From real estate to dedicated teams: where companies invest
Luxury companies are investing in the metaverse on several fronts: from the purchase of “lots” for virtual real estate (as Philipp Plein did, for example, allocating 14 million) to legal protection – with the lawsuit Hermes vs Mason Rothschild who is ready to teach – creation of dedicated teams: the French giant Lvmh (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi) at the end of June he created the role of head of crypto and metaverse ”and entrusted it to Nelly Mensah (ex Sephora, also part of Arnault’s group); the “rival” Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga) has a team dedicated to metaverse and Web3; the group Otb by Renzo Rosso, at the end of 2021, he even created a dedicated division, which is called Brave virtual experience (Bvx). Nikewho created his Nikeland on Roblox, created Nike Virtual Studios in Los Angeles.
Not just fashion: intertwining with other luxury sectors
The metaverse is certainly not the prerogative of fashion alone. On the contrary. It allows the development of synergies which, however inspired by reality, go far beyond what is possible to do in the “physical” world. For example, the luxury hotel group Oetker Collection – which has some iconic hotels such as the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, The Lanesborough and Eden Rock – St Barths – has partnered with the fashion gaming app Drest (founded in 2019 by Lucy Yeomans, former editor of Net- à-porter and Harper’s Bazaar Uk) to offer an experience between fashion and luxury travel in the metaverse. The hotels of the Oetker Collection, in this case, will be the backdrop to the “photo shoots” that users can organize by drawing on a super designer wardrobe.
The Ninfa case, Nft retailer who opens up a physical space
If physical spaces such as hotels are looking for their “place in the sun” in the Web3, there are also realities that, having been born to work in the metaverse, have decided to open spaces in the real world. It is the case of Nymph, a start-up founded by four Italian partners – Brando Bonaretti, Pietro Barbini, Carlo Borloni and Cosimo De Medici – which wants to establish itself as a «multi-category NFT retailer». The four, each with their own skills, have created a platform – which is based on the Ethereum blockchain – in which creators (about 120 for now) can create and sell their NFTs. Be it works of art, fashion or design objects. Independently or with the “curatorship” of the team: “We wanted Ninfa to be both a B2b and B2c marketplace, user friendly, with a broad offer articulated in several verticals, with an important focus on technology“, say Brando Bonaretti and Pietro Barbini, CEO and CFO respectively. The founders have in mind a «hybrid model: digital but with physical branches». Hence – after a few temporary presences in New York and London – the idea of opening a space in Milan, the Ninfa Labs: “Two hundred square meters in Isola, near our offices, which we open for three reasons: get to know a little of this world even for those who are not familiar with cryptocurrencies and NFT; physically bring together the community of enthusiasts, organizing talks and workshops; exhibit and sell NFTs ». There is great space for fashion and design: «In Italy we have some of the best brands and the best creators. Our goal is to strengthen our presence in this area and we start by inaugurating a Fashion Objects section ».
The start-up, born in early 2022, has already raised half a million euros in a first round of funding and has reached a valuation of 3.5 million euros. Round B is scheduled for the end of the year.
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