NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

International luxury brand Louis Vuitton (hereinafter referred to as “LV”) released its self-developed free drama mobile game “Louis The Game” in early August to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder. Within one day of the game’s launch, it replaced ” Glory of the King ” to the top of the IOS free game list.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

“Louis The Game” game screen 

The mobile game that LV “does not do business properly” has such a big charm? In fact, among the large number of players attracted by the game, there are not only fans of the brand itself, but also many digital asset ” gold diggers .”

“Louis The Game” embeds 30 NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) in the game, 10 of which come from the famous digital artist Beeple, worth up to 20 million US dollars, stimulating the dream of “one night” People who are “getting rich” poured into this game.

NFT is a “non-homogeneous token” based on the Ethereum blockchain. Compared with “homogeneous tokens” such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the biggest feature of NFT lies in its uniqueness. If you compare Bitcoin and Ether to each banknote of equivalent value, then NFT is like an uncopyable original artwork. Each one is unique because it is bound to a different “digital asset”.

The NFT market in the first half of this year can be described as “crazy”. From the Beeple digital work “Daily: First 5000 Days” with a transaction price of US$69 million; to a CryptoPunk “alien” avatar with a price of US$90.5 million…NFT has repeatedly refreshed the general public ‘s perception of “value” .

In the first half of the year, NFT sales reached 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, 182 times that of the same period last year; in the past August alone, NFT sales reached a record nearly 900 million U.S. dollars.

There is a wonderful collision between NFT and the luxury goods industry that emphasizes the “exclusiveness” of ownership.

$20 million hidden in LV games

Speaking of the luxury brand LV founded in 1854, in addition to the classic LV letter logo, what many people have in mind is the “luxury” price. However, recently, a story game “Louis The Game” launched by LV gave consumers the opportunity to own LV for free.

The specific gameplay is that first, players can download the game for free, and then get various LV accessories, bags and dolls in the virtual game world.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

LV Vivienne dolls are expensive offline

The protagonist of the game is a doll named Vivienne, and the physical version is priced at more than 15,000 yuan in the LV store. Vivienne’s career as a player in the game six virtual world, collecting 200 candles and get the appropriate postcard will 200 years various important moment in the history of LV series cleverly together . During the game, the player has a very small probability of getting a golden postcard, click to enter the NFT exclusive lottery page. Starting from August 15th, LV will draw one NFT every day for 30 consecutive days.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

Players can learn about the brand development story through the postcards in the game “Louis The Game”

The author also downloaded and tried this little game. Like many players feel, the overall picture of the game is still exquisitely made, but the operation buttons are too flexible and difficult to control. In addition, the viewing angle conversion is dizzying, and the overall experience is not counted. good.

However, many players still play the whole day . On the one hand, the players may be out of love for the LV brand, on the other hand, there are tens of millions of “grand prizes.”

There are 30 NFTs in “Louis The Game” for players to collect, 10 of which are designed by well-known digital artist Beeple. In March of this year, Beeple’s digital artwork “Daily: First 5000 Days” was sold at Christie’s auction house for a “sky price” of US$69 million. Beeple thus became the first ever “most expensive” NFT artists, has become the world’s most expensive living artist in the third, second only to Mei Art and Artists Jeff Koons and British artist David Hockney. . This makes the market value of the NFT designed by LV games strongly optimistic, and some people estimate that its value will be as high as 20 million US dollars.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

LV NFT exclusive lucky draw page

The hidden opportunity of “getting rich” in the game has caused LV mobile games to arouse a lot of public attention and help it quickly rush to the top of the free game list.

“To be honest, I played and vomited several times. But I heard that I can get rich, and I feel that everything is worth it. Waiting for the prize.” After a player posted a screenshot of the clearance and the golden postcard on the social platform, it attracted a large number of netizens to follow. The post expresses respect and admiration for his “successful customs clearance”.

The magic of NFT

The value of luxury goods stems from its “exclusiveness”, which coincides with the “uniqueness” of NFT. Also based on this consensus on value, NFT has set off a few “gold-sucking frenzy” in the art market this year, and its madness is enough to make ordinary consumers amazed, and the three views are broken.

