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Fashion: your personal brand and cultural passport

Fashion isn’t just about what’s hanging in your closet; it’s a language, a statement, and even a form of currency.

Beyond mere clothing, fashion serves as a form of self-expression that speaks volumes. From the punk rockers of the ’70s and the skaters of the ’90s to the hip-hop culture of the 2000s and today’s eco-friendly fabrics, fashion has always been a way to say who you are without having to speak.

It goes beyond aesthetics; it encompasses culture, behavior, and branding.

Now – whenever there’s a choice in what to wear – you’re essentially deciding how to present yourself to the world.

Whether it’s a blue t-shirt over a red one, a pair of sneakers over formal shoes, or a sustainable brand over fast fashion, each choice is a reflection of your personality, beliefs, budget, and cultural background – or any combination of these factors. It’s like your wardrobe is a curated gallery of your life’s experiences and aspirations.

You may be thinking: “I don’t follow fashion rules. I just wear whatever I like”.

But when you choose a green t-shirt over a yellow one, or go for a specific brand or cut, you’re aligning yourself with a particular form of expression, even if you don’t actively stay updated with “fashion trends”.

In a world where individuality is celebrated, fashion becomes a complex tapestry of individual and collective identities.

It’s not just about what you wear, it’s also about why you wear it. Your choices are influenced by cultural icons, societal norms, price tags, and even the zeitgeist of the era you’re living in.

Photo Credit: The Fabricant

The universal language of style: from skate parks to board rooms

As many of you already know, one of my passions is skateboarding. And from my early days around ollies and kickflips, the “dress code” within that community was pretty universal, no matter where in the country (or planet) I was. So I adapted my choices to fit into the tribes I wanted to be a part of. And let’s be real, I bet you’ve done something similar at some point.

AI-generated making me look good 😀 

Having lived in different countries has also added another layer to this perception. Spotting a pair of Havaianas flip-flops for instance, instantly signaled a fellow Brazilian. It’s as if each country has its own fashion language.

Fast forward to 2019 → Joining adidas meant getting a backstage pass to the fashion industry. I saw the business mechanics behind what we wear and how it’s not just about looking good.

It’s about building communities and brand identities. This was a game-changer, one that deepened my understanding of the symbiotic relationship between fashion, branding, and culture.

A small example of how a piece of fabric can become part of a brand identity is my pink beanie. If you spot a weird guy in a bright pink beanie surfing in Portugal or attending to a Web3 event, that’s probably me.

And if you’re more of a numbers person, here are a few stats that may grab your attention:

The global fashion industry is estimated to be worth around 1.7 trillion dollars (!)

According to a report from Allied Analytics, the global market for digital fashion is expected to grow from $498.7 million in 2021 to $4.8 billion by 2031.

Fashion moves to Web3: the new frontier

For better or worse, our lives have increasingly migrated online, turning the digital realm into our new hub for virtually everything.

Recent global events have only intensified this movement, making the digital world more of a necessity than a luxury. One of the ripple effects of spending more time online is the natural desire to carry our unique styles and identities into these digital spaces.

Brands and designers are taking note and facing a multi-faceted challenge. It’s not just about designing virtual garments; it’s about translating a brand’s essence into a new, uncharted environment.

This digital realm comes with its own set of rules, players, and possibilities, offering both challenges and opportunities. Brands now have to adapt and evolve, meeting the demand for digital self-expression while navigating this complex new landscape.

But before we proceed, one thing must be 100% clear: The scope of digital fashion goes beyond just virtual clothing. It’s a complex ecosystem that includes in-game wearables, NFTs, immersive storefronts, supply chain transparency, virtual fashion shows, and many more branches, including – yes – virtual clothing.

And when you see the companies and projects already involved, it’s clear that we’re not talking about “hype” or a new cool trend.

Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s dive into different use cases within the Web3 Fashion industry.

Spotlight: 9DCC
Virtual threads, real connections

In edition #7, we dived into how 9DCC, led by the visionary (and good friend) gmoney, is revolutionizing the luxury fashion industry within the Web3 space.
We explored their groundbreaking concept of turning high-end t-shirts (and not just that) into tokenized assets stored in a vault, which can then be used as collateral for DeFi loans.

By the way, if you’ve ever seen me on a podcast or speaking at a live event, there’s a high chance I was rocking one of these 9DCC shirts 😅.

Today, we’re shifting gears to focus on how 9DCC is not just redefining fashion but also masterfully blending it with community engagement in the Web3 era.

9DCC is the first Web3-native luxury house and lifestyle platform, and it’s been turning heads since its inception. And they’re not just adding their logo on a tee and calling it a day. They’re using Web3 tech to gamify the entire experience.

We’re talking treasure hunts, interactive experiences, and a consumer-centric approach that’s redefining the very concept of a brand in the digital age.

