Over the past few weeks, a new term has bubbled up on the internet. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have become the subject of explainers and DIY art world think pieces, and the increased attention is causing NFT prices to skyrocket. Naturally, luxury brands are circling the wider trend of people paying real money for items that only exist as data. Gucci continues to lead the way in expanding its product offerings into the virtual market with its new sneaker, designed by Alessandro Michele himself. Though the product is not technically an NFT, it is one that only exists digitally. This begs the question: would you pay for Gucci shoes that exist only on your smartphone?
Gucci’s new sneakers will cost $9 to $12, reported Business of Fashion. It is, essentially, a photo filter that superimposes the sneaker onto the user’s feet using AR technology, and was created in collaboration with Wanna, a Belarusian design studio. It will be available for purchase exclusively on Gucci’s mobile app, and users can flex them on a variety of other digital spaces and game avatars, including Roblox. Gucci also plans on creating limited-edition “shoes,” which will encourage a resale market and trading boom among collectors.
Such technology is currently used by other footwear brands and retailers to allow consumers to visualize how the shoe would look prior to purchase — simply point your smartphone at your foot, and the AR tech drops the shoe onto your screen. This product is distinct, in that the filter is usable outside of the retail environment; as the technology becomes more popular, expect to see different platforms offering avenues to display your digital kicks.
The Italian brand had previously attempted something similar by offering digital Gucci clothing you could buy for your Pokémon Go avatar to wear. They are not completely alone in the space either. Louis Vuitton has designed skins for League of Legends.
Though, it remains to be seen if other brands will enter the digital space with similar offerings? $15 Bottega Veneta Cassette bags for your Animal Crossing avatar? $5 Byredo makeup Instagram filters? The possibilities are endless.