NFT: NEW FASHION TECHNOLOGY

BY REMI ZELIN

Do you ever find yourself wondering how to get involved with the digital world? Trying to figure out what the Metaverse actually is? Or what an NFT is?

In short, an NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital asset that you can purchase ownership of and can then not be copied. The Metaverse is essentially an immersive virtual reality in which you can buy and sell items (the NFTs). This technology has become so prominent that it has transcended the boundaries of the fashion industry.

Australian designer Dion Lee has taken this event and created their first digital clothing collection “Dion Lee Code: Façade”, altering how we view reality, identity, and expression. Turning garments into genderless NFTs, the new collection is available for wear in the metaverse technology Web 3.0. Known for his futuristic, experimental designs, Lee continues to expand his progressive influence through jumping into alternative realities. Working with mastermind NFT artist Sam Walker, the pair created two looks using five digital garments. Alongside were creative agency MA+Creative and NFT marketplace Bubblehouse, which is where consumers can purchase the digital garments.

Each look explores the concept of constructed identity and playfully pushes against the constraints of reality. The first look is a milky white three piece outfit, made up of the Dion Lee Silicone Wave Lace Frock Coat, Contour Corset, and Contour Pant. And the second is a cobalt blue Dion Lee Y-Front Lace Mask Hooded Tank and matching Blueprint Denim Pants. The digital garments can be purchased as completed looks or individually, each NFT ranging in price and accessibility. The rarest of the codes, “Code 00”, goes for $4000 and only has 5 editions available. The individual items, however, are slightly more attainable with 75 editions of each garment going for $150 apiece.

As Lee mentioned in his interview with Jing Meta, a sector of a Chinese luxury business publication, the collection, “...opens up possibilities of exploration. We can have avatars that are free from gender limitations and restrictions.” Keeping with this limitless opportunity, the semi-sheer lace face coverages that conceal gender identity further the collection’s concept of a “facade”. The unisex articles use the vague transparency to portray realism in this anonymous realm.

With each NFT purchase, the owner then gets utilities and benefits. Utilities include genuine ownership of the digital garment, 1 year access to Dion Lee NYFW runway shows, VIP personal styling appointments with Dion Lee themself, an invitation to exclusive events, limited edition Dion Lee CODE merchandise, access to the next NFT drop, and membership to the Dion Lee CODE web3 community. Benefits then range from Exclusive Collector’s Clubs to music by Iranian-Dutch singer-songwriter Sevdaliza with her song “System” from her new album “Raving Dahlia”. The music incorporates an auditory feature to this digital experience, and provides itself as a “sonic escape” from our true existence.

The efforts of people from all sides of the business, retail, entertainment and technology industries came together to create these digital masterpieces. The wearable, digital outfits are sparking interest for other designers and artists to follow Lee into the metaverse, encouraging expansion into the boundless digital world and changing how fashion can be created and consumed.

As a designer and a brand, Dion Lee is making waves in the fashion and metaverse spaces, transforming the qualities of luxury, disrupting the limits of fashion, reshaping the perception of identities, and combining contemporary concepts from various realms of life.