Now, let’s get into the “real connections” part. In short: each 9DCC piece comes with an NFC chip, turning fashion into an interactive experience. Tap your shirt, and you’re suddenly on a leaderboard, while the person you interact with gets a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol).

It’s like turning your wardrobe into a social network, where each interaction adds value to both the owner and the other participant.
(I definitely invite you to explore further what they have built/are building).

Community engagement meets fashion

What makes 9DCC a game-changer is its ability to blend the physical and digital worlds seamlessly. It’s not just about owning a piece of clothing; it’s about being part of a community that values interaction and engagement. This is where 9DCC excels, creating a symbiotic relationship between the brand and its community, both online and offline.

👕 So, what sets 9DCC apart in this Web3 fashion frontier? Let’s break it down:

→ Web3-infused threads: They are pioneering the integration of Web3 tech into fashion, making it more than just a clothing brand.

→ Interactive community: 9DCC is all about building a strong, interactive community through its innovative use of NFC and POAPs.

→ Consumer engagement revamped: The brand is setting new standards in consumer engagement, offering exclusive experiences to its community members.

→ Trailblazer in web3 luxury: 9DCC is defining how luxury fashion will operate in the Web3 era. When there’s no “playbook”, create yours!

So, to sum it up, 9DCC is a community-driven experience that’s setting the pace for what’s possible in the Web3 fashion space.

But there’s so much more to explore.

LET’S GO!

💡 Full disclosure: Just so you know, I’m not just talking the talk here. I’m walking it, too. I believe so much in what 9DCC is doing that I’ve put my money where my mouth is – I’m a proud angel investor in 9DCC. So, yeah, I’m all in on this game-changing journey.

USE CASES:
BIG PLAYERS MAKING BIG MOVES

Earlier in this edition, I mentioned that virtual clothes are just one slice of the enormous digital fashion pie. Well, we’ve also got in-game wearables, NFTs, immersive storefronts, virtual fashion shows, digital showrooms, and AR mirrors, among other exciting innovations.

Big-name brands are diving headfirst into this expansive universe, each with their unique approach and strategy.

Whether it’s creating virtual stores that blend with their physical counterparts or gamifying the shopping experience to keep us hooked, the focus is on delivering immersive, interactive experiences.

So, buckle up! We’re about to have a quick look at some killer examples that are setting the stage for what’s possible in this space:

🐊 Lacoste:

The iconic brand is stepping up its game with a virtual store that’s not just about shopping; it’s an experience. Loyalty rewards meet NFTs, making every purchase a step into the future.

🤝 Doodles x Crocs:

Doodles, a Web3-native brand, teamed up with Crocs to create something truly unique. It’s a win-win: Crocs gets to dip its toes into the Web3 world, and Doodles gains exposure to a broader audience. This partnership is a prime example of how traditional brands can successfully venture into the Web3 universe.

🕸️ Marvel x Christian Louboutin:

Talk about a power collab! Marvel and Christian Louboutin have teamed up to celebrate Disney’s 100-year legacy with an exclusive, limited-edition footwear and accessories collection. They’re also introducing digital collectibles in the Loubiuniverse.

🛍️ Macy’s mstylelab:

Think of it as your personal fashion playground, set against a virtual New York skyline. It’s not just a store; it’s a next-gen fashion hub

We’ve been talking about some killer examples, right? Well, let’s zoom in on that last one – Macy’s mstylelab.

This isn’t just another virtual store; it’s a whole new level of shopping experience. Imagine walking through a virtual New York City, complete with skyscraper-sized mannequins showcasing Macy’s newest in-house fashion line, on 34th.

You hop on the iconic Macy’s escalator and find yourself on the 34th floor, home to mstylelab, Macy’s new digital innovation platform. Here, you can see all the items up close and even add them to your shopping cart. And the cherry on top? If you’re a Macy’s account holder, you can even claim your own personalized digital t-shirt.

Alright, enough talk. Hit play on the video below and get a firsthand look at Macy’s mstylelab in action (and make sure to get back here and read the rest of this edition 😁):

So, to break it down, here’s what you’re getting with Macy’s mstylelab:

🛒 Cart & Go: As you roam through this virtual NYC, your shopping cart follows. Add items on the fly!

⭐ Star Power: Rack up Macy’s stars as you explore, and unlock a little something special at the end of your journey.

👀 Snap & Share: Capture your favorite moments and spread the love across your social channels. Because if it’s not on social, did it even happen?

👚 Tee Time: Got a Macy’s account? Personalize and claim your own digital tee as a keepsake of your journey.

Now, here’s the deal: You’re not just here to passively read about this stuff and believe in every word this guy with a pink beanie on writes.

As I always say, you’ve got to walk the talk. So I invite you to access this link and dive into the actual experience. Trust me, it’s the only way to get a firsthand opinion on what the future of digital fashion looks like.

PINK BEANIE’S ACTIONABLE GUIDE:
How fashion brands can navigate Web3

Okay, by now you’ve got a pretty solid grasp on how Web3 is shaking up the fashion scene (or the other way around).

