different atmospheres and move around this immersive experience from the comfort of their homes.
A playful and dynamic environment was the brand's bet to engage, motivate and attract customers. How does it work?
- A six-week journey in which any customer who purchased a product eligible for the NFT selection on the virtual store was able to participate in a weekly draw to try to win five of the 30 exclusive NFTs imagined by the French artist Romain Froquet.
- During the last week, the final winner was drawn from all NFT holders to win the artwork in its physical form.
- The NFT was made accessible through a simplified process! An email link was sent to the winners to claim their NFT and save it in a secure wallet made especially for Printemps.
4. AZ Factory: Immortalizing Alber Elbaz’s life story
Tied to the tribute paid to beloved designer Alber Elbaz and willing to recognize his passion for innovation and technology, fashion house AZ Factory brought together 45 fashion houses for a collaborative fashion show named “Love Brings Love" in 2021.
The house launched an NFT collection limited to 1200 pieces:
Together with Arianee, AZ Factory co-designed a special digital look in the form of an NFT: a white blouse dress was the canvas to style different accessories such as flower brooches, shoes, earrings, and jewelry.
- Each NFT was accessible from a simple scan displayed on the AZ Factory Collector’s Book, available exclusively to the guests of the Homage Show.
- The collection can be discovered on OpenSea, and the 3D dress was available to be projected in AR.
5. Paris Fashion Week: Digital accreditation for seamless access
The Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week is a high-level meeting of designers, fashionistas, journalists, buyers, and influencers, who are considered an exclusive and essential community for brands.
In 2021, the FHCM took the initiative to make Paris the first fashion week in the world to use NFTs, showing that not only is Paris always at the forefront of innovation but also that NFTs are not only for crypto-experts.
How did they do it?
- Fashion weeks are known for busy schedules. Therefore, the press accreditation was digitized in the form of NFT to facilitate entry and allow members to enter exclusive experiences just by showing proof of ownership (no personal data or private information involved).
- Accredited members had the chance to own a special digital artwork (by the fashion illustrator Richard Haines for the first season, then from Vanessa Seward for the second season) which was packed with an AR feature.
6. Dolce & Gabbana: A well-rounded Web3 strategy
Since 2021 when Dolce & Gabbana decided to take their first steps toward web3, the Italian brand has been one of the pioneers with the use of NFTs for multiple operations, with a revenue of more than 24 million. Let's take a look at each of these cases!
- In 2021, D&G partnered with UNXD (a curated NFT marketplace for digital luxury and culture) to launch a nine-piece NFT collection (five digital twins and four entirely virtual creations), during the Alta Moda show in Venice. Auctioned on the UNXD website, each NFT included the following benefits: the original sketch of the object, access to future haute couture shows, a two-week installation of all things in Dolce & Gabbana's flagship shop, and the physical piece.
- Starting in 2022, the DG Universe (the web3 space of the brand) launched its DG Family Boxes in the form of NFTs, leveled in 3 tiers: Black, gold, and platinum, a symbol of membership. Depending on the level, each customer could enjoy different experiences: NFT drops and exclusive digital and IRL events.
- Last September, the Disco Drip NFT collection officially arrived at Decentraland, allowing users to dress up their avatars if they want to party virtual disco in the metaverse.
7. SupperGucci: A privileged long term operation
In February 2022, Gucci and Superplastic (the creator of animated celebs, vinyl toys & digital collectibles) collaborated to launch their NFT collection: SuperGucci.
The release consisted of a two-part series of ultra-limited NFTs.
- The first 500-NFT drop was released in 3 different ways: the Superplastic NFT community, the Gucci Discord community, and a public release through both brands' websites. All the buyers would get whitelisted for upcoming Gucci drops.
- In August 2022, the brand released the second installment of 500 NFTs. Only holders of the first drop could claim the new NFT. Those who want to get their hands on the NFT will have to bid for it on the secondary market.
Two rare ceramic SUPERGUCCI sculptures, each 8 inches tall and made by hand in Italy, are presented with each drop.
This is just one of several operations that Gucci has carried out. With the aim of strengthening the ties between the community that has been created, they focus their strategy on a gradual development of initiatives that follow a roadmap outlined as a privilege for long term customers.
Digital demand for fashion and luxury brands is expected to reach sales of $50 billion by 2030, according to Morgan Stanley. NFTs, on their side, could expand the luxury group's total addressable market by more than 10 percent in eight years and boost industry earnings before interest and tax by around 25 percent.
The fashion industry's experiments with web3 have yielded significant results, with many use cases already in the application on a large scale. NFT-based loyalty programs, virtual stores, gamified experiences, whitelisting, digital twins, or event access are only some examples.
Putting NFTs in the hands of your customers is only the first step. The question every brand exec needs to bear is how you leverage it for CRM purposes and make it more valuable to use than to ignore. If you want to learn about how Arianee is helping brands to answer this question, read this article about our Enriched NFT.