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What Is RTFKT And Why Did Nike Buy Them?

In the first issue of the year, we’re giving you the lowdown on why Nike bought digital fashion studio RTFKT.

What Is RTFKT And Why Did Nike Buy Them?

WHAT IS RTFKT?

Nike recently acquired a London-based studio for NFT’s called RTFKT (pronounced artifact). Founded in 2020, it’s caught fire in the digital goods space.

Formed by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev, their passion for playing Minecraft, watching Star Wars, and collecting Pokémon cards lead them to design luxury stores... and develop esports products, and even make logos for hip hop artists. It’s what led them to create RTFKT, born specifically for the metaverse. It’s an eclectic brand, that’s focused on being creator-led. They used the latest in-game engines, NFT, and blockchain technology... but also incorporating manufacturing expertise to create one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts.

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Where they really shine is creating viral sneaker designs, memes, and collectible exclusives. They’ve been able to maintain an incredible reputation in a short amount of time. Some virtual sneakers have sold for up to $10,000 a pair. A recent collaboration with artist Fewocious sold more than $3 million worth of digital sneakers in under seven minutes.

They’re also known for their wildly successful CloneX avatar project. It was a foundational project for RTFKT, consisting of 20,000 3D-generated NFTs. They collaborated with the famous artist Takashi Murakami, who designed the cover artwork of Kanye West’s “Graduation” album along with Supreme, Billie Eilish, and Virgil Abloh.

WHY DID NIKE BUY THEM?

Nike over the last few months has applied for several trademarks for “downloadable virtual goods,” and was one of the first brands to create a virtual world on Roblox. The brand has established a goal to have owned digital reach 40 percent of sales by 2025.

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The fashion industry has notably been against tech trends. But the industry is leaning in, and ready to take on the metaverse as a serious revenue channel by taking digital style seriously. And with the deal, Nike grabs native talent to expand and tackle their huge digital revenue goal. If Nike is able to connect digital and physical successfully and bring their most collectible and rare sneakers to NFTs, we would see immense growth from the company.

Theirs’s a continued strong interest in NFTs within fashion for 2022. Just like art, fashion apparel and sneakers would give you the ability to personalize your style in the metaverse. And this could be the beginning where brands marry digital and physical sales of the same goods and would give consumers unique ownership qualities.

All, Story of the Week

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March 28, 2022

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