Hiroto Kai remained up all night making Japanese-inspired clothes after the virtual world Decentraland announced in June that users could build and sell their apparel for avatars to wear on the site. He said he made $15,000-$20,000 selling kimonos for approximately $140 each in just three weeks.
While many people find the concept of paying real money for clothes that do not exist in the real world perplexing, virtual goods produce actual sales in the “metaverse” - online settings where individuals may gather, stroll about, meet friends, and play games.
Kai's true name is Noah, and he is a digital artist and a Japanese fanatic. He is a 23-year-old New Hampshire resident. He resigned from his job as a full-time designer after earning as much in three weeks as he did in a year at his music shop employment. Kai explained, "It simply went off." "It was a unique method to express oneself, and the fact that it is a form of walking art adds to its appeal. When you own a piece of apparel, you can wear it to a party, dance in it, flaunt it, and it serves as a status signal."
Clothing for avatars, known as "wearables," may be purchased and sold on the blockchain in the form of a crypto asset known as NFT in Decentraland. Kai's kimonos include pieces made of crushed blue velvet with a golden dragon accent.
Speculative investors and crypto aficionados raced to acquire the new form of asset, which symbolizes ownership of online-only goods like digital art, trading cards, and land in virtual worlds, earlier this year. Some of the world's largest fashion brands, eager to identify themselves with a new generation of gamers, are also interested in the specialized crypto assets, but most of their ventures thus far have been for marketing purposes.
Burberry has produced branded NFT items for Blankos Block Party, a game owned by Mythical Games, while Louis Vuitton has established a metaverse game where players may acquire NFTs. Within the game Roblox, Gucci has offered non-NFT clothes for avatars.
Imani McEwan, a Miami-based fashion model, and NFT fan remarked, "Your avatar reflects you." "Essentially, what you're wearing determines who you are."
Since January, McEwan claims to have spent $15,000 to $16,000 on 70 NFT wearables, utilizing profits from Bitcoin investments. He started with a Bitcoin-themed pullover and just purchased a black beret made by a friend.
It is difficult to estimate the overall size of the NFT wearables market. According to NonFungible.com, a website that analyses the NFT industry, wearable sales volume in Decentraland alone totaled $750,000 in the first half of 2021, up from $267,000 in the same period the previous year.
Some supporters think about the future of retail wearables and shopping in virtual stores. "Whether you are trying to shop for an online avatar or you are purchasing physical goods that you can ship to your door, you can enjoy a brand as more visually captivating by exploring a virtual space," explains Julia Schwartz, director of the republic realm, an investment vehicle for $10 million virtual real estates which built a shopping mall in Decentraland.
Online fashion is not a substitute for the physical purchases of NFT fans. However, Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, co-founders of Auroboros, a digital trend company, think it might be an eco-friendly solution to quick fashion.
Customers may upload a photograph of themselves to Auroboros and have clothes digitally added to it for anywhere between 60 pounds ($83) and 1,000 pounds. According to a 2018 Barclaycard research, 9 percent of British buyers bought garments for social media photographs and subsequently returned them; Sello argues that the virtual garment idea may reduce the waste of customers buying items to wear on social media.
"We need to make a fashion transition right now. The industry cannot go on as this "Sello said. RTFKT, a virtual sneaker brand, produces limited edition NFTs that may be "worn" in virtual environments or on social media through a Snapchat filter. When COVID came out, it really took off, and a lot of people got online," said Steven Vasilev, RTFKT's co-founder and CEO.
According to him, the firm has made $7 million in sales, with limited edition shoes selling for $10,000 to $60,000 at auctions. While the majority of clients are in their twenties and thirties, some are as young as fifteen years old. RTFKT's NFTs may also be redeemed for a free physical edition of the sneaker, although one out of every 20 buyers does not do so. “I could not be bothered with the redemption stuff,” Jim McNelis, a Dallas-based NFT buyer who established NFT business nft42, said. “I try to stay away from physical activities as much as possible”.