What Happened: Louis Vuitton has revealed its first ever in-house NFT project, which will digitally transform the luxury label’s iconic hero product, the LV treasure trunk.
Arriving in the form of a phygital activation, the virtual assets will grant owners access to future products, gamified events, and experiences, as well as confirm their status as a member of one of luxury’s most elite virtual cohorts. Only several hundred tokens will be produced.
Joining the likes of Fendi, Hublot, Rimowa, and Givenchy, Louis Vuitton is the latest house under the LVMH umbrella to join the metaverse. Interested parties can sign up from tomorrow via a waiting list. On June 14, Louis Vuitton will allow selected participants to access a private website, before inviting them to purchase one of the NFTs on June 16.
The Jing Take: It may have taken its time with its Web3 debut, but Louis Vuitton’s first foray into the new Internet terrain was one worth waiting for.
The LV trunk transcends the house’s longstanding creative roadmap and has withstood the test of time, having been transformed from a practical product to an objet d’art.
Since its conception in 1858, the brand has continually reimagined the trunk’s trademark heritage design, from the Ernest Hemingway Library Trunk through to Supreme’s streetwear-inspired lens.
Now, it’s having a digital upgrade.
But there’s a catch. While the drop initially seems like an accessible option for consumers to own a piece of the legendary brand’s legacy, the token comes with a hefty €39,000 (almost $42,000) price tag, limiting the privilege to high-end consumers.
This isn’t the first time a top-tier luxury brand has gone into the metaverse with a top-draw price point. Tiffany’s $50,000 CryptoPunk pendant, which dropped in August last year, sparked controversy, with many commentators slating the project as contradictory to Web3’s ethos and its democratization of art.
Despite this backlash, the collection sold out in hours, demonstrating the colossal appetite for drops of this type.
LV’s token price point is arguably realistic, considering the price of a standalone, physical trunk is over $49,000 on resale sites such as Vestiaire Collective. The NFT will also unlock benefits such as custom-made collections, elevating its value.
Another major, game-changing factor of the drop is Vuitton’s choice to use tokens which are soulbound to their owner. Essentially, this means that the tokens are non-transferable and cannot be resold, immediately dispelling any opportunity for NFT flippers to cash in on a profit.
Vuitton’s decision to implement such a permanent feature into its strategy implies that the house has been quietly investing time into reverse engineering the mechanism of the NFT market. It’s a move that will likely spur more ultra fans of the brand to join this new private members club, while warding off ‘crypto-bro’ communities or money-oriented collectors.
The brand also announced that, over time, it will release a series of keys that members can purchase to unlock further limited-edition products.
As iconic luxury houses explore new ways of taking their rich and longstanding legacies to Web3, Vuitton’s entry into the space may reignite waning global interest in NFTs.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.