Evening Standard x Phillips for London Fashion Week proudly present Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones with Kai Isaiah Jamal and music by UNKLE feat. Kai Isaiah Jamal , ‘Brave New World’.
WTF IS AN NFT?
NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’, a unit of one-of-a-kind data that cannot be exchanged, divided or duplicated, unlike cryptocurrencies that can be traded or mined. They are, however, purchased with cryptocurrencies, using blockchain technology to keep the data secure as they’re traded. While you can technically copy the content of NFTs, their value comes from the fact they are the originals, each given an ID code to prove authenticity.
Struggling to wrap your head around the lingo? Think of it in terms of the prints you can buy at Tate’s gift shops. You can take home a duplicate of Hockney’s The Splash for 30 quid, but you’ll need to multiply that figure by about a million to get your hands on the original canvas. NFTs are the digital version of that canvas; without that precious code, their content devalues to less than a piece of paper.
The NFT version of this issue’s cover is a 30-second video on loop, but anything that exists digitally can be minted and traded as one. Twitter’s founder sold his first-ever tweet for a cool £2.1m; Paris Hilton teamed up with artist Blake Kathryn to flog digital artwork Iconic Crypto Queen for£795,000; NFTs of viral moments such as the Disaster Girl meme and YouTube classic Charlie Bit Me earned about £290,250 and £549,860, respectively.
But the NFT game isn’t just for tech bros and savvy celebs. It has the potential to change the worlds of fashion and art, decentralising and democratising the industries. The drop in traditional assets such as oil, gold and stocks during the pandemic saw investors diversify their portfolios, says Charlotte Stewart, managing director of MyArtBroker: ‘We’ve had almost a 200 per cent increase in new investor enquiries in the past 18 months.’
NFTs are also being touted by some as the future of sustainable fashion, as brands explore the potential of digital clothing. Companies such as LA-based DressX create hyper-real cyber fashions that might be impossible to replicate IRL. Last month, it launched a partnership with leading NFT trading platform Crypto.com, also offering digitised versions of Off-White, Balenciaga and Nanushka collections for pre-order. Hold on to your bitcoins. The crypto catwalk has arrived.
Artwork by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones
Stylist’s assistants: Raphael Del Bono and Maddy Havican.
Hair stylist’s assistants: Claire Moore and Mee Kyung Kim Porter.
Production by Daphne Do at W&N Studio.
Post production: W&N Studio Digital. High-detail 3D avatar & clothing by FBFX Digital.
BTS Photographer/ production: Benny Johnson
With special thanks to FBFX