Gucci were one of the first brands to embrace fashion gaming and digital wearables, collaborating with The Sims and Xbox, launching a virtual trainer app, and creating virtual experiences on platforms including Roblox. Releasing a series of non-fungible tokens with a clip from the Aria collection sold at the auction house Christie's last year, and a three-part series of NFTs with the animation studio SUPERPLASTIC in February, Gucci have revealed their latest project featuring creative director Alessandro Michele as an animated being.
Released as part on the on-going Gucci Vault project, their online experiemental space and occasional physical pop-up which houses designers such as Stefan Cooke and Ahluwalia, and is described as a laboratory space for creating new ideas, 10KTF Gucci Grail presents the NFT version of a profile photo.
Social media sites and apps are largely defined for a user by the photo or icon they use, or create, to represent themselves. In the virtual world, an NFT version of a profile photo is called a 'picture for proof' or 'PFP'. One of the main reasons luxury brands like Gucci are getting involved with creating digital worlds, which make up the evolving metaverse, is because users need to curate their own appearances, just as they would in real life. It's little surprise then that they're now looking to create assets users can purchase, to deck their digital selves out in virtual Gucci.
In images released by the brand, the long-haired, celestial like creature that is Michele, stands immortalised in illustrated form alongside the digital artisan Wagmi-san in his virtual shop 10KTF in New Tokyo. Here in the space, you'll spot digital outfits Michele and Wagmi-santo have created to dress PFPs from 11 NFT collections by BoredApe, World of Women, Cool Cats and more. Included are two custom Gucci looks inspired by the recent Aria and Love Parade collections. In the words of the brand, this is 'for those who aspire to express their individuality through fashion in the parallel digital worlds'.
However, there's a catch - and a key element to the element of exclusivity which defines virtual spaces and assets such as this. These assets have been accessed via a magical crystal ball, only accessible to three groups of people; those in possession of a PFP, members of the Gucci Vault community on the Discord server (an instant messaging epicentre for digital world developments), and those who inhabit Wagmi-san's New Tokyo. Hence, the project functions by creating unique artworks. Notably, the art world were muuch quicker than fashion to jump on the NFT bandwagon, recognising the element of rarity in one-of-a-kind NFTs which live on the blockchain and have unique ownership.