Prada becomes the latest fashion brand to launch NFTs

Quick Take

  • Luxury fashion brand Prada is launching NFTs, available for free to those who purchase items from its Timecapsule initiative. 
  • Prada is one of many luxury brands to launch NFTs, including Lancôme, Balenciaga and Gucci. 

Prada, the Italian luxury fashion designer, will debut its first solo NFTs on Thursday, which will be available for 24 hours with the purchase of a physical item.

The NFT will be part of the brand's ongoing Timecapsule initiative, originally launched in December 2019, which drops limited-edition physical products on Prada's e-commerce site on the first Thursday of every month.

This Thursday, the shirts dropping on Prada's website will come with a free NFT that is designed like a pill capsule and backed up on the Ethereum blockchain. There will be 100 shirts and NFTs in total.

The black or white button-down unisex shirts are designed by artist Cassius Hirst, son of NFT artist Damien Hirst. The corresponding NFT will refer to the drop's serial number and an item number associated with each physical shirt. 

The NFTs will give owners exclusive access to perks and experiences, all of which will be revealed on Prada's new Discord server "Prada Crypted," which is set to launch on Thursday as well. 

Aura Blockchain Consortium, a nonprofit founded by LVMH, Prada, and Cartier, is behind Prada's latest NFT drop. Aura uses Quorum, an Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain service. 

A larger 'phygital' trend among luxury brands


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This isn't Prada's first move into the NFT space. Earlier this year, it partnered with Adidas to launch a Beeple-inspired NFT.

Many luxury fashion brands have also recently been experimenting with 'phygital' launches, which ties existing physical items with an NFT with utility or a digital experience on a blockchain game.

Beauty brand Lancôme recently announced the launch of customized gift boxes with exclusive NFTs for China's 520 holiday, according to data compiled by Vogue Business.

Similarly, Balenciaga also recently launched an animated pixel game and NFT avatar for the same holiday, which is normally celebrated with festivals in real life, but COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing have left people and brands to gather online. 

Gucci, the first luxury brand to introduce an NFT, most recently launched a "Gucci Town" on Roblox, offering games and virtual handbags to players in exchange for Robux, the virtual currency on Roblox that can be purchased with a credit card. Gucci even has a Web3 team, called the "Dream Big" team, dedicated to experimenting more in the blockchain and crypto area and turning it into a sustainable revenue stream. 

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About Author

Anushree covers how U.S. businesses and corporations are moving into crypto. She has written about business and tech for Bloomberg, Newsweek, Insider, and others. Reach out on Twitter @anu__dave