NFT’s became well-known in 2021 thanks to Beeple’s artwork that you are about to find out more in this article. However, it wasn’t the year of their invention. NFT’s were invented back in 2012 and the big shift for NFTs was in 2017 when Ethereum cryptocurrency was introduced allowing the creation of several NFT metaverse and gaming projects. The year of 2021 is famous for the NFT boom, as the market saw significant increase in supply and demand of NFT’s.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) serve as a certificate of authenticity for digital artifacts and in recent years the technology has received significant attention in creative industries. Verifiability, tradability, and traceability are said to be one of the key benefits of NFT. NFT’s use blockchain technology* that allows the creator to prove ownership of digital assets such as images, videos, graphics, GIFs. In other words, NFT allows artists and designers to ensure full ownership of their digital work that cannot be plagiarized. Moreover, transparent transaction history makes the creator eligible to earn royalties each time the asset is successfully traded on any NFT marketplace (Chen et al., 2021). This means the creator receives a percentage every time the artwork is being sold.
To exemplify, NFT can be viewed as a type of cryptocurrency such as Ethereum or Bitcoin (Nakamoto, 2018). However, while classical cryptocurrency can be exchanged equivalently, NFT cannot because each NFT is unique and non-fungible, thus, is suitable for authenticating a unique digital asset. Therefore, NFT technology has become a remarkable solution in protecting intellectual property (IP) rights in the digital space amongst creators (Dailey, 2022).
Developing a digital NFT artwork or a fashion collection is not as easy as it may seem, as it requires deep IT knowledge in order to create so called “smart contracts” for every NFT. Smart contracts are programs or codes stored on blockchain that allow users to identify, exchange and track unique digital artworks in the system.
Lets explore some of the pioneering NFT projects and start-ups around the globe.
First on our list is DRESSX. DRESSX was launched by two Ukrainian female entrepreneurs as a solution to the negative environmental impact caused by the fashion industry. The start-up is based in LA and is the largest digital fashion platform that offers unique digital wearable clothing created in-house or by up-and-coming fashion designers. The platform even allows users to try on digital outfits in the DRESSX app, which we love to play around with. Explore more about DRESSX here.
Another female leader revolutionized digital fashion and launched a fascinating project called NEUNO, which is an Australian based brand. It collaborates with luxury fashion houses to launch NFT gowns that an owner could wear digitally and use to dress personal gaming avatars. Moreover, it has features of a marketplace that allows to sell, buy and trade fashion NFT’s. Find out more about the platform here.
Next is is Mike Winkelmann — the digital artist known as BEEPLE. Recently, his record sale of NFT called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for $69 million at Christie’s, made him one of the most valuable living artists. In his digital artwork, the artist combined 5000 individual artworks that he did over the years. The artwork looks like a collage and it is incredible to think that creative industries are digitalized faster than we can imagine.
Beeple (b. 1981) “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”
Whilst the above examples are emerging start-ups, ROKSANDA is a high-end fashion brand that launched NFT dresses as part of the Autumn/Winter 22 collection at London Fashion Week. The NFT garments have geometric print and can be tried on via Instagram filter. To add, it is the first time an NFT has been available for purchase on a luxury brand’s website in pounds, rather than in cryptocurrency such as Ethereum. See ROKSANDA’s NFT dress collection here.
Roksanda NFT fashion Collection
Last but not least is CLOTHIA - the first online retailer that introduced its own cryptocurrency to the digital fashion market. One of the unique features of CLOTHIA is that it auctions NFT dresses and fashion pieces, where the winning bid receives a corresponding physical garment. This way, fashion and accessory brands have direct access to consumers and can consider NFT as the new revenue stream. Learn more about CLOTHIA here.
At DAOTEY, we love exploring innovative art and design and we believe the above examples are only the beginning of the digital revolution in creative industries. However, opinions in relation to NFT differ and whilst some experts believe in the future growth of the industry, other professionals are very skeptical about the long-term success of the uncertain marketplace. Currently, the NFT market of digital art and fashion is prominent in the gaming industry, as the avatars can actually wear digital clothes. However, in the physical world, NFT’s are at their emerging phase and users cannot interact with NFT’s apart from appreciating digital assets. A study has focused on investigating the NFT market and proposed solutions of how the technology can be improved over the years. Read the research paper here.
*Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.
Author: Anna Buriak for DAOTEY