NFT.NYC Week has arrived in New York City, hitting the streets harder than it has ever done – in its four-year run. Tech-focused events have brought the fintech community to the Big Apple, and surprisingly, that includes the fashion industry. The big conferences and discussions around NFTs, cryptocurrency and Web3 are where the fashion industry tries to claim its stake in the metaverse.
Among the many events taking place, fashion brands and industry folks come together in real life to dissect and understand the relationship between NFTs, Web3, and how the world of fashion will exist – or exist – in the metaverse. High-end, streetwear and footwear brands all share the stage hosting events around fashion design, web3 worlds and NFT art, polishing a luster and allure that fashion has acquired over generations. .
In the spirit of any other fashion week, plenty of parties and events can fill a morning-to-night schedule, galvanizing a community toward the future of commerce. Metaverse – slash, real-world brand names like DJ duo EscapePlan hosted a party at the PHD Rooftop Lounge for Web3, NFT, and crypto readers in town with drinks provided by Lobos 1707 Tequila.
NFT and Web3 company Artie hosted a party last year in partnership with V FILES, revisiting New York nightlife and inviting people from the fashion industry to mingle with its NFT community on Thursday night of the NFT.NYC week. Fashion brands like denim line AKINGS are celebrating NFT.NYC week with a party for their NFT “Wear To Earn Fashion” collections as the first adapters for Web3. NFT.NYC Week is at the intersection of fashion and Web3, evolving into a 1:1 relationship between NFT art and actual fashion items.
Sneaker resale giant Stadium Goods, located at 47 Howard Street, has planned events for all four days of the week – teasing exclusive merchandise and promoting NFT art, artists and innovators from around the world. Web space3. Stadium Goods kicked off the festivities with a conversation diving into the digital details of how NFTs can affect our daily lives.
A conversation titled “The Business of Web3” [referencing Jeff Staple hosted podcast, The Business Of Hype] would lay the groundwork for the trendy Web3 talks, held on Monday, June 20. Between Stapleverse founder Jeff Staple, Verbal, Ambush co-founder Greg Locsin, creative director at Billionaire Boys Club, and BB3, Jeff Cole, co-founder of Ikonick and Metarelics, and Nelson Diaz, a web3 strategist of Long Lost Friends, the love of sneakers was mentioned, such as Jeff Staple’s Staple Pigeon shoe design, who mentioned the nuanced relationship of the NFT Staple Sneaker Pigeon, and the auction price at Sotheby’s for the actual shoe.
A block party hosted by Web3 brands such as Gutter Cat Gang, Stapleverse, Metarelics, PFP World, to name a few, brought the Metaverse to life for the fashion community, hosting get-togethers with founders. With events happening every day, the four days of Stadium Goods NFT festivities wrap up June 23rd with guests Victoria Wells, web3 Strategy at R/GA, Ash Pampati, Head of Partnerships, Metaplex, Ariel Wengroff, Vice- President, Communications, Ledger, John Jannuzzi, writer and founder of Avius Animae NFT, discussing luxury and marketing on Web3, gauging opinions on the future of fashion metaverses.
Streetwear pioneer and brainchild of Pharrell Williams, Billionaire Boys Club, would host his BB3, Web3 panel at 7 Mercer Street, including Stapleverse and Staple Design founder Jeff Staple. The “TNZT x Akuverse” conversation on Tuesday the 21st would have Jason Lee, one of four members of the League OTO art collective, host the core group of industry innovators Web3, Micah Johnson of Aku, Summer Watson of Aku , Jeremy Grinberg of COLORSxStudios and Jeff Staple.
Co-founder of Ikonick and Metarelics, Jeff Cole is also involved in a Balmain NFT collaboration. Hitting fashion brands NFT, the Unicorn Balmain NFT launches in partnership with MINTNFT and Ripple, platforms that support brands in the Web3 transition. The Balmain name and the retail space of its Madison Ave location invites customers to experience the actual launch of a digital item. Pioneers like Staple are moving their generation into the metaverse, while designers like Cole are bridging the gap between fashion and NFT design.
Stadium Goods panel guest Verbal Ambush continued the idea of pioneering fashion trends, teaming up with 3D sneaker designer Zellerfeld, for the 3D printed glow-in-the-dark AMBUSH ‘100S’ sneaker. The 3D-printed recyclable sneaker will launch during NFT.NYC week and raffle off three pairs of physical sneakers and their NFT counterparts. AMBUSH connects this sneaker sensation with NFTs, creating an entire Web3 metaverse to complete this release.
Fashion continues to develop and begins to sharpen the image of what it will be for all verses. At St. Anns Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, MADE x PayPal is hosting a two-day experience of panel discussions, a market and a runway show featuring selected fashion designers who have made their own way in recent years.
MADE, launched in 2009, has given way to some of the most innovative and talented designers in the fashion industry. This summer, IMG, in collaboration with PayPal, will relaunch MADE with MADE x PayPal to help support a new generation of diverse and emerging designers while giving back to the local small business community.
The MADE x PayPal event is hosted by Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, two New York fashion design icons. As part of the curation, the event is hosted by social media sensation, Elsa Majimbo, and will include DJ sets, performances and fashion shows, featuring names like Nas, Parris Goebel and Heron Preston.
The featured MADE Marketplace is home to small businesses such as Bronx Native, FUBU, Sincerely Tommy, Stadium Goods, Studio 189, and Bling By Bianca, to name a few. Emerging designers from New Wave New York presented by Public School, Des Pierrot, Maya Wang from Fried Rice, Long Xu from LORING New York, Michael Graham from Savant Studios and designer Colin LoCascio, have a chance to show off their skills in the recycling animal carcasses fabric from the Public School sewing house.
MADE will culminate with its MADE Class of 2022 fashion show which features and launches New York-based brands Bed on Water, K.NSLEY and Whensmokeclears.
Much to do with traditional fashion, this level of interactivity from MADE x PayPal lends itself to today’s digital climate and the metaverse that is fashion. The program supports small businesses run by people of color, and those same groups are interested in cryptocurrency. PayPal has its own cryptocurrency wallet available to its users, engaging fashion and embracing the streetwear audience that is showing increasing interest in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as shown during NYC NFT Week.
Amanda Miller, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at PayPal, said of the traditional fashion event: “The economic impacts of the pandemic on the fashion industry and small businesses have highlighted just how important it is essential that diverse businesses and creators have access to the tools and resources they need to survive and thrive.”
The overlap that occurs between fashion and Web3 is more common, and there is apparently a comparable overlap of innovators in these spaces. Miller continues: “PayPal’s collaboration with IMG on MADE x PayPal [allows us] to celebrate the power of fashion while leading a conversation about what it takes to foster and sustain an inclusive economy.