When Web3 and the technologies undergirding it came on the scene, some forward-thinking entrepreneurs and talking heads said it would change everything. They envisioned a way of living that seamlessly fused the digital and physical worlds. Because of this, they claimed no industry would be left untouched.
Even something as tangible and tactile as clothing and shoes would eventually cross the bridge. To those first Web3 enthusiasts, the future of fashion was Web3.
Others weren’t so sure. They doubted whether blockchain technology, NFTs, or any other Web3 technology could have a significant impact on the fashion industry. It was simply too grounded in the physical world. These skeptics saw Web3 as little more than a fad when it came to fashion.
But as we prepare to enter 2023, the doubters are being proved wrong.
Web3, Fashion & Phygital Products
Dozens of fashion brands are currently exploring Web3’s potential, dabbling in different ways to offer customers benefits across the real and digital worlds.
We’re seeing it in shoemakers like Nike, with their 2021 acquisition of RTFKT, a company that creates NFT virtual sneakers and other collectables. Nike recently announced the launch of Cryptokicks iRL, dubbed the “first native Web3 sneaker.” Soon, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase one of 19,000 sneaker NFTs that can then be redeemed for a matching real-world shoe. They’ll be able to wear their physical shoes in the real world and a matching pair within the metaverse.
But the creation of phygital products like these is only one way that fashion companies are taking advantage of Web3 tech.
Taking NFT Rewards into the Real World
Anybodies, an NFT project launched on the Solana blockchain, is taking a slightly different approach to Web3. Rather than simply offering digital NFTs of their physical products, they’re releasing hoodies and other products with NFC-enabled chips that allow NFT holders to access other benefits.
These benefits won’t just be associated with the Anybodies brand though. Instead, Anybodies is partnering with other businesses to make these rewards and discounts available in a variety of venues. Imagine walking into a Starbucks and getting a percentage off your drink because you’re wearing an Anybodies hoodie.
Eventually, this idea will undoubtedly be picked up and implemented by other fashion brands. The value of your fashion choices will go beyond how others view you. They’ll provide tangible, real-world benefits.
We’re already seeing these possibilities play out in other ways, including at some of the world’s leading fashion events.
Rewarding Customers for Brand Loyalty
This year’s New York Fashion Week offered another, even more telling glimpse at what’s possible with Web3. Any attendees who held certain NFTs were allowed exclusive access to a digital fashion brunch. And that wasn’t the only event that was token-gated. It’s likely this trend will continue, with NFTs becoming something akin to membership cards into elite clubs.
Brands will finally have a way to reward customers for their brand loyalty while getting their products in front of more people in both the digital and real worlds. As the technology matures and the marriage between Web3 and fashion is consummated, new possibilities will be born.
The Future of Fashion
For those who love fashion, there’s never been a more exciting time than right now. Web3 is democratizing the industry, bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds, and rewarding consumers in dozens of exciting ways.
We may not know all the ways these technologies will impact the fashion industry right now, but one thing’s for sure.
The future of fashion is Web3.