Many are the brands that are foraging the Metaverse seeking for new revenue streams. Companies like Nike, Adidas or Tiffany’s have already cracked the code of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sales, earning more than 245 million dollars collectively.
Whilst partnerships with online gaming, investments in property in the Web 3.0., and pushing the runway into the realm of augmented reality are the most common initial outings into the Metaverse, some of the leading players in the fashion industry have turned to NFTs in order to increase their revenue. It’s the case of Nike, Tiffany’s, Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Adidas, and Lacoste, amongst others.
A recent NFT Brand Case Study authored by @kingjames23 on blockchain analytics platform Dune, reviews the performance measured by number of transactions and revenue of about a dozen of large brand' NFT projects on Ethereum Blockchain. Seven out of those large brands NFT projects belong to the fashion industry. This analysis looks at NFTs sales volume, royalties’ value, and total NFT sales dollar amount.
Nike’s 185 million dollars in NFTs sales
Nike holds the crown of early adopters of all things Metaverse. In December last year, Nike Inc. announced the acquisition of RTFKT, a leading brand that leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming. Nike’s included the buyout of RTFKT’s CloneX NFT avatar collection, which launched a month before the acquisition was made public. As explained back then by John Donahoe, president and CEO of the sportswear company, “This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture.”
Nike and RTFKT did their first NFT drop in February and since April this year, RTFKT’s has been bringing virtual, officially licensed Nike sneakers into the NFT market: the CryptoKicks NFT collection. These 20,000 pairs of virtual sneakers sell for everything between 1,300 dollars and 130,000 dollars, with some designed by artist Takashi Murakami topping the most coveted ones.
Nike NFT-generated revenue includes CloneX sales and royalties pre-acquisition of RTFKT. Per Dune’s data, the sports apparel company has seen over 70,000 transactions until October, earning 91.2 million dollars in royalties and bringing in another 93.1 million dollars in revenue. In total, Nike’s NFTs sales to date have generated over 184.31 million dollars.
Dolce & Gabbana millionaire NFT auctions
Since their first NFT project a year ago, Dolce & Gabbana has earned 23.68 million dollars through NFT sales. It’s worth recalling that in October 2021, Dolce & Gabbana closed nine NFT auctions, bringing in a total of 1,885 ETH (valued at circa 5.7 million dollars at the time.) The auctioned items were unique 1/1 pieces forming the ‘Collezione Genesi’ collection. The collectors who bought each of them received the corresponding custom-fitted physical garment within a one to two-year claim period. The leading piece was the Glass Suit, a suit personally designed by D&G founders. Made of silk organza, it features 78 embroidered glassworks, each of them completely distinct in design, size, shape, and color. As the Italian luxury brand announced on Twitter, the Glass Suit sold for 351.384 ETH, or 1 million dollars.
Tiffany’s nod to CryptoPunk’s holders
Earlier this year, Tiffany’s made it to the news when unveiled a partnership with blockchain firm Chain to launch its first NFT collection, “NFTiff.” As the legendary jewellery house explained, they are “taking NFTs to the next level. Exclusive to CryptoPunks holders, NFTiff transforms your NFT into a bespoke pendant handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. artisans. You’ll also receive an additional NFT version of the pendant.” According to publicly available data, Tiffany’s NFT revenue stood at 12.6 million dollars in October.
The NFT collection is made of 250 custom-built pendants designed with materials like gemstones, enamel, and gold and were sold for about 30 ETH (about 49,000 dollars at the time of the announcement in August 2022.) The cost of the NFT, the custom pendant, the chain, and shipping/handling are all included in the fee and the physical pendant, which comes with a chain to serve as a necklace, will be available to be redeemed in 2023.
Tiffany’s decision to partner with CryptoPunk - a popular Profile Picture (PFP) NFT collection launched in 2017 and made up of 10,000 uniquely generated digital characters – also lifted the sales volume of CryptoPunk. Indeed, Tiffany’s has seen the highest volume of transactions among top brands trading with NFTs, surpassing the likes of Nike and Adidas. Those 74.000 transactions have resulted into 6.20 million dollars’ worth of NFTs sales and another 4.76 million dollars in royalties.
Gucci’s limited Supergucci NFT drop
Gucci’s pioneering exploration of the Metaverse started in May 2021, with the drop of an NFT film inspired by its Aria fashion collection as part of Christie’s Proof of Sovereignty sale curated by Lady PheOnix. The film was co-directed by Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele and renowned photographer Floria Sigismondi, presented Aria collection runaway as a four-minute video clip which sold for 25,000 dollars. Six months later, in early 2022, Gucci started collaborating with vinyl toy creator Superplastic. They co-created a 10,000-piece NFT drop called Supergucci and released it as a three-part series of limited edition NFTs co-created by Michele and Superplastic’s digital personas Janky & Guggimon. Gucci has taken a similar approach than those of Tiffany’s and Dolce & Gabbana, enabling the NFTs’ owners to unlock handmade white ceramic sculptures to accompany their digital corresponding items. To date, Gucci has made close to 11.6 million dollars from selling NFTs.
Adidas ‘Into the Metaverse’
Adidas is another brand betting on the Metaverse and already reaping the benefits of such bet. At the end of 2021, Adidas partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club to sell 30,000 NFTs for 0.2 ETH a piece (22 million dollar at the time.) Each of those non-fungible tokens were redeemable for physical hoodies, tracksuits, and beanies. ‘Into the Metaverse’ is the name of this collaborative NFT project between adidas Originals and NFT pioneers gmoney, Bored Ape Yacht Club and PUNKS Comic. The Phase 1 NFT was the first step of the Into the Metaverse. Phase 1 physical product claims have now closed and the Phase 1 token no longer grants the ability to claim collaborative physical merchandise.
Adidas NFTs have been the object of 52,770 transactions ever since, generating 6.2 million dollars in sales and adding other 4.7 million in royalties revenue.
Lacoste’s NFTs give owners a say
The iconic polo brand has recently joined the Metaverse fashion crowd with an NFT drop. In June, Lacoste launched its first NFT collection titled ‘Undw3’ and pronounced “underwater”. As advanced by the fashion brand, they are looking to sell 11,212 digital pieces that reference Lacoste’s iconic polo shirt L1212 at the starting price of 0.08 ETH (around 1,300 dollars at the time of this edition.) Lacoste’s chief brand officer Catherine Spindler stated in the official announcement how “Undw3 attests to our desire to accompany the phenomenon of decentralization driven by Web3 and bears witness to our ambitions in this area.” Spindler shared the company’s desire to bring together both their physical and digital consumers. Lacoste pioneered yet a different promise to its NFTs owners: They will not only have access to exclusive physical products but will also have a say in the upcoming designs. Noteworthy, Lacoste already tested the Metaverse waters in March, when they launched ‘Croco Island’ in Minecraft, featuring 30 skins (digital outfits) that served as a preview into the Minecraft x Lacoste apparel collection. According to the Dune’s data, these efforts are already paying off in the form of 1.1 million dollars in NFTs sales.