The new year brings a brand new trend cycle. And with it, fresh potential for creativity, innovation, and more projects that push the boundaries of style and technology. Many luxury players are yet to unveil the next step in their roadmaps, but key themes for 2023’s virtual landscape are already surfacing, indicating what might prove popular over the next twelve months.
The pace of digital drops slowed over the holiday season, but that didn’t stop Prada from releasing the eighth installment of its Timecapsule NFT series. In addition to this ongoing campaign, we’re excited to see what other metaversal endeavors the powerhouse has up its sleeve. Meanwhile, Tiffany Cryptopunk holders are finally receiving their coveted diamond pendants that rocked the luxury world back in August, while rising label Steel is banking on a marriage of craftsmanship and blockchain technology to crack the market.
We’re only a few days into 2023. But with promising opportunities for growth and acceleration on the horizon, it’s already shaping up to be an exciting year ahead for Web3.
Prada’s Timecapsule NFT Series Continues To Deliver High-Value Perks To Its Community
What Happened: Prada is continuing its highly coveted Timecapsule NFT series into the new year. The house released its eighth installment of the collection last week, featuring a shirt decorated in optical prints which had been designed in 1969 by Italian photographer Enzo Ragazzini. The 50-piece drop also came with a gifted NFT alongside the opportunity for owners to attend the Prada Menswear Fall 23 fashion show in Milan on January 15.
The Verdict: Since the release of its Timecapsule NFT series, Prada has fostered a strong community of fashion and Web3 enthusiasts that are willing to invest in its virtual products. This is no doubt down to the attractive benefits that each token arrives with: in the most recent edition, an exclusive invitation to one of luxury’s most anticipated showcases. As a brand at the very top of the industry, the stakes are high. A misstep would be disastrous. But the last year has proved that Prada is well capable of pulling off an impressive, long-term strategy in the metaverse.
H&M Unveils “Loooptopia,” A New Immersive Virtual Experience In Roblox — With An Environmental Twist
What Happened: Fast fashion conglomerate H&M has launched its first digital project of 2023: an online universe where players can create virtual garments and wardrobes for their avatars. The interactive world is an extension of the clothing giant’s “Looop” recycling system, which aims to turn old garments into new. In the digital space, users can learn about circularity in fashion and sustainable commitments, as well as engage in styling sessions, games, and more. The platform also encourages a more ecologically-friendly approach to fashion consumption by allowing players to trade clothes with one another and recycle their old outfits to unlock special in-game perks.
The Verdict: The partnership aims to provide an educational outlet for Gen Z audiences through interactivity and incentivized activities. As far as this goes, it’s a success: the project holds a sound strategy of delivering entertainment with purpose to a younger generation (not to mention Roblox boasting over 58.8 million daily active users globally, making it one of the most impactful platforms of today). But H&M’s virtual efforts will only go so far in tackling the wider implications of its business model, such as the three billion garments it produces every year. Is this, then, just more greenwashing? H&M will need to prove its Web3 endeavor is more than a mere deflection stunt.
Steel Is Bringing Blockchain Technology To Luxury With A Brand New High-End Accessories Range
What Happened: Palm Beach-based luxury accessories brand Steel is combining craftsmanship with blockchain technology for a pioneering new approach to handbag design. The label, a rising star which produces every hand-stitched vessel in a Switzerland-based atelier, is creating a number of sculptures complete with their very own digital twin. Each NFT is minted on the Polygon Blockchain, and the group has implemented measures to ensure that its process is accessible and seamless for potential buyers by using technology such as Apple Wallet to prove authenticity and QR Codes.
The Verdict: As a small venture up against major competitors like Prada and H&M, it will be tough to generate significant Web3 appeal or cultivate a meaningful presence in the online world. But Steel’s accessibility-focused approach gives it an edge. Using existing software over new tech innovations means the company can spend less time educating its audience on how things work, and more time focusing on creating high-quality pieces with supreme value.