Luxury fashion powerhouse Gucci is preparing to gift two exclusive physical items – a wallet or bag – to holders of its Gucci Vault Material NFTs, which will be generally unavailable to Gucci’s usual clientele.
The Material NFTs debuted last March as part of a partnership between Gucci and the narrative NFT project, 10KTF. The collection dressed eleven selected NFT collections, including Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), World of Women (WoW), Cool Cats, and more, in digitally enhanced Gucci outfits to showcase Gucci’s digital identity in an alternate world.
10KTF tells the fictional story of a floating city in a parallel universe, following Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele as he takes a trip from Rome to New Tokyo. During his time in New Tokyo, he crosses paths with Wagmi-san, the famed digital artisan who was considered a legend in having crafted the coveted items in his 10KTF shop.
The project’s parent company, Wenew, was acquired by Yuga Labs last November.
While the true purpose of the Material NFT was shrouded in mystery when it was initially introduced to Grail NFT holders, the curiosity and anticipation from the Web3 community was nothing short of genuine interest – especially for Gucci Grail NFT holders who were airdropped the Material NFT last year. For this reason, those NFTs were valued at around $600 on OpenSea prior to its ultimate purpose being revealed to the community.
Turning back to Gucci’s exciting announcement, it’s already teased images of the physical wallet and bag that will be exclusively available to its 2,896 Material NFT holders – both infused with Gucci’s signature interlocking “G” pattern and iconic red-and-green stripes.
Unique to Gucci’s efforts in rewarding its NFT holders, is that it’s all free of charge. Material NFT holders will be given the choice to exchange their Material NFTs for either the wallet or the bag or they can simply sell their Material NFT to someone who would be interested in acquiring one of the two exclusive physical items.
If a holder chooses to exchange their NFT for either the wallet or bag, their NFT will subsequently be “burned” and sent to a null wallet address where it can never be used again.
While this certainly isn’t the first time a luxury brand like Gucci has offered a physical item to its NFT holders, Gucci’s approach here stands out due to the absence of any associated costs in exchanging their NFT in a period where the sentiment towards NFTs has experienced a major decline alongside the crypto market.
Gucci’s first steps into Web3 began with a $25,000 art film auctioned by Christie’s in June 2021. Since then, the brand has been at the forefront of integrating exclusive physical products with NFT ownership in a way that derives actual value through a genuine rewards mechanism – including digital twins and token-gated access.
During the recent Christie’s Art + Tech Summit in New York, Gucci’s VP of Metaverse Ventures, Micael Barilaro, and Yuga Labs’ Chief Creative Officer, Michael Figge, unveiled this new community reward.
Barilaro emphasized the importance of authentic storytelling and the need for brands to genuinely engage with new communities by “listening before making noise.” He highlighted the Gucci Grail project as a testament to this ethos, describing it as a novel approach to luxury that is more accessible.
As part of the event, Gucci and Christie’s, who both share a parent company in Groupe Artémis, commissioned a unique collection of NFT artworks that were reportedly made using generative artificial intelligence (AI) and Gucci’s intellectual property.
Gucci’s latest initiative undoubtedly underscores the brand’s commitment to exploring the intricate interplay between the digital and physical worlds.
As Barilaro aptly noted, the internet has made our world more visual and interconnected, and Gucci is at the forefront of this digital revolution, seamlessly weaving the tangible and intangible threads of luxury.
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