In collaboration with payment installments service Clearpay and The Institute of Digital Fashion, fashion brand ROKSANDA debuted a digital piece during its London Fashion Week Show on Monday, held at the Tate Britain art museum. The finale look of its physical fashion show will never be produced and can only be purchased as an NFT.
ROKSANDA, the feminine, colorful brand by Serbia-born, East London-based designer Roksanda Ilinčić is a favorite among Michelle Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge and fashion industry veteran Samantha Cameron. As its audience is older, more interested in art and Yves Saint Laurent-inspired color combinations than digital fashion, the goal of the NFT launch was to attract a younger Gen-Z audience.
London Fashion Week is an unexpected location for an NFT launch. Known mostly for avant-garde takes on fashion via designers like Matty Bovan and fun, vintage-inspired dresses from the likes of Rixo, digital items could easily feel out of place. Following the launch of its premiere NFT, during Monday’s show, Ilinčić participated in a panel with the British Fashion Council and Business of Fashion on the topic of NFTs in fashion.
The AR garment, available as an Instagram filter, has two functions, according to The Institute of Digital Fashion, a collective focused on developing digital fashion that partnered with ROKSANDA on the project. “We structured the NFT project by working with the ROKSANDA atelier on the creative possibilities and functionalities to push the physical boundaries of creative freedoms in the NFT, said Leanne Elliott Young, co-founder of the Institute of Digital Fashion. “Roksanda’s fabrics are in motion and on the dress, they become a motion art piece. We spent over a week, building the digital garment stitch by stitch together with Rokanda’s atelier, IRL x URL.”
It can be worn via AR try-on or displayed as an art piece and admired for its detailed craftsmanship. The QR code for the AR experience has been posted around the city on billboards and posters.
The garment — available in three different tiers of rarity, each with different functionality — is also available for purchase. Buyers of one of 500 NFTs available for £25 ($34) each get a 3D garment rendering and a 2D static collectible. At the second tier, consisting of 250 NFTs available for £250 ($339) each, buyers get a 3D garment animation rendering and 3D object showcase. Only 10 NFTs are available at the top tier — the price is £5,000 ($6,800) for a 3D garment animation render, a 3D object showcase and a Clo3D working file that provides the option of wearing the item across metaverses.
This launch marks the first time an NFT has been shoppable on a luxury brand’s website in pounds, rather than in cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH). It also marks some of the first NFTs to be available for purchase through Clearpay. The NFTs are housed on the Polygon blockchain and became available to purchase at 9 a.m. on Monday.
ROKSANDA CEO Jamie Gill has previously said that exploring new business opportunities and creating a brand “world” is a goal. The Roksanda-designed penthouse apartment launched in the central London-based Kings Cross development in 2019 was an obvious starting point, considering the designer’s background in architecture. But with its introduction of NFTs and digital garments, its target audience is clearly changing as it grows and expands.
“This season, Clearpay approached us [wanting] to create NFTs with a luxury house with the agenda to democratize fashion. We had been thinking about the idea throughout 2021 and are now really excited to offer our loyal customers something new, as well as to fully engage with a Gen-Z audience,” said Gill.
Talking about the NFT-based collaboration, Nick Molnar, co-founder and CEO of Clearpay, said, “Strong partners that have the expertise and can help brands get into the space will certainly be in high demand.… Ultimately, it comes down to approaching the metaverse in an authentic way, and [in this] case, it was approached with accessibility and creativity in mind.”