There’s money to be made in the fashion industry — but that profit is slowly moving online as digital fashion becomes more popular. Not one to miss out on the cash grab, Gucci has become the first designer brand to officially sell an NFT as part of a Christie’s auction, Vogue Business reports. Entitled “PROOF OF SOVEREIGNTY: A Curated NFT Sale by Lady PheOnix,” the NFT-specific auction contains a single work from Gucci: a fashion film co-directed by creative director Alessandro Michele and award-winning photographer and director Floria Sigismondi.
Despite the work being Gucci’s first venture into NFTs, the designer brand has already tested out digital-only fashion. Just earlier this week, Gucci sold a virtual rendering of its Dionysus bag via the online gaming platform Roblox for 350,000 Robux — roughly $4,115 — with its use limited to within the Roblox world as essentially an avatar accessory.
Tangible versions of the bag, which can be worn anywhere, usually retail for $3,400 — making this Roblox sale proof that consumers only care about an item’s exclusivity, regardless of price or practicality. Seeing as NFTs are basically rare or one-off .jpeg files, it was only a matter of time before Gucci entered the digital art market. The blockchain-linked works of art are another chance for labels to engage with their luxury-seeking consumers in a non-traditional way, The Fashion Law writes.
Gucci’s most exclusive item yet — Inspired by Gucci’s recent Aria collection and its corresponding collection film, the new NFT encapsulates the same “dream-like landscape and effervescent energy,” according to the Christie’s listing. The auction house further describes Gucci’s new offering as “speaking to Aria’s overarching message — that of a universal desire for renewal; a yearning to bloom and flourish after the shadow of winter has passed. Doors open as darkness yields to light and that long-awaited feast of air.”
The Christie’s listing also allows users to preview the NFT via a repeating 50-second clip, which shows a model — dressed in Gucci, of course — opening doors and a white horse running. Both visuals are shown in slow motion, and are accompanied by ASMR-like slow motion background noise.
Bidding for the digital work starts at $20,000, and proceeds will be donated to UNICEF USA to “support UNICEF’s role in COVAX, an initiative aimed at ensuring global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” reads Christie’s website. As of now, no bids have been placed on the “Aria” NFT, though bidding is open until June 3.