The digital world’s decision to cancel Dolce & Gabbana due to offensive comments about race, gender, and size reached its apogee when Dolce & Gabbana released a video from China in 2018. It featured a Chinese model eating spaghetti with chopsticks.
It is hard to imagine how the brand could have explained the sale of a nine-piece digital NFTs (or nonfungible tokens) at auction Sept. 30, along with some couture, for nearly $5.7 million.
Collezione Genesi was conceived and auctioned jointly by UNXD, an online marketplace for digital luxury culture and art. It is considered to be the most complicated fashion NFT ever created.
The cryptocurrency’s value has risen by 10% since Friday’s announcement. It now stands at $6.1 million. Dolce & Gabbana will receive the payment at market rates, rather than the values at the close of the auction. Pranksy, Seedphrase, and Boson Protocol were the top NFT collectors. Red DAO was a decentralized autonomous organisation formed in the crypto community to invest digital fashion.
“These prices should not be surprising,” stated Nick Jushchyshyn (program director for Virtual Reality and Immersive Media, Drexel University). “You have world-renowned artists creating something completely unique, with attention and detail — it’s beyond what you would expect to see in digital renderings — and it is a one-of-one. It is only natural that an NFT collector would appreciate it.
A leading expert
Merav Ozair from Rutgers Business School is a prominent expert in blockchain and FinTech. Ozair stated, “In fact I believed it would happen sooner.” “We are moving towards a virtual-reality universe, and luxury goods will be a part of that world when we reach that state sooner than we think, in just a matter of decades.”
Shashi Menon, a Dubai-based publisher and founder of UNXD, presented Dolce & Gabbana the idea in April. He said that they were “instantly taken with it” despite the fact that the brand is more known for its extravagant luxury events than its innovative technological spirit. (See its semiannual couture Alta Moda weekend in Venice, August where Jennifer Hudson belted out Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” while Helen Mirren danced to Ciara’s “1, 2 Step” at its closing party).
They created Collezione Genesi, or the Genesis Collection. There are rumoured to be many more. Dolce & Gabbana didn’t respond to a request of comment.
Five pieces were physical creations that Dolce & Gabbana designed and executed. UNXD created virtual versions of five of them: two versions in gold and silver of The Dress from a Dream; The Glass Suit, a men’s suit in emerald green, similarly embellished; two gold-plated, gem-studded, silver crowns called The Lion Crown or The Doge Crown.
The four other pieces were solely digital
The other four pieces were digitally created: three men’s jackets with rich embroidery and The Impossible Tiara made from “gems that cannot quite be found on Earth.” Dolce & Gabbana explained via Twitter. They were based on sketches made by Domenico Dolce, and Stefano Gabbana by the brand’s designers.
Each sale included the promise of D&G experiences and invitations to future AltaModa events.
During the Alta Moda event, the physical items were displayed at an elegant salon in Venice’s 17th century casino. UNXD opened the auction on Sept. 21 and it concluded progressively between Sept. 28-30.
The Doge Crown, an extravagant headdress featuring seven blue sapphires as well as 142 diamonds, was the highest priced. It was sold by Red DAO for 423.50 Ether or $1.25million at the time. Megan Kaspar and Aaron Wright, both members of the group, described it as a “big bang” moment for fashion NFTs in an email.
Menon explained that the pieces were so expensive because of their provenance, rarity (there were only nine sold at once); craftsmanship; and utility. UNXD will convert the prices into U.S. Dollars at the current market rate and pay Dolce & Gabbana less an auction commission.
Pranksy, a play on Bansky, wrote Saturday in an email: “I was really excited that D&G entered the NFT space, especially since my wife Magpie and her close friend Josephine Dwyer Mann have a real passion to haute couture.
The virtual-only Golden Impossible jacket was purchased for 99.99 Ether. The virtual-only Impossible tiara was also purchased for 99.99 Ether. The Dress from a Dream is Silver is digital and physical. The Dress from a Dream is Gold is digital and physical and costs 225.5 Ether. Pranksy, a fashion-follower himself, said that he was wearing a Versace shirt and scruffy jeans while answering written questions from an unknown location in Britain. He wrote that NFTs in fashion have huge potential, especially when they are linked to the physical — such as D&G.
Seedphrase, a Brisbane investor named Danny Maegaard, paid 292.82 Ether to purchase The Lion Crown. Dolce & Gabbana based it on the Venetian flag, coat of arms, and flag. Seedphrase stated via email Sunday that the piece evoked his deep love for Venice. It was the first NFT collection from any major fashion house. This made sense for an investment perspective as I expect these pieces to appreciate in price.