Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams reimagine Speedy 40 bag, Valentino gives ‘Pink PP’ a digital makeover: Web3 drops of the week

As generative AI’s extraordinary potential balloons, the tech is set to upend everything as we know it — for better or, as prophesied by skeptics, for worse. The luxury fashion industry is no exception. With the generative AI market on track to hit $42.6 billion this year, its incremental impact is proving hard to ignore. Our latest report, “The Future of Generative AI for Luxury Brands,” unpacks rise of generative AI and how luxury brands are racing ahead against a backdrop of intensified competition. Download the full report here

As for this week’s drops, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is shaking up the entertainment industry to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop. The agency is leveraging Puma’s metaverse know-how to make its mark on the virtual space, arriving in the form of what the sportswear mogul does best — sneakers. 

Meta is also on a mission to bring Valentino’s hothouse pink to Web3 in the form of avatar wearables. The Italian maison is yet to have its big break in the virtual realm, but its quiet foray into new tech arenas signals that the label is ready to make moves across the space.

Puma and Roc Nation are revolutionizing the entertainment industry with blockchain tech. Photo: Puma

Roc Nation and Puma take hip-hop to the metaverse, and the drop is music to Web3 natives’ ears

What Happened: In commemoration of 50 years of hip-hop, Jay-Z-owned entertainment agency Roc Nation has joined forces with sportswear veteran Puma to launch a limited-edition, NFC-tagged collection of sneakers. The “Evolution of the Mixtape” project brings an entirely new concept to Web3. When a sneaker’s LGT (Legitimate’s proprietary NFC hardware technology) tag is scanned using a smartphone, it unlocks a blockchain-powered digital portal that features exclusive content, including unreleased mixtape drops for owners to listen to. The sneakers were available via retailers from July 14.

The Verdict: To bring the project to life, Roc Nation and Puma tapped phygital fashion ecosystem Legitimate, a small-scale company focused on building “unforgettable digital experiences.” Harnessing Puma and Legitimate’s collective consumer mindshare, the drop delivers something exciting and refreshing to the metaverse: It taps a cultural movement that’s potent and globally influential, as well as rewards the next generation of music fans with unfettered content. 

Valentino joins Thom Browne and Balenciaga in Meta’s digital wardrobe, branded Meta Avatars Store. Photo: Meta

Valentino joins a roster of leading fashion designers to dress Meta’s digital avatars 

What Happened: After teaming up with the likes of Thom Browne, Prada, and Balenciaga in June last year for its Meta Avatars Store offering, Meta has launched a series of digital fashion looks by Valentino. Audiences can now dress their virtual humans in six branded outfits created by the Italian luxury house. Prices range from $2.99 to $8.99, making them one of the most affordable Valentino looks a consumer can purchase. The garments are also interoperable across Meta’s channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Meta VR Headsets. 

The Verdict: While yet to crack the mainstream, avatar dressing is one of the biggest and most lucrative trends taking over Web3 right now. Gen-Z consumers in particular are expressing an appetite for offerings that allow them to explore their digital identity; while platforms like The Fabricant are using this as a chance to push the boundaries of self-expression, Meta is turning its focus to the luxury opportunity. Introducing affordable and accessible high-end goods to a cohort whose spending power is growing by the year, activations like Meta’s Avatars Store are both harnessing a current buzz and priming potential luxury customers in the long-term. 

Louis Vuitton reimagines archival Speedy bag for first digital collectible drop from its Web3 members club

What Happened: Perks for Louis Vuitton’s VIA Trunk NFT owners, which dropped last month, are starting to roll in. The first to arrive from the private members club is an updated, tangerine-hued version of the brand’s Speedy 40 handbag designed by Pharell Williams, which revisits the maison’s iconic silhouette created in 1930. Token owners can redeem the digital version of the product first by purchasing a series of digital keys that grant access to future phygital collections. The physical bag can be redeemed starting in January next year.

The Verdict: Along with a soulbound token and a $41,000 price tag on its VIA Trunk, Louis Vuitton is going for gold standard status in Web3. It’s interesting to see a luxury house diving into its archives for inspiration, merging its rich brand heritage with next-gen innovation. Once the physical bag is released, it will undoubtedly seal its position as a badge of honor and status symbol in the offline realm — perhaps becoming the first “It” bag to ever arrive from Web3.


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