Megan Kaspar, the co-founder and managing director of FirstLight, is widely recognized as a savvy investor and trailblazer in the digital fashion realm. In October 2021, she made headlines as the first person to showcase NFT clothing during a video interview. Kaspar’s pioneering spirit also earned her a feature in Haute Living’s Miami issue wearing a digital ensemble by luxury fashion brand Fendi.
Kaspar has been a crypto enthusiast from the beginning and is now a founding member of Red DAO, an organization focused on fashion and blockchain. She is a consistent investor in leading projects like DressX, supporting the intersection of fashion and technology. Kaspar is tirelessly advocating for the potential of the emerging movement and is committed to educating others about its possibilities.
As a 2023 NFT100 honoree, nft now recently sat down with Kaspar to discuss her strategy when investing in digital fashion and her thoughts on the future of the space.
nft now: What is your investment thesis or approach behind digital fashion?
Megan Kaspar: Tokenization of the world’s assets is happening over the next two decades. There are four use cases that are the north star of how I look at the opportunity — not specifically how I invest, but the overarching theme.
The first is sustainability. Since 1950, consumption of stuff has increased 14 times. If the entire world’s population shared the lifestyle habits of today’s average American, we would require the equivalent of five Earths to accommodate us. Millennials, Gen Zs, and Gen Alphas are massively contributing to the positive shift to dematerialization, spending more time and money in digital reality.
The second is efficiency. We are better able to leverage consumer data through profiles, browsing history, abandoned carts, purchases, and returns. Therefore we can promote the right products at the perfect time on the ideal channel. We are going towards a model of no more over-manufacturing. Using AI to better understand data would allow [marketing] to be more efficient, especially through more specific dedicated channels, like a wallet.
Third is personalization. Consumers are becoming more individualized, and they want to be seen. There is an upward trend in micro collections. Clothing is being manufactured on-demand, which also contributes to no more over-manufacturing. Gen Z and Gen Alpa’s identities are so rooted online; they want to express themselves in a hyper-personalized way. Platforms like the Mindbody app allow you to hyper-personalize your gender. You can hyper-define and show in ways that you can not articulate or express physically.
Finally, disruptive business models. Data is the new oil. Web2 is marked with a customer/consumer model where you are limited in the visibility of everything you own. Web3 is an owner model where you own your assets, data, and information and can translate into a wear2earn economy. The web2 consumer is shifting to a Web3 owner.
nft now: What do you envision the role of digital fashion in the next cycle? What will it take for digital fashion to go mainstream?
MK: Capitalizing on early narratives is the easiest way to make 100x in crypto. Smart assets (real-world assets on chain) are one of five emerging trends I am paying the most attention to, and the digital fashion sector will play a large role in the next innovation wave of Web3.
nft now: What is the vision and mission for Red DAO? What do you have coming up?
MK: Red DAO is the world’s first digital fashion, blockchain-agnostic-focused DAO. The goals of Red DAO are to participate and invest in the emergent narrative and opportunities around fashion and apparel trends shifting towards dematerialization into digital metaverse wearables powered by blockchain technology.
So we invest and incubate in all verticals of blockchain digital fashion along with supporting, purchasing, collecting, archiving, and investing in digital NFT garments in the emerging world of digital wearables and fashion. Notably, Red DAO collected three of the nine items from Collezione Genesi, the world’s first couture luxury NFT designer drop from Dolce & Gabbana, including the spectacular, one-of-a-kind Doge Crown (physical and digital), which to date is the highest valued couture fashion NFT to exist.
nft now: In the long term, to what extent will digital need to be accompanied by physical?
MK: Complete hardware disruption is a key factor in digital-first adoption, providing real-time perfected hyperrealism mixed reality AR. There will be an evolution of ownership from physical only to digital first.
nft now: How do you see the intersection of digital fashion and gaming?
MK: In web2 gaming, you do not own the item; there is no utility beyond aesthetics. In Web3 gaming, you own the item, and there are several utility models such as rental, stake for rewards, and play2earn.
I look at everything through the lens of each generation and the evolution of technology (hardware and software; foundational habits and belief systems programmed into the collective of each generation).
Millennials are the bridge between Gen Z and Gen Alpha, growing up with devices in their hand, immediate on demand.
nft now: How are you personally and professionally preparing for the metaverse?
MK: My journey in the blockchain ecosystem began in 2012, and since 2015 I have anticipated this moment when we would see blockchain technology disrupt the fashion industry by offering new business models and monetization layers. Hardware device disruption is the key factor to a fully decentralized digital reality. Heads-down mobile smartphone to heads-up near-eye wearable and multiple wearables.
Want more NFT100 honoree interviews? Get the full list of everyone we spoke with here.
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