Tech and fashion’s relationship is evolving, and brands are putting their own off-kilter spin on the trend. Take Gentle Monster as an example; this week, the niche eyewear label launched its Spring/Summer 2024 collection inspired by back-to-school roots and robots, naturally.
Elsewhere, metaverse advocate and synth-pop superstar Grimes has teamed up with Web3 label Mntge to disrupt the fan-to-idol dynamic of the music industry.
The musician isn’t the only one fleshing out her community playbook. The Rolling Stones have tapped augmented reality (AR) enabler Ffface.me and digital artist Ines Alpha to create an AR-powered Instagram filter, offering fans a novel way to engage with the band’s music and artistic vision.
Finally, Web3 infrastructure platform Spin.Fashion turned Paris into a phygital playground, further marrying fashion and innovation.
Gentle Monster calls fashion lovers back to class with a futuristic twist
What happened: This week, the Korean eyewear label launched its Spring/Summer 2024 Optical collection campaign, set within the “Gentle High School.”
Familiar faces such as Japanese actress Nana Komatsu and Japanese musician Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso) are seen participating in the Gentle Monster “Robotics class,” which features “pupils” navigating full-scale robots through the streets of Korea as the brand fuses luxury and futurism.
Why it matters: As tech and luxury fashion become increasingly intertwined, new trends are surfacing, one of which is the creative exploration of robotics.
From Boston Dynamic’s robo-dogs at Coperni’s Fall/Winter 2023 runway to Sophia the robot welcoming guests into Boss’ Spring/Summer 2024 Techtopia showcase, robotics are increasingly making their presence felt across the luxury scene. But with speculation rife, the challenge for brands is convincing consumers that their appeal extends beyond gimmicks.
Grimes and Mntge leverage the music fan experience through NFC-chipped vintage Levi’s
What happened: On the heels of her recent collaboration with Chinese photographer Chen Man, musician and artist Grimes has teamed up with vintage Web3 fashion platform Mntge on a limited-edition, NFC-chip-enabled collection featuring vintage Levi’s denim jackets and T-shirts.
The garments, part of Grimes’ Elf.Tech initiative, feature graphics designed by the artist herself, including AI art and an Elf.Tech graphic. Buyers can also access new music from Grimes through the embedded chip.
Why it matters: As digital technology continues to permeate various aspects of culture, collaborations such as the one between Grimes and Mntge highlight the potential for multifaceted fan engagement.
Elf.Tech, co-founded by Grimes, has been at the forefront of integrating technology into the artist’s experience. Mntge has a similar vision, exploring ways to innovate the live fan experience through digital technology.
Spin.Fashion brings phygital design to the streets of Paris
What happened: Coinciding with Paris+ by Art Basel, Web3 enabler Spin.Fashion transformed the French capital into an augmented reality experience from October 18 to 22.
Marking the first 360-degree phygital art exhibition in the city, a series of NFC-chipped artworks went on display, which guests could scan with their phones to bring to life.
Why it matters: Spin.Fashion may not yet be a household name in luxury, but it is a promising player in the Web3 ecosystem. The platform’s potential was recognized by Farfetch earlier this year, when it was selected to be one of six participants for Farfetch’s Dream Assembly Base Camp accelerator in partnership with Outlier Ventures.
Paris has also evolved into a creative hotspot for Web3 talent, fostering a hub of exciting digital designers, including Korean phygital artist Camelostrich. Initiatives like these are amplifying the works of creative spearheaders and making a case for the importance of IRL events for the widespread adoption of Web3.