Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Balenciaga adapt to the digital age by creating NFT video game characters and clothes.

By Lizzy Zarrello.

Last week luxury fashion house Burberry announced the release of Sharky B, an NFT that will feature in the video game Blankos Block Party. Virtual clothing will be available to gamers who dress their cartoon avatars in Burberry apparel, including a jetpack. 

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique collectible digital items, like real-life art that cannot be reproduced. These NFTs are often bought and sold through trading and cryptocurrency. As of late, they have been expanding into fashion houses’ high society. This past March, Balenciaga launched a digital Fall 2021 collection of futuristic clothing via an interactive video game called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.” Taking place ten years into the future, in a world without COVID-19, it allowed couture collectors and gamers to experience a fashionable fantasy outside lockdown. 

Many other designer brands have expanded into the virtual metaverse. Last Wednesday, Louis Vuitton celebrated their founder’s 200th birthday by launching “Louis: The Game,” which allows users to embark on a digital journey alongside the Louis Vuitton house mascot, Vivienne. Together they search the world for 200 candles. Each candle collected enables players to unlock the chronological tales of the brand’s history. Digital artist Beeple created 10 of the 30 NTF collectible items that players can find within the game. Although the NTFs Found in Louis: The Game cannot be sold, other NFTs by Beeple have sold at art auctions for over $60 million, proving their demand and value. To make the game more accessible to their younger audience, the brand will release the game as an app via IOS and Android (as opposed to the Louis Vuitton website).

Burberry and Balenciaga are not the only luxury brands dipping their toes into the NFT pool. Versace and Gucci have designed both apps and digital clothing for game characters. In 2020, there were an estimated 2.8 billion gamers around the world. Therefore, the growth of NFTs in the fashion industry is to be expected. It also begs the question, could gamers influence the physical world’s fashion trends? Although it may not happen anytime soon, with more and more designers embracing the digital realm, NFT’s could come to represent the future of fashion. 

Image Credit: Burberry and Louis Vuitton