Feeding into the growing metaverse hype among brands, Prada is releasing a Timecapsule NFT Collection, which features gender-neutral physical products and a gifted non-fungible token, the company announced in a Monday press release emailed to Retail Dive. The brand is also launching Prada Crypted, a community server on Discord where Prada fans can discuss fashion, art, film, music and Web3.
The brand will host a monthly 24-hour online event, starting June 2, where shoppers in select areas can buy limited-edition Timecapsule items on its website. The June 2 Timecapsule drop will feature black and white shirts with artist Cassius Hirst’s mask and brain scan designs.
Customers who purchase Timecapsule products can receive their own Prada NFTs, according to the press release. Prada NFT holders will be able to access exclusive benefits and future product releases.
With Prada’s Timecapsule merchandise drops tied to NFTs, the brand is diving deeper into the metaverse. Prada's collaboration with Hirst in particular comes after the brand partnered with the artist in mid-May to create a custom capsule collection of the Prada America’s Cup sneaker, which came in four styles and 22 variables.
Prada's NFTs will come with a drop serial number and a corresponding number for each physical item. The Prada Timecapsule NFTs are issued on the Ethereum blockchain, and the product release is facilitated by the Aura Blockchain Consortium’s NFT technology, according to the press release. Other luxury brands, including Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari, are also part of the Aura Blockchain Consortium.
The effort builds on previous NFT projects by the luxury brand. In January, for example, Prada and Adidas Originals teamed up on a user-generated NFT project, which featured art from consumers and creators.
The luxury brand joins other retailers and brands like Gap, GameStop and Pacsun that have experimented with the amorphous concept of the metaverse. It remains to be seen whether brands’ experimentation with the metaverse will appeal to consumers in the long term, but for now, many consumers are unfamiliar with the concept overall and NFTs. An October 2021 report from Forrester found that almost half of U.S. adults (45%) had never heard of NFTs, and 28% of Americans who are familiar with them still don’t fully understand what they are.
(Source: RetailDive https://www.retaildive.com/news/prada-plans-monthly-product-nft-drops/624688/)