In March of this year, the famous street artist Banksy’s work “Mornos” (“Idiot”) was bought for US$95,000. The buyer immediately burned the original work in the live broadcast and uploaded its NFT version to the digital trading platform. In the end, the digital artwork “Mornos” was sold at four times the price of the original painting, which was approximately RMB 2.47 million.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

Screenshot of the burned live video of the work “Mornos”

The world’s two major auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s, also eyeing several potential word art market. Among them, the “Daily: First 5000 Days” mentioned above started at Christie’s for only US$100, but as the bids soared, it was finally sold for US$69 million; another digital artist PAK’s “Cube” was sold at So Fu It was sold for 16.8 million US dollars.

Noah Davis, an expert in Christie’s post-war and contemporary art department, said that Christie’s has been tracking the growth of the NFT market since 2020 and found that its sales volume has increased significantly in the second half of the year, and that it is now the right time to enter this market.

The origin of NFT may be in 2017. In June of that year, the American software company Larva Labs launched a 24×24-pixel CryptoPunks avatar randomly generated by an algorithm to express a “punk spirit.” At that time, the concept of NFT had not yet appeared, so CryptoPunks was regarded as one of the oldest NFTs.

There are a total of 10,000 avatars in the CryptoPunks series. Most of the images are boys and girls dressed up in various punks. Among them, there are also more rare images of zombies, apes, and even aliens. When this series of works were first released, people could apply for free on Ethereum, but the current price of these avatars has far exceeded the range of ordinary people, and they are not priceless.

In May of this year, 9 CryptoPunks avatars were sold at Christie’s for US$17 million; on July 31, a mysterious NFT collector bought 102 CryptoPunks in one hour for a total of 2650 ETH (at the time the market was about US$657 million) ), the average unit price is 25.8 ETH.

CryptoPunks official website data shows that the total sales price of its avatar NFT has reached 1.018 billion U.S. dollars, and the lowest unit price of NFT on sale has reached 115 ETH (ether, about 386,000 U.S. dollars).

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

CryptoPunks 3100 “Aliens Wearing Headbands”. Image source: CryptoPunks website

One of them is the 3100 “headband alien” avatar, and the latest quote is 35,000 ETH (approximately US$1.17 billion). If the final transaction is made at this price, CryptoPunks 3100 will become the world’s highest unit price NFT work.

For a while, having a CryptoPunks avatar seems to have become a symbol of the status of NFT upstarts.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

Image source: screenshots posted by Twitter netizens

The speculators have also profited from this wave of NFT boom. A Twitter netizen posted a few days ago that he had just sold a CryptoPunk for US$580,000, which is “equivalent to making half a million US dollars a month. I’m going crazy”.

In addition to CryptoPunk, the hottest NFT this year is undoubtedly the NBA Top Shot. It is a series of collectible NFTs launched by Dapper Labs and is officially authorized by the NBA. Players can buy and collect the exciting game moments of NBA stars, and conduct transactions in the secondary market. According to data from its official website, as of April 2, 2021, the total transaction volume of NBA Top Shot was nearly 500 million US dollars, and the total transaction volume in the past 30 days was approximately 200 million US dollars. The number of active players reached 240,000, an increase of 128 year-on-year. %.

Prior to this, Dapper Labs also launched a popular virtual game CryptoKitties. Players can adopt and feed NFT pet cats and trade through the platform. Currently, some of the NFT cats that are issued in a limited number on CryptoKitties are still priced at more than 999 ETH, starting at approximately US$3.35 million.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

On the CryptoKitties website, the limited edition NFT cat is priced at 999 ETH+ 

In the eyes of netizens, the prices of these NFTs are not only prohibitive, but the price/performance ratio is beyond the scope of normal understanding. “An avatar costs more than one billion U.S. dollars. Why does this make QQ avatars so embarrassing?” a Chinese netizen wrote on a social platform.

But investors firmly believe that they see the future value of NFT assets. Gary Venachak, an angel investor who once participated in leading investment in technology companies such as Uber, Snachat, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, sold a CryptoPunks at a high price of 1600 ETH (the market was about 3.92 million US dollars) in July this year. The avatar is in the bag. This behavior was questioned as “stupid” by netizens.

Gary Venachak said in an interview, “I sympathize with people’s curiosity, cynicism, or argument, but I have incredible confidence in this asset. I believe that people will have an attitude towards Jackson Pollock at some point ( The same thing was said in a painting by a master of abstract expressionism.”

