With the growing popularity and eminent presence of NFTs, it’s only natural to wonder how they will impact our everyday lives. While virtual and augmented reality have taken the gaming world by storm, there have been few groundbreaking revolutions that have occurred in the fashion world. The most notable is AR software that allows users to “try on” accessories and products. Similarly, social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have been using AR software to create filters. While these are exciting advancements, NFTs seem to be the key to revolutionizing fashion.
To even begin to understand the future of fashion, it is essential to know the artistic nature of NFTs. Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are defined by Forbes as “a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.” In the same article, Forbes states that “a staggering $174 million has been spent on NFTs since November 2017.” There is a large market for NFTs that is relatively untapped by the mainstream fashion industry.
So how exactly will NFTs change the fashion community? To put it simply, the answer is scarcity. In the same way that exclusive luxury products like Birkin bags and limited-edition drops are consumed, NFTs offer a new opportunity to express one’s affluent lifestyle and to be a part of an exclusive community. When consumers collect designer or luxury items, they are no longer purchasing items to use, they are investing in them with expectations that their value will grow. NFTs are no different and serve as another item for luxury consumers to invest in. This transition to digital assets will not only influence the collector market. With the ever-growing popularity and innovation of augmented reality, it is going to become common for 3D fashion to be available for campaigns and social media posts.
Consumers and social media users alike will be able to interact with digital fashion and express their style using NFTs. In a similar manner to how users can purchase limited-edition skins and accessories in video games, luxury fashion fans will be able to purchase NFTs and 3D garments. The technology that designer brands like Gucci and Prada use has yet to reach commercial fashion. So, it will be interesting to see how the commercial fashion industry advances.
The sheer scarcity and uniqueness factor of NFTs makes it challenging for commercial fashion brands to enter the market. Once something is available and accessible to a mainstream audience, the item will lose its appeal. The reason designer brands and other NFTs alike are so complimentary is their consumer bases interest in social status and social capital. These consumers will always chase the next “one of a kind” item. NFTs are here to stay, and it is only a matter of time before we see a huge shift in the fashion industry and how ownership is defined.