ission from “Laoyapi laoyapicom”
Last Christmas, Lorena Bello was at home making a video for social media promoting a new pair of earrings she designed.”She’s a graphic and 3D designer from Viana do Bolo, Spain. My mother was behind me once and she looked at my phone,” Ms Bello said in a recent video interview.
When Ms Bello turned around, her mother asked: “When did you take off your earrings?
“No!” Ms Bello recalled. “They’re not real!” Using augmented reality (AR) filters, she’s been “wearing” a pair of virtual earrings, a triangular stud and a long waterdrop design – which she created for digital jewelry marketplace Jevels One of the 300 NFTs created.
Founded by Zuzana Bastian in March 2021, the company is one of many platforms and commercial ventures bringing jewelry into the burgeoning NFT space. Pioneered by the art world (remember Beeple and his $69.3 million sale in March 2021?), it has already begun to be explored by the fashion world. British jeweller Asprey recently announced a partnership with Bugatti to launch its first NFTs, and plans to have clients commission sculptures and one-off pieces “infused with NFT technology.”
Ms Bastian, a 33-year-old pharmacist working in Vienna during the pandemic, thought there was a way to dress stylishly during her hours of daily Zoom meetings. After discovering digital fashion in 2020, she started talking to designers, considering the possibilities of blockchain, the Metaverse, and the advantages they might offer.
She said she started working on “the concept of a platform or marketplace where one can find virtual jewelry and fashion accessories that can be worn in AR, mixed reality and virtual spaces.”
Jevels (“v” for “virtual”) debuted on October 18 with three designs: a mask, a pearl necklace and a pair of earrings. It is run by Ms. Bastian, with her sister as a business consultant. Now, it has the work of 9 designers, with a total of 21 pieces: a mix of digital and physical, meaning the work exists in real life and digital. Prices range from $10 (including Ms. Bello’s work) to $495 and can be purchased via traditional means (credit card or PayPal) or selected cryptocurrencies.
The designs are all limited editions, and upon purchase, owners receive a digital image of their creation, the format needed to share the 3D data, and a link to a filter on Snapchat that allows them to “wear” their newly purchased accessory. Augmented reality works well with Snapchat, but the process is also compatible with Zoom, Google Meet and other programs, Ms. Bastian said.
There’s also “The Metaverse Starter Set for Style Lovers,” $398, which has detailed instructions on how to use virtual jewelry, as well as what the brand calls “physical twins,” accessories worn in real life.
“For our customers, this is often the first NFT they buy because they see its availability,” Ms Bastian said.
In a recent Zoom interview, she switched between eight designs: five pairs of earrings, a necklace, a mask and a headpiece. Some of them glow, others change color, and they all move with her movements, looking surprisingly realistic.
Flavia Bon is a client of Jevels Corporation. “I like the idea,” she said. “I mean, when it comes to NFTs, we’ve been talking about utility, and then she came up with this. We were making jewelry to wear in everyday life, and she wrote down the release date, when the first drop came. , she bought the Crystalline Circuit Pendant earrings from Alterrage, a digital and physical fashion brand.
Ms Bon, 37, a self-employed design developer in the Netherlands, was interested in and actively involved in the cryptocurrency space when she heard about Jevels, she has been following Alterrage, and she now has more than 200 NFT is a combination of fashion and art.
In the real world, she says, her style is very minimal, but now, “I can wake up my inner fashionista” – using different styles for different sessions.
When it comes to NFTs, there is often speculation as to whether the value of the creation will rise in the resale market. Ms Bon said she thought Jevels was too new for its design to have this appeal. Also, when you buy an NFT, “you do get emotional about it,” she said. “Our brain thinks it’s something we own and we associate with it.”
Jackson Bridges, 21, a college student in Alabama and a Jevels customer. Late last year, he was thinking about NFTs and jewelry. “He said: “I was like, ‘I wonder if anyone has done this? ‘ Then discovered Jevels on Instagram.
The first piece he bought (he doesn’t remember the exact price, but thinks it was “about $50”) was a pair of Crystalline Circuit Pendant earrings from Alterrage. “I think it’s so cool what you can do with it, express yourself in a whole new medium.”
Mr Bridges said he was drawn to wearing the pieces through augmented reality or on an avatar. “I’m not really interested in profiting from it,” he said. “I buy for myself, what I like, what I want to wear.” While he was studying finance in college, he was also doing consulting and planning a career in NFTs.
For Jacob Bamdas, 22, who says he has been in the cryptocurrency space since 2017, a personal interest in jewelry coupled with his desire to bring something of real-world value to the NFT space gave rise to Chains , which operates through a website and Instagram feed.
The business debuted in January with 10,000 NFT necklaces, designed by Michael Gauthier of blockchain jewelry brand Cryptojeweler, that look so lifelike, Mr Bamdas said, that they can be 3D printed. Each sells for 0.1 ether (about $300 on Tuesday).
Customers can also receive benefits on hospitality and concierge services such as discounts, exclusive access and travel, depending on NFT ownership. “I thought, ‘Hey, how can you actually sell these things and expect to get people to invest in your product, invest in your artwork, and not offer this real-world value proposition?’ Bamdas said.
A 24-year-old Chains customer in Los Angeles said he doesn’t buy expensive jewelry in the physical world, but bought 10 Chains in a week, which he thinks cost him more than $2,000.
While Chains may be the equivalent of fine jewelry in the virtual world, Icecap, a diamond NFT marketplace founded by Jacques Voorhees in 2020, is more in the fine jewelry category.
He said he built the company — backed by his son Erik, an entrepreneur and former Bitcoin advocate — to address what he said was a decades-old problem: diamonds “should be a hard asset” Effective hard asset diversification options for investors”.
“When you’re holding a diamond and you, as a consumer, try to sell it, there’s a big problem here. Where are you going to sell it? A pawn shop?” A diamond “is bought, held for a period of time,” he said. About half of the value could be lost in the round-trip between the sale and the sale.”
Icecap buys newly cut diamonds from manufacturers, stores them in a vault, and sells them as NFTs with a 10% deposit.”So it creates a security and authentication system,” Mr Voorhees said, “that makes it easy for buyers and sellers to trade back and forth.
“Like in the gold industry, you can keep your gold in a vault,” he added. “You put it in a vault, you hold a list, and that list itself becomes a negotiable instrument that you can buy and sell with other people — everyone knows that gold is being held safely In a vault somewhere.”
Investors can keep the NFT for trading or use it to redeem real diamonds.
Icecap sales were $2,000 in the first quarter; $39,000 in the second; $186,000 in the third and $935,000 in the fourth, Voorhees said. In the first quarter of 2022, it is on track to make $3 million in sales, he said.
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