Balmain, the French luxury fashion house, has ventured into the Web3 world with the launch of its limited series of NFT sneakers, called the Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection. The collection comprises 130 Ethereum NFTs, each of which is paired with a matching physical pair of shoes. The sneakers, which are available for purchase from today, cost between $1,595 and $2,095, and buyers can pay in either traditional currency or ETH.
The Unicorn sneakers, which were created in partnership with Space Runners, a digital fashion company backed by several investors, come in five unique designs. Holders of Balmain Unicorn NFTs will receive additional perks, including early access to future Balmain drops and other exclusive Balmain products, as well as digital wearables for use in online games and metaverse platforms.
Rohan Chhabra, the creative director of Space Runners, believes that physical clothing will be eclipsed by digital wearables in the future. However, he acknowledges that the current condition of the metaverse and public perceptions of the concept mean that companies need to work harder to onboard users to a digital existence. To this end, Balmain is making its offerings more casual, approachable, and accessible, said Chhabra.
Balmain is not new to the Web3 space and has been aggressively pursuing partnerships, membership programs, and limited edition drops that incorporate blockchain technology over the last year. Balmain’s Chief Marketing Officer, Txampi Diz, sees Web3 as the future and a crucial part of the global marketing strategy for every brand.
According to DappRadar research on blockchain and decentralized application growth in 2022 reported by Todayq news, NFT sales increased by 67.57% to hit 101 million last year. The Ethereum ecosystem dominated with 21% of the market share, followed by Wax, Polygon, and Solana. With the Solana and ImmutableX ecosystems experiencing tremendous growth, the digital fashion industry continues to forge ahead despite the bearish environment for metaverse endeavors.