In the past year, NFTs has been the new buzz word. From Harry Styles to David Lynch, a vast range of celebrities from various entertainment fields have endorsed in NFTs as a way to sell their art. However, as for regular people, it is hard to even define what NFTs are and what they do.
According to the BBC, Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are “something with units that can be readily interchanged”. To put it simply, it is a bit like money. However, the only difference is that I cannot be interchanged with something else. For example, it is possible to exchange a £20 note with two £10 notes. This is usually the case when an item is one-of-a-kind items like a famous painting. Another thing which sets NFTs apart from other items is the fact it not tangible and exists only in the digital world. With this comes the question of whether they can be copied if they are digital. Although it’s possible, the original will always have certificate of ownership indicating it to be the real item.
Now what happens when NFTs are used within the fashion industry? Although fashion is relatively new to the technology world, it has been provoking a lot of discussion about its future. Just recently, Harry Styles’ J.W. Anderson cardigan which he was spotted wearing back last February was sold as an NFT by Xydrobe. This shows how NFTs is slowly creeping its way into mainstream. However, there are various mixed opinions as to the validity of it.
Daniel, 19, “I feel like the world is changing, we have created this new world where everything is virtual, and I feel like investing in it would benefit you financially once it becomes mainstream.”
Jason, 23, “I might but I would be cautious because I am not too trusting of purchasing these kinds of things, especially if the product itself is not tangible.”
Additionally when conducting a poll on Twitter, most seemed to be rather closed off to the idea of purchasing virtual goods:
Virtual worlds are not new when it comes to gaming sites such as GTA. However, there has been more discussion on virtual world and the metaverse since Mark Zuckerberg started talking about his plan to rebrand. Already, people have seen the real world being able to collaborate with these alternate realities whether it is a virtual Travis Scott concert on Fortnite or a collaboration from designers such as Yoshihisa Hashimoto on Animal Crossing. As quoted by an article on NBC News, “digital platforms, such as Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite, have emerged as digital spaces that offer near-real-life experiences”. It is safe to say that the fashion industry may start catching up.
Brands from the likes of Gucci are playing around with the idea of releasing NFTs and they themselves state that it is “only a matter of time” until they do according to Vogue. Furthermore virtual platforms are already starting to welcome the idea of NFTs to the scene such as Decentraland where players can get a range of virtual street clothing for their avatars. It is safe to say that although some are skeptical of this new avenue, it may only be a matter of time before the majority of people welcome it with open arms.
Words: Jade Mudau | Subbing: Sumaiyah Akhtar