It's a bit of an obvious match for the Metaverse movement to be spearheaded by streetwear and sneaker culture. With the overlap of ownership and revoked functionality, it's like the two were made for each other. To discuss this growing merger, we invited four key speakers to share their thoughts.
Marjorie Hernández, co-founder of fashion NFT marketspace Dematerialised and blockchain infrastructure Lukso; Nicolas Romero, co-founder of blockchain-certified luxury sneaker marketplace Satoshi Studio and Futures Factory; Jonathan Fong, co-founder of Sole Superior and Street Superior Festival; and Toby Tan AKA 'Tobyato', Singapore-based illustrator and visual artist. Moderated by Andrew Au, Chief Experience Officer at premium NFT marketplace Brytehall, here's a snippet of what went down.
It's a sign of the times
"We’re at a really interesting time where designers can sell and connect with their audience and sell their creations (directly)," observes Nicolas Romero, "which was not possible a few years ago." He attributes this acceleration to advancements in both digital and physical technology pushing the virtual world presence, and its importance in making digital content own-able and transparent for consumers.
There's opportunity for a complementary experience
While Jonathon notes that the tangible factors of acquiring a new sneaker cannot be replaced, there remains a perception at the back of collectors' minds of not wanting to be left out from jumping on a bandwagon that might be highly profitable. "A lot of brands have been using blockchain technology to authenticate their products," he notes, "whether this could be the next push where they could marry both, where you have the ability to (better) authenticate the physical and digital product."
Digital sneakers do more than just appreciate in value
Besides the fact that they are not subject to physical deterioration, NFT sneakers can be a signifier and digital key. "They can give you access to things; all the information and experience (that comes with it). You can prove that you are an OG (collector), etc," says Majorie, "You don't have to worry that they vulcanize if you don't touch them after a while."
It can only get better from here
"I believe that art thrives with competition," Tobyato explains how the term 'digital artist' was only used by some creatives in the past, but is now increasingly used by more artists—traditional or otherwise—due to how big the NFT sphere is becoming. Including himself in the mix, he notes that the influx can only be good, "It's exciting to see how they will push the whole creative scene up."
Esquire Singapore is collaborating with Tobyato on an NFT Sneaker project that will drop in December. If you're interested in scoring a piece of art (or a phygital), sign up here and we'll alert you to when the NFT will be released.
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