• Ownable
  • Posts
  • #27: Sneakerheads Are Fashion Collectibles' Only Hope

#27: Sneakerheads Are Fashion Collectibles' Only Hope

Also: Creators Getting into Private Equity Deals

Happy Thursday! Welcome to Ownable, a weekly newsletter on the ownership economy and onchain creators of the new internet. Human-curated & opinionated.

My last week’s vacation break means we’re returning this week with an extended issue.

Today's write-up is 982 words, a 3-minute read.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here. 

How Fashion NFTs Fizzled (Business of Fashion)

Fashion’s NFT collections have shared a similar trajectory: They launched with a lot of hype, but then enthusiasm quickly faded: “One thing [brands] have not been able to do, despite the involvement of some of fashion’s biggest names, is create NFTs that buyers adopt as a high-priced profile picture to represent them online (…)” Today, brands haven’t given up on NFTs (but instead market them as digital goods), but they’re looking for more practical uses for the technology such as supply chains, loyalty programs and digital twins.

Despite the article above, Puma is still enthusiastic about using blockchain technology to reach a new type of virtual consumer in the metaverse. The company is particularly focused on the product testing function of NFTs, the parallels between sneakerhead and NFT communities, and giving collectible holders concrete uses and utility.

Pilates creator Cassey Ho who started her career on YouTube in 2009 and eventually hit 9M subscribers, transitioned to selling merchandise. Today, she runs two brands that employ over 60 people and generate $20M+ sales (ad sponsorships constitute <1% of her income). Her biggest challenge? Dupes from Shein and Amazon, and a need to figure out legal IP protection for her designs.

Funded with a $63M raise and backed by industry powerhouse Quincy Jones, OneOf made waves in the music world, partnering with iHeart Radio, the Grammys, and WMG. Today, NFT collectors and investors are alleging failure to follow through on key promises, community support, and transparent communications.

Sponsored deals aren't the only way influencers can make money working with brands. The Newcastle Network, a private-equity firm, is tapping creators as investors for DTC brands by commissioning market research with their audiences, bringing other influencers as co-investors, and hiring them as permanent marketing partners.

Grimes, a famed electronic music artist, shared she’s “sad about what happened to NFTs and crypto, because it got polluted fast with people trying to make as much money as possible. But I do want to think about compensating artists, especially digital artists.” Ironically, her 2021 NFT collection earned her more money ($5.8M) than her entire music career. She admitted it was her brother who “(…) had a real vision, and we wound up doing one of the first big ones. It did actually change my life.” 

PayPal has added a new cryptocurrency to its roster: PayPal USD. The online payments service became the first major U.S. financial company to launch its own U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin.

In July, NFT sales totaled $495.6 million, down 23% from $646.1 million in June, according to data from NFT aggregator CryptoSlam. This marks the fifth consecutive month of NFT sales falling since February, when the sector saw sales hit $1.2 billion.

(…) other market participants point to a broader problems within the NFT space that go beyond the cyclicality of the market and explain its current woes. Those collectors and investors told The Block that the industry needs to witness a fundamental pivot before prices and activity return to levels seen in the previous cycle.

How did you like this post?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Question, feedback, or collab? Send me a note.

Author Bio

Kuba Szewczyk is an NFT Product Strategy Lead at ConsenSys, helping build NFT tools for creators and brands. He previously worked at Bain & Co. Digital Assets and earned Harvard MBA.

Join the conversation

or to participate.