How Rimowa, Puma are blending human craft with Web3 tech

    Rimowa introduces NFC chips with Aura Blockchain Consortium, Puma creates an AI-infused campaign, and KidSuper launches an NFT installation in NYC.
    Rimowa has teamed up with Aura Blockchain Consortium to integrate NFC tech into its suitcases. Photo: Rimowa

    Web3 activations were plentiful this week, with Rimowa, Puma, digital fashion house Syky, and KidSuper all releasing new tech-infused projects.

    Rimowa, the LVMH-owned luggage stalwart, joined the ranks of luxury players deploying Aura Blockchain Consortium’s near-field communication (NFC) chips, designed to offer consumers full traceability and authenticity on their products.

    NFC tags have become a major disruptor this year as brands face repercussions from their murky sustainability pledges. Will the tech encourage brands to be more forthcoming with their credentials?

    In other news, creative polymath KidSuper is back exploring the NFT realm alongside Lukso, while vintage tech label Mntge has teamed up with businesswoman and original “girlboss” Sophia Amoruso on a new collaboration.

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    Puma blends AI with human craft for latest campaign#

    What happened: Sportswear giant and Web3 backer Puma has released a series of short videos created using AI for its latest campaign. Blending animations with real-life footage, the clips showcase iconic athletes like Mondo Duplantis and Shericka Jackson wearing the Puma national kits, spotlighting their hometown’s culture.

    The verdict: Puma has positioned itself front and center as a sportswear brand harnessing Web3 tech effectively. Up against hefty competitors like Adidas and Nike, the label has managed to carve out its own niche within the digital ecosystem — a move consumers that are appreciating.

    This campaign highlights how brands can integrate AI in a way that still honors the human touch. The brand’s inclusion of the tech augments the creative experience rather than overshadows it, fostering a harmonious relationship between human ideas and machine learning.

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    KidSuper drops new NFT collection and installation#

    What happened: KidSuper, the brand founded by creative director Colm Dillane (who also goes by the KidSuper moniker), is back in the NFT market with a new digital collectibles collection. In collaboration with the Lukso blockchain, the activation, coined “Dream Machine,” blends the distinct streetwear sensibilities of KidSuper with fashion tech.

    The collection was unveiled on May 3 at the Boys Club’s Net Gala, hosted in NYC’s Bushwick neighborhood, before going public with a three-day minting window online.

    The verdict: As part of the project, KidSuper brought the virtual world to guests through a physical vending machine. The interactive dispenser prompted users to select one of three paths to redeem a custom trait, which could be swapped for an exclusive phygital item.

    It’s a clever way of encouraging non-tech-savvy shoppers to engage with the virtual world, revolutionizing the way they interact with the new creative economy. No stranger to pushing the perimeter of fashion collaboration, Dillane’s approach to the digital terrain feels on-brand for the creative.

    Mntge’s latest collab gives vintage metal-inspired tees a second life. Photo: Mntge
    Mntge’s latest collab gives vintage metal-inspired tees a second life. Photo: Mntge

    Mntge teams up with vintage expert and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso#

    What happened: Vintage Web3 label Mntge released a new capsule of NFC-chipped tees on May 2 alongside vintage expert, businesswoman, and Nasty Gal Sophia Amoruso.

    The 40-piece collection includes sweaters, hoodies, and jackets, in addition to rare vintage T-shirts from bands including Slayer, Metallica, AC/DC, and Mötorhead. Each product is NFC chipped, providing the garment’s history, construction, and provenance.

    The verdict: For a brand whose ethos is rooted in giving vintage gems a second life, Mntge’s latest collaboration is a natural fit. Amoruso started her career selling vintage goods from her bedroom on eBay before launching the multi-million-dollar retailer Nasty Gal. In 2016, she was named one of the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes.

    Business is booming for the vintage clothing market as celebrities and content creators bolster its reputation. According to a report by GlobalData for resale specialist ThredUp, global sales of pre-owned clothes surged by 18 percent last year to $197 billion and are forecast to reach $350 billion in 2028. Mntge is in a prime spot to cash in on the rush.

    Meta Bites#

    Digital fashion platform SYKY has joined forces with American singer and rapper Audrey Nuna on a custom virtual outfit. Appearing on the cover art for Nuna’s latest single “Jokes On Me,” the ethereal puffer suit was designed by Syky Collective member Fanrui Sun from Sunw. Collectors will be able to purchase the outfit, along with another digital garment from Sun, via SYKY’s marketplace.

    Rimowa has joined the digital product passport (DPP) wave in partnership with Aura Blockchain Consortium. Owners can scan the NFC chip, which is embedded into each suitcase, to access their certificate of ownership, product information, and the unconditional lifetime warranty.

    Metaverse studio Karta is wading deeper into the fashion industry. The platform has appointed Morgan Evans, who previously worked at global fashion brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, as its new fashion and beauty director. Karta has powered projects including Hugo Boss and e.l.f cosmetics’ Roblox experiences.

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