Luxury watchmaker, Hublot’s launch of the Big Bang E UEFA e-watch, in honor of the upcoming EUFA 2020 football tournament will come with accompanying NFT content. The timepiece manufacturer’s pioneering foray into NFT’s marks one of the luxury goods industry’s earliest experiments with the technology.
On Tuesday, the 12th of May, luxury watch maker, Hublot announced the launch of the Big Bang E UEFA electronic watch, equipped with all the bells and whistles a soccer fan would appreciate. The release could be a harbinger of things to come for the high-end goods industry, as it takes braver steps into the digital arena.
In an opinion piece published on business insights publication, Quartz, fashion reporter Marc Bain shared his thoughts on the blockchain-based, virtual goods phenomenon known as Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs.) In the article, Bain offered insight into the role of fashion in society, and opined on how that role could – with the advent of NFT technology – be transferred into the digital realm. People will always be people, after all.
“Fashion is rarely just about utility. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to communicate status and identity. With lots of shoppers today seeking ways to signal these attributes in the digital world as much as the physical one, it’s created an opportunity for fashion to go virtual.”
Opening paragraph of article by Marc Bain, Titled NFTs For Fashion Are Inevitable. Published on qz.com, 19 March 2021.
In so stating, he echoed the words of Robert Treifus, an executive at Italian fashion house, Gucci, who had – the previous day – declared similar sentiments at a Vogue Business conference centered around the marriage of fashion and technology. With fashion brands beginning to experiment with the medium, it may only be a matter of time before the industry harnesses NFT technology to convey the exclusively of high fashion, into the digital environments. Pricing the goods however, is one of the challenges keeping high fashion on the sidelines.
“It’s a world that still has to be understood,” admitted Treifus, regarding the question of valuing virtual items “At the moment we’re looking at experiments and pilots where values are attached to certayin experiences or digitual products so that we can understand what the value system is.”
NFT technology having clear benefits to the luxury goods industry, the technology has mostly been used for marketing puporses. Any fashion items that have been soldi by fashion brands, have been more art than utility goods. These early forays into the Digital Goods sphere have been more about price, in the digital arena, luxury brands would be communicating to a whole new audience.
The crypto-rich, may be a completely different animal to the one fashion houses are accustomed to servicing. With crypto whales tending to be young males, the luxury industry is faced with the challenge of identifying,whether these individuals would purchase their products or not. If not, would their existing market be ionterested in interacting with the brand through a different medium?
If Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs is anything to go by, the richest digital asset investors – whose number grows daily – would probably be lookingto flaunt their newly-earned status. Digital environments like Decentraland, or Axie Infinity may be comfort-zone spots, for people who are naturally introverted, and tech-inclined to do so.