Metaverse Updates: fashion brands (and a city) diving into Web3

A roundup of who’s making the news.

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USD1.5 billion boost for Shanghai’s metaverse ambitions

China’s biggest city Shanghai banks on blockchain and metaverse to accelerate the country’s economic growth. In a press conference held on 8 July, Wu Jincheng, head of the Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Commission, said: “USD1.5 billion will be used to realise the ambition of building 10 leading companies and 100 small-scale companies specialising in product and service evaluation.” This is a huge investment decision with effects that could potentially reverberate for decades to come. Will this help accelerate China’s economic growth or will this slow it down?

AR, it’s nearly time for your close-up

The hype around VR has taken our sights away from AR and how it is impacting our lives. AR features on social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are increasingly becoming more popular among Gen Z and younger types. The purpose of AR is to bridge the gap between virtual and real lives. This technology is far from being ready, but the footage (below) provides a good example of how AR may benefit individuals on a day-to-day basis. It has the potential to save humans money and time, but can it also be beneficial for the environment?

Brands going big in Web3

The metaverse has garnered interest of retail as well as institutional investors around the world. Billion-dollar companies are hungry to get their first movers’ advantage, leading to partnerships that generated headlines. In December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, a leading brand in the Web3 space that uses cutting-edge technology to deliver next-generation collectibles. Adidas, too, has announced its presence in the metaverse by releasing its own NFT collection. The sports label has also been able to create valuable partnerships with companies and brands within the Web3 space, including Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Coinbase and The Sandbox. And that’s not all—Gucci has confirmed plans to make its presence inside of Roblox more permanent. With the amount of attention the metaverse has, can it truly be a passing fad?

Punk it: from digital collectible to IRL jewellery

Tiffany & Co.’s light medium robin egg blue might be known to generations of luxury consumers, but the brand has ambitions to reach a new client base: owners of CryptoPunk NFTs. This seemingly insiders-only (there are only 10,000 CryptoPunks in the world) move is getting conversations rolling among the crypto community and beyond.

 

Each of the 250 Tiffany & Co. x CryptoPunk pieces that the brand launched recently, and was available for purchase from 5 August 2022, was priced at 30 ETH. Considering the cheapest CryptoPunk was valued at 69.4 ETH, its IRL carbon copy hovered on the heftier side in terms of price point. And what’s a piece of luxury without diamonds? Of course, there were diamonds involved, so it could work as a calculated investment. Included with the IRL CryptoPunk was an NFT of the piece of jewellery. So you get, in NFT terms, a CryptoPunk of a CryptoPunk. All 250 of these physical-meets-digital wearables, known as NFTiffs, were sold out since their launch in the past week.