Selfridges, a UK department store, is selling NFTs and digital fashion in its Oxford Street store in London, bringing digital goods to real-life shopping and expanding their accessibility in fashion.
The fusion of virtual and physical worlds will debut as part of a pop-up featuring artwork by Victor Vasarely and new physical pieces inspired by Victor Vasarely’s work from designer brand Paco Rabanne. The NFTs, which can be purchased using a traditional credit card through an in-store digital screen, will include digital versions of Paco Rabanne’s first dresses.
Between the 28th of January and the 12th of March, around 1,800 NFTs will be released, with prices ranging from £2,000 to more than £100,000; select Paco Rabanne NFTs will be sold alongside their physical counterparts, and the digital versions can be worn across multiple virtual platforms. Some pieces will be recreations of designs from the 1960s that were never produced. The funds raised will benefit the Fondation Vasarely Museum in Aix-en-Provence, which houses and restores works by the artist. When a customer purchases the NFT, the Substance automatically creates an NFT wallet for them, where the NFT is saved.
According to Attard, Selfridges’ project is likely to introduce new customers to the world of NFTs. “You only have the experience if you remove the words ‘NFT,’ ‘crypto,’ and ‘blockchain.’ “Even when you pay at a normal till, you have no idea how it works,” he says. According to Attard, the project also includes a virtual environment in the metaverse platform Decentraland where people can interact with patterns inspired by Vasarely, whose work feels contemporary today. Selfridges has been an early adopter of new technologies, including an October collaboration with emerging designer Charli Cohen, which included access to a virtual environment and multiple augmented reality installations.
According to Attard, Selfridges and Sebastian Manes, Selfridges’ executive buying and merchandising directors, were especially careful in understanding the opportunities in the space and developing a long-term strategy. “It’s critical to understand the space and what is possible in retail, as well as how NFTs transform the fashion experience.” Much of the work, he adds, consists in establishing an infrastructure that allows for ongoing experiences. “NFTs are more than just an eCommerce experience,” he says, adding that projects like this — which revive historic works and provide access to previously inaccessible goods and experiences, for example — demonstrate how NFTs can help showcase the culture and add more elements to fashion consumption.