Luxury goods are transcending the physical world

LV Chairman and CEO Michael Burke said, “The best way to interact with people is through the medium they like.”

LV’s new attempt to enter the game field has given “above and above” luxury brands the opportunity to reach young people more widely; while newer and hotter digital concepts such as NFT are relatively easier to be accepted by the younger generation.

Generation Z, which has grown up with the rapid development of the Internet, has become the mainstream Internet user group. They are the aborigines of the contemporary digital world and have a natural identification with the value of electronic forms.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

Beeple’s digital artwork “Daily: First 5000 Days”. Image source: Christie’s website

According to Christie’s data, 91% of the customers participating in the auction of Beeple’s digital works “Daily: First 5000 Days” are new customers. Among them, the most are millennials born between 1981 and 1996, accounting for about 58%; the customers born between 1946 and 1964 are the least, accounting for only 3%.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

A limited edition Burberry Blanko launched in the Blankos Block Party game. Image source: Burberry website

LV is not the only luxury brand trying to introduce virtual assets. The British traditional style luxury brand Burberry has also recently cooperated with game studio Mythical Games. In the latter’s Blankos Block Party game, it launched a limited edition Burberry Blanko (a shark called Sharky B) NFT series, which players can play in the game. Buy, upgrade and sell. In addition, Burberry also said that it will launch more NFT accessories in the game, including jetpacks, armbands and pool shoes.

Burberry Chief Marketing Officer Rod Manley said that through this new project, players can interact with the brand in an environment that advocates art, design, and exploration, releasing real value for the gaming community. In addition, like LV, it attracts new consumers in the process to create value for the brand and “pave the way for digital ownership in future games.”

Luxury brand NFT not only values ​​digital ownership in games. With people’s more extreme pursuit of scarce products, the concept of “luxury” can exist in both physical and digital products. This has allowed luxury brands to continuously try to explore the space of “virtual fashion” recently.

NFT madly penetrates the luxury market

Gucci digital sneakers priced at $12. Picture source: web picture

In April of this year, the American luxury watch brand Jacob & Co sold its world-limited SF24 tourbillon NFT on the NFT platform ArtGrails for $100,000; in May, the first NFT artwork of the Italian luxury brand Gucci ——A 4-minute fashion movie, which was shot at Christie’s for US$25,000; Gucci also collaborated with Belarusian fashion technology company Wanna to launch a digital sneaker priced at US$12, which may not yet be able to afford the physical Generation Z consumers of products; German luxury brand RIMOWA collaborated with design studio NUOVA to design 4 NFT artworks and named them “Blueprints from the Metaverse”…

“Meta universe” can be understood as a virtual substitute for the physical universe in which we live. When people are able to carry out sufficient economic and cultural activities in virtual space, a new way of interacting with the world also emerges, namely the meta universe. And digital assets such as NFT may become the main carriers of the original assets of the universe.

According to Amber Jae Slooten, co-founder of digital fashion company The Fabricant, the really interesting part of NFT is beyond physics. “I don’t want to encourage brands to simply copy their physical reality,” she said, “I would encourage them to go beyond their physical reality. For example, we designed a burning shoe. You can create something that will never exist in real life. All kinds of digital fashion styles.” 

In the future, the brand may further surpass the existing digital product ideas and regard the sales of virtual clothing and NFT as a new source of income. Wanna CEO Sergey Arkhangelskiy predicts that NFT and AR technologies will continue to grow in the near future. “In 5 or 10 years, relatively large fashion brand revenues will come from digital products,”

In April this year, Prada Group and Richemont Group’s brands LVMH and Cartier jointly announced the establishment of the Aura Blockchain Consortium alliance to promote a single global blockchain solution for all luxury brands in the world. With its technology, consumers can directly query product history information and obtain authenticity certificates, and track the entire life cycle of a product from concept to distribution.

As a new thing, NFT has opened the door to the digital world outside the physical boundaries. Its market is not limited to art, but also affects fields including music, retail, and sports. But apart from the hype, the value of high-priced NFTs needs to be built on the universal recognition of virtual currencies and the digital world. Whether the NFT market, which is constantly subverting people’s perception, is a blue ocean or a bubble, will wait time to verify.


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