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What is an NFT sneaker and why is it worth $ 10,000?


Here’s what’s in the closet of the future. A few pairs of sneakers, of course. Maybe a hoodie. A watch. And why not? – pants with a metallic look. This being the future, none of the clothes are real. However, they cost $ 147,000.

It sounds like a joke, but the closet I just described is now available for purchase, with the clothes taking the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. You may have heard that NFTs are everywhere, a new asset class adopted by traditional auction houses and cryptocurrency disruptors. A piece of art by Beeple sold for $ 69 million, a tweet from Jack Dorsey was ‘hit’ as NFT and cost $ 2.9 million, and Michael Jordan joined a group of investors investing $ 305 million in the NBA Top Shot’s digital marketplace, which sells out. .the same highlights you can find on YouTube for free. NFTs are, for now, a big problem. But does fashion, a category so dependent on the things we wear physically, have a future in this space?

Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev all think so. In 2020, they founded Rtfkt, which is kind of like a sneaker brand, except its shoes only exist in a digital world. He quickly became the number one seller of NFT sneakers. The trio began to work seriously on the business after making Pagotta League of Legends Customize a pair of custom sneakers for the 2018 World Cup. Pagotto lost in the final, but came away with something much bigger. Everyone asked him about the shoes. How could they have a pair? The three realized they had a good company in their hands and started working “to really create the brand of the future,” Pagotto says. A future where buyers care more about their digital goods than their physical goods.

Courtesy of Tribute

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. A recent drop with an artist named Fewocious featured three pairs of sneakers priced at $ 3,000, $ 5,000 and $ 10,000. In just seven minutes, users bought it for $ 3.1 million.

On the surface, the virtual world looks like an inhospitable place for fashion, which is firmly anchored in the physical world: a T-shirt that fits perfectly, the nylon pants that swish-swish with every step, the sneakers you wear. impress friends. But that hasn’t stopped brands from trying to turn digital fashion into a thing. Tribute gives a shiny look to high-tech fashion which he calls “cyber clothing,” and feels like a hard-earned upgrade in a video game. Overvalued focuses on hoodies and, true to its name, sells them for $ 26,000. CryptoKickers “designs shoes for the New World” and has recruited former NBA player Wilson Chandler to be the face of. There are also watches: from brands like Jacob & Co, which sold its first NFT piece at auction for $ 100,000, and Vault. Your digital cabinet fills up quickly.

A sample of Tribute’s “cyberwear”, applied as photo filters.

Courtesy of Tribute

Courtesy of Tribute

The cyber-gang rush has a lot to do with the wider popularity of NFTs. Proof of ownership is the core principle of NFTs: each product comes with a unique identification number that follows ownership indefinitely. “People are still not used to [the fact that] digital products come at a price, ”says Gala Marija Vrbanic, co-founder of Tribute. “It’s mainly because they can’t touch or experience these pieces in the real world, so they don’t feel like they own them. NFTs have been successful in giving people that sense of ownership. (This structure also falls on the creators, who receive a percentage of each subsequent sale from an NFT – meaning that when one of Rtfkt’s sneakers resells, the brand gets 10% of the revenue.)

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