What Happened: Richard Quinn, the British designer best known for his bold, evocative approach to silhouettes and prints, has released his first-ever NFT collection as part of his eponymous line. In partnership with Clearpay and The British Fashion Council, the “London Fashion Week in Bloom” token series went on sale last Saturday via a dedicated website. The collection took inspiration from the group’s SS23 show (which was presented during LFW in September) and includes a special, limited-edition rose NFT — a digital rendition of the giant blossoms that featured on the physical runway last month.
But, as with many recent token drops, there’s more than what meets the eye. Following their purchase, buyers of the Richard Quinn NFT were also offered the chance to select from two options: attend the label’s exclusive VIP event in London’s Covent Garden later this week, or receive a collection of accessories in the iconic Richard Quinn floral print created exclusively with Clearpay, including items such as a bucket hat, a scrunchie, and a tote bag.
All proceeds of the NFT sales are also set to be donated to the BFC Foundation, a fundraiser which supports the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on education, grant giving and business mentoring.
The Jing Take: From the likes of Gucci’s double G symbol to Burberry’s latest interlocked monogram, luxury houses across the world have opted to incorporate their signature styles and emblems into their virtual strategies. This represents a bid not only to be as recognizable as possible, but also to develop a distinct identity amongst their rising number of competitors in the space. Quinn is similarly keen to put his globally-recognized stamp on the digital landscape. The creative has become synonymous with loud floral motifs over the course of his career and, now, his latest venture demonstrates ambitions of bringing this dynamic flower power to Web3.
But what’s really interesting to see is how names in fashion are returning to NFT initiatives. Earlier this year, the hype surrounding crypto art underwent a significant cooling-off period. An increased ambiguity and skepticism surrounding the value of tokens led to digital assets decreasing in popularity and demand. The sector witnessed an 88% drop in the number of addresses transacting on NFT marketplaces in a given week back in June, according to blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis, as well as the average price of a sale dropping from $3,894 (approx 27,846 RMB) to $293 (approx 2,095 RMB) over the Summer.
The collapse pushed brands to reconsider how they can utilize non-fungibles and reevaluate the way in which they might bring added value to their customers. In most cases, including Quinns, this has materialized through the offering of exclusive perks and token-gated access to special events, in order to generate hype and re-engage potential audiences. But with little to no social media coverage of the collection across Europe or China, it’s uncertain as to how successful Quinn’s drop has been or will be, even with such add-ons.
For companies looking to successfully execute their virtual campaigns, it’s about finding the sweet spot between a good idea and an innovative one, appealing to customer demand, and also knowing how to effectively market products across a number of channels. But with more iconic makes establishing themselves in the online space than ever — plus an NFT renaissance potentially in sight — Web3 fashion looks likely to have a rosy future ahead.
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.