Here is an interesting interview discussion about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the world of luxury brands. It’s a conversation between Benoit Pagotto, cofounder of the NFT brand RTFKT Studios, and Ian Rogers, who is Chief Experience Officer at the blockchain startup Ledger (he was previously the Chief Digital Officer at LVMH). Below is an excerpt that stood out to me. It starts to speak to the potential of NFTs for fashion/luxury brands. Rogers also makes an interesting comparison to the music industry in that things are playing out very differently today compared to what happened back in the late 90s.
Benoit is proving that he can basically sell a $4,900 digital good alongside a $100 physical good. Now imagine when the lightbulb goes off in Adidas’s head, that the item on adidas.com comes with a digital collectible and the item at “retailer dot com” does not. It fits with their focus way more than the internet did. The internet didn’t fit in any incumbent’s focus. It was the opposite. It was like, “Oh my God, this threatens our monopoly in some way,” right? For the music business, it was, “Wait a minute, we want to sell a $17 compact disc, not a $1 digital file.” They got dragged into that world.
On a related note, it was recently announced that model Emily Ratajkowski has made an NFT containing a photograph of herself standing in front of a Richard Prince print that had previously appropriated one of her photos. (Richard Prince’s artwork is known for appropriation.) So this is an exceptionally neat idea. Here she is using an NFT to try and take back some control. Basically: You took my photo and then profited from it. So now I’m going to stand in front of that image, take a new photo, and then reclaim some ownership using the blockchain. Is this the future?