Jean Paul Gaultier protégé and rising star Victor Vinsanto launched Paris Fashion Week with a runway cast of fellow designers and performers ranging from Rochas’ Charles de Vilmorin to RuPaul’s Drag Race France star La Grande Dame. With all shapes, sizes, and sexualities, this show was as great IRL as it gets.
Meanwhile in the Metaverse, Venusato unveiled eight virtual designs for trending K-pop girl group Lightsome. The look realized by Web 3.0 organization BNV (Brand New Vision) as digital wearables will be sold as tokens or NFTs. Real-world and digital benefits will include exclusive show and concert access, personalized greeting videos, and previews of Vinsanto and K-pop outfit Lightsum.
The tokens drop at the end of October to coincide with the official launch of fashion dedicated metaverse BNV World.
Expect exclusive product activations, fashion shows and showrooms – both open and gated – to play wear elements and a marketplace where digital products can be bought, sold, traded, loaned or gifted within the community.
“The other metaverse is more gaming-based and lacks a fashion focus,” says BNV founder Ricard Hobbs. “We wanted to make it fashion-friendly and more social so that people can interact with each other.”
For BNV World’s Paris-based physical launch, expect a 10-day gallery takeover in partnership with Korean culture magazine K! World.
Hobbs, a Hong Kong-based apparel industry professional working in retail, distribution, product development and sourcing across Asia, is also the region licensee for the hip LA concept store Le Brea. I sat down with Hobbs and BNV Business Development Director David Giordano to find out more about the draw of Paris as a hub for both the company, investors, customers, onboarding and Web 3.0 businesses and Korean culture.
So what exactly is BNV?
Richard Hobbs: We are first and foremost a fashion company that happens to understand technology. As everyone on our front end team is from the fashion industry, we know the language and expectations of brands when it comes to loyalty. We are like a babel fish in the middle of a double edge funnel. Our task is finding the place on the slider.
Who are the investors?
Rh: Animoca Brands is our biggest inventor. They are a venture capital company that started in mobile gaming. He is the majority owner of The Sandbox and has invested $5.8 billion in over 300 blockchain related companies.
Can you check the names of some of your customers?
We’re working with CFDA for their 60th anniversary auction project, creating 3D products for brands including Tommy, Hilfiger Michael Kors Coach. We are partnering with (Paris based blockchain company) Ariane which will run the auction side. Sandbox and Polygon are also included. We are also in talks with global luxury houses, premium brands and retailers.
The adoption of Web 3.o and digital fashion for the wider population is still slow. What will speed it up?
David Giordano: This metaverse is tied to fidelity, interoperability and technologies like AI and AR that will improve clothing. As more people can flex, it will have a bigger reach.
Why did you choose Paris for your physical involvement?
Rh: Paris is a wonderful place because there is so much happening in the Web 3.0 space. Sandbox, Ariane and (start-up incubator program) Station-F are based here and LVMH is another driving force as an incubator for its own origin-based blockchain (Aura) and other technology companies. Paris is one of the largest markets for Korean culture outside Korea.