What Happened: Prada is pushing the envelope on creativity and community with its newest metaverse venture. On January 20, the luxury house announced that it will team up with adidas Originals to launch adidas for Prada re-source, a “first-of-its-kind” NFT project that invites fashion, design and crypto creators to collaborate on a large-scale digital piece inspired by its physical Re-Nylon collection.
Here’s how it works: starting January 24, anyone can register with a digital wallet and contribute an anonymous photograph. From here, 3,000 people will be randomly selected to mint their submission as an NFT, free of cost. These will then be compiled as tiles into a single mosaic NFT designed by digital artist Zach Lieberman (think Beeple style), with the final artwork to be auctioned off and the proceeds to benefit Slow Factory, a non-profit focused on climate justice and marginalized communities.
The Jing Take: The list of brands that have entered the metaverse continues to grow: Balmain, Gucci, and Gap are just a few fashion giants that have launched digital tokens this month. Even adidas has already dipped its toes in the water, joining forces with NFT brand Bored Ape Yacht Club, NFT comic series Punks Comic, and cryptocurrency investor Gmoney to drop 30,000 Into the Metaverse NFTs last December.
But whereas the aforementioned brands largely dropped digital characters or virtual fashion pieces, adidas and Prada are setting themselves apart by bringing fans into the fold. Not only do the duo heighten engagement with their audiences by hosting an open-metaverse project, but they’re also giving consumers, for once, a chance to profit. Because designers retain the full IP rights to their individual NFT, they can choose to sell their tile on the secondary market. Additionally, they will receive a percentage of the auction sale each time Lieberman’s finished product is sold, in perpetuity, strengthening the sense of shared ownership and creator rights.
On top of this, the project builds on both brands’ green agendas. With questions arising about whether the metaverse is sustainable — especially considering the amount of energy needed to mint, bid on, sell, and transfer NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain — the two do their best to offset the potential environmental impact. From building the tiles on Polygon, an Ethereum-compatible network optimized for energy efficiency, to partnering with an organization centered on environmental justice, adidas for Prada re-source offers a playbook on how to approach the digital world with sustainability in mind.
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.