From virtual stores to community engagement, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Now, let’s peel back the layers: how can you, as a brand or entrepreneur, seize these opportunities? Let’s roll.

First off, let’s talk scarcity. In a world where everyone’s flaunting their unique style, verified scarcity is the new standard. Imagine launching a collection where each piece is tokenized.

You’re not just selling fashion; you’re selling verified, transparent value. It’s like each item comes with its own certificate of authenticity, but way cooler.

Now, onto consumer engagement (and by the way, edition #10 covered a lot on this topic). We’re in an era where customers crave stories, not just products.

QR codes and NFC tags can give your audience a deep dive into the garment’s journey – where it came from, what it’s made of, and who made it. It’s backstage pass to your brand, and it’s a game-changer for building loyalty.

And let’s not forget the runway. Digital fashion shows are already happening, and they’re not just for the big names.

Whether it’s a Metaverse runway or a phygital experience blending the physical and digital, these shows offer a new level of interaction and engagement.

It’s not just about the clothes; it’s about the experience.

So, how can you, as a either a brand or a creator (or both) make the most of this? Here’s your free actionable guide:

➡️ Verifiable scarcity: Using NFTs to certify the scarcity of each piece in your collection isn’t just a tech gimmick; it’s a brand revolution.

Imagine your customers being able to verify that their new jacket is one of only 50 ever made. It adds a layer of exclusivity and value that’s hard to replicate in the traditional fashion world.

➡️ Tell your story: Implementing QR codes or NFC tags isn’t just about tech; it’s about storytelling. When a customer scans that code, they should be transported into your brand’s universe.

Share the journey of the garment, from the sustainable farms where your cotton is grown to the artisans who put the finishing touches. It’s a narrative that turns customers into brand advocates.

➡️ Embrace the Web3 culture: This is more than just accepting digital currencies for payments. It’s about integrating the ethos of decentralization and community-driven initiatives into your brand.

Think limited edition releases where the community votes on the designs, or even a DAO where token holders have a say in your next collection.

➡️ Revolutionize the runway: Digital fashion shows offer an unparalleled level of engagement. You’re not limited by geography or even physics. Want to showcase your new line on a runway that floats in the sky? You can do that.

The key is to make it interactive, allowing viewers to click on outfits for instant purchase or even change camera angles for a personalized experience.

➡️ Unlock on-chain experiences: Imagine a hoodie that comes with a VIP pass to an exclusive online concert, or a pair of sneakers that unlock a special character in a popular video game.

The possibilities are endless, and they offer a level of engagement that goes way beyond traditional loyalty programs.

➡️ Collaborate for success: The Web3 space is buzzing with innovative brands and creators. Partnering with a Web3-native brand can offer a fresh perspective and open doors to an entirely new audience. It’s a win-win that leverages the strengths of both parties for something truly unique.

Source

Of course, every brand is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. But hopefully, this guide gives you a solid foundation, or at least some insights to start exploring the endless opportunities Web3 offers in the fashion space.

Stay tuned: your next Web3 move

You probably noticed that I have highlighted several terms in the actionable guide: scarcity, exclusivity, storytelling, sustainable, community-driven, instant purchase, personalized experience, exclusive, engagement, partnering, and new audience.

By looking at those terms, you’ll see that there are “problems-to-be-solved” – or opportunities – in different areas, regardless of your background or current skillset.

I know that many of you reading this are professionals from various fields who have recently transitioned to a Web3-related job, or are trying to do so.
SPOILER ALERT: If that’s you, we’ve got something very special brewing in the coming months.

And you know the drill – subscribers to The Wild West of Web3 will be the first to get the inside scoop. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this!

OBRIGADO, PORTUGAL 🤝 

Ah, Portugal! For nearly two years, this beautiful country has been more than just a place to live; it’s been a dream come true. Living close to the sea, growing my family, and soaking up the culture has been nothing short of amazing 🌊.

I want to give a massive shoutout to a Portuguese platform that’s been super welcoming: Bitalk – Negócios à Portuguesa.

We had an awesome conversation diving into the Metaverse, Web3, and how these emerging technologies are shaping the future, especially for startups and large organizations.

Curious to hear what we discussed? Click here to check out the full conversation (and practice your Portuguese listening skills in case you don’t speak the language 🤣).

Thank you for having me!

Wow, what a ride!

We’ve journeyed from understanding fashion as a personal brand statement to exploring how game-changers like 9DCC are setting the Web3 fashion stage on fire.

I shared some pro moves you can leverage to boost your projects: scarcity, storytelling, community vibes, to name a few.

However, we’ve only just kicked open the door to the Web3 fashion world.

There’s stuff like tokenization in fashion, gamified shopping, photodressing, supply chain transparency, digital twins, and many others to be covered – and our subscribers will be the first ones to know where to find such content.
So, keep your eyes peeled.

Catch you in edition #13

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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