N.Fungible launches to help brands into the metaverse
As fashion brands race to embrace the metaverse and launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs), N.Fungible has debuted as a global launchpad and marketplace for brands in the space.
It eases entry into the metaverse for fashion companies who might currently find the the rapid rise of the online virtual world that is the metaverse confusing.
It’s offering services that include designing and minting NFTs, selling and management on NFT marketplaces, as well as authentication, brand protection and real-world manufacturing/distribution.
And the fashion issuers who are involved in the firm either as backers or working at it directly include David Binns who’s former Head of Buying at Marks & Spencer; ex-Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Versace exec Elaine Low; Abbey Samet, Director of Trend Forecasting at Macy’s; and advisor Giulio Xiloyannis, who’s group COO of Zalora.
The metaverse was rarely talked about in fashion this time last year but it has exploded during 2021 with Facebook and Instagram’s parent company even changing its name to Meta. Already too, brands from JW Anderson to Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Nike have been launching fashion NFTs in recent weeks. And we should expect a deluge of launches in 2022 as the metaverse becomes the place to be for fashion players.
But this risks leaving many behind as their small size or lack of digital expertise keeps them out of the metaverse.
N.Fungible CEO Nikolai Prettner said: “The future of fashion is digital. In the past year, we’ve seen some of the world’s largest names experimenting with branded in-game skins or virtual pop-ups, exemplifying the new, innovative ways that fashion is evolving in line with consumer preferences. We recognised a unique opportunity to play a leading role in powering the next generation of NFT innovation — one that can go beyond digital collectibles to assets that can appreciate in value while equipping brands with the right tools to mitigate risks on the horizon in an increasingly virtual market.”
At launch, the company is working with contemporary leathergoods and shoe brand Carlo Rino on a collection of bags to be minted as NFTs. It will generate 10,000 variations of the design, based on hundreds of variables.
Carlo Rino’s CEO William Chiang said the link-up allows the accessories firm to “focus more on our design and our craft” as it exposes it to a brand new audience while also creatively engaging existing customers.
Importantly too, the company will also make 100 physical bags from the 10,000 minted NFTs. And the selection will be based on the trading volume of the NFTs so their popularity with users will govern which bags are made.
N. Fungible will ensure that each NFT holder benefits from royalties when each physical bag is sold.
Giulio Xiloyannis said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be in fashion as the digital and physical realms continue to converge. With N. Fungible, brands can be assured that they’re entering the metaverse in a meaningful, authentic way that will appeal to their existing customer base while bringing about new value streams to reward their loyalty.”
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