Shopify will allow third-party merchants to sell non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) through the e-commerce storefronts it powers, “betting there is a demand for an alternative to third-party crypto markets,” Bloomberg reported. month. “If you’ve spent a minute on the internet this year, you’ve seen a lot of it on NFTs,” Shopify President Harley Finkelste tweeted on July 26. “We make it easier for our merchants to sell NFTs directly through their store. The news comes shortly after eBay revealed this spring that it would add ‘new capabilities that would bring blockchain-based collectibles to our platform,’ based on the fact that collectibles , for which eBay is known, are not limited to tangible goods.
Both moves are presented as likely to make NFTs (i.e. unique crypto tokens managed on the blockchain, which acts as the decentralized ledger to track the ownership and transaction history of each token) more currents, and they coincide with the efforts of service providers, luxury brands – like Gucci, which released an NFT film in May, and Rimowa, owned by LVMH, which auctioned off four travel-inspired NFTs and the corresponding physical goods. , this spring – and sportswear titans like Nike (as indicated by its Cryptokicks patent), among others, to attract digitally connected consumers, who place great value on digital assets and are willing to spend accordingly.
In the wake of the early moves of companies like The Manufacturer, who created a one-of-a-kind digital outfit, which was auctioned off to the winning bidder in 2019 for over $ 10,000 and delivered as an NFT, a large Many businesses are turning to NFTs not only to equip – and entertain – metaverse consumers, but also to help businesses looking to bolster their credentials of authenticity.
Luxury brands take on technology
Louis Vuitton, for example, launched “Louis: the game», A video game with 30 integrated NFTs. The visually striking goal of the game, which the world’s largest luxury goods brand debuted on August 4? To connect with young, digitally connected consumers, who, as Quartz’s Marc Bain puts it, Louis Vuitton must look beyond its current customers and “show up” – and build relationships with – in order to “stay in line. 150 years. And in the words of Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke, “the best way to engage people is the way they like.”
On the same day, Burberry unveiled its previously announced partnership with Mythical Games: an NFT collection in their flagship title, Blankos Block Party, as an extension of what the British brand calls “a partnership of premieres paving the way for the future of digital property. in games.
Adorned with Burberry’s new TB summer monogram and inspired by the brand’s house code Animal Kingdom, the limited-edition, limited-quantity Burberry Blanko – a shark named Sharky B – is an NFT that can be purchased, upgraded and sold in the Blankos. Block Party Market, “by Burberry. As part of the collection, Burberry revealed it will be launching” its own in-game NFT accessories, including a jetpack, armbands and pool shoes, that players can apply to any Blanko they own. ”
Addressing specifically the impetus behind the project, Burberry revealed that “in an age where customers are constantly redefining community spaces and the way they connect with brands,” its collaboration with Mythical Games “reflects the spirit of long-standing innovation and creativity of the house, going above and beyond to forge lasting ties with its communities. With the new venture, Burberry Marketing Director Rod Manley said the brand is “able to unleash real value for the gaming community by encouraging gamers to interact with our brand in an environment that celebrates art, design and exploration ”- and in most cases like Louis Vuitton, it is able to generate value for itself by wooing new consumers.
The legal angle
The continued demand for NFT and also for virtual fashion, such as the high-selling accessories that Gucci has offered in collaboration with Roblox, offers brands a “great opportunity” to attract new customers and potentially “to retain their subscribers and customers, “according to Orrick Sheryl Koval Garko’s lawyers, Mark Puzella and Caroline Simons. With this emerging opportunity in mind, brands must also” be vigilant against the theft of their works and police behavior that could weaken or dilute their brands. ” At the same time, Garko, Puzella and Simons say that brands would be advised to review their existing registrations to determine if the classifications of the goods / services currently listed do not provide them with “sufficient coverage for DTV” and more digital fashion. generally, and if they do not, they should seek to establish new rights whenever possible.
To date, brands do not appear to be rushing to register new technology-specific marks in Class 9, for example, which would cover video games, and / or Class 36 – which extends to ‘digital tokens under’. form of issuance of tokens of value ‘as well as’ cryptocurrency services, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an online community via a computer network world ‘- in the same way that many were relatively quick to file registration applications for uses of their marks in connection with face masks and other protective equipment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that is likely to change (and change soon) as brands continue to embrace NFTs and virtual fashion and ultimately aim to protect themselves from the illicit uses of their brands in the metaverse.
After all, the accessibility of the NFT manufacturing market coupled with the wider adoption and demand for digital fashion items, especially from Gen Z consumers, has opened the door for those who seek to trade on the well-established goodwill of famous fashion brands through ‘Baby Birkin’ bags, for example, and in the process, they present brands with a whole new market to control when it comes to potential cases counterfeit.