For large fashion houses, archives are very important. They serve as living documentation of the house’s history, inspire future collections and designers, and can be worth a lot of money to collectors.
As such, fashion houses spend a lot of time, effort, and money on creating and preserving their archives. But for Spanish fashion house Paco Rabanne, maintaining its archives has proven to be an expensive and complicated affair. In response to this, the brand is turning to the metaverse and launching an NFT collection in collaboration with Selfridges.
A (Digital) Piece of Fashion History
This new collection is slated to drop on April 12, 2022, and will feature 56 dress NFTs in total. The pieces, which start at $780, will be based on 12 vintage pieces from the designer’s 1966 collection.
The “12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials” will include a bustier gown, a chainmail dress, and so on. Many of the real-life pieces that the NFTs are based on are difficult and expensive to find and are also mostly impractical to wear. In the metaverse, however, there is a more realistic use for them.
The sale will hold in a digital experience specifically designed for the Selfridges site. The profits from this sale will be used to maintain and curate the official Paco Rabanne archives. This will include the house buying back some of the original clothing pieces, sketches, video content, and so on.
The clothes will also enjoy improved storage and preservation as a result.
Fashion of the Future
While a lot of the applications of NFTs seem to be in gaming and art, the fashion world is also embracing this new technology. For fashion lovers, it can be a way to digitally get their hands on a piece from their favourite house from wherever they are in the world.
For Paco Rabanne specifically, this is as much a move towards modernisation as it is the preservation of its archives. The house has been working for years towards appealing to a new generation and thriving in the new fashion era.
As Nadia Dhouib, Paco Rabanne’s general manager, explains, “With this activation, Paco Rabanne wanted to share its know-how, its history and its values with a new audience. These 12 NFTs are a way to… celebrate the creativity from our archives in a modern way.”
Conveniently, there is a noted interest in vintage pieces among millennial and Gen Z buyers and NFTs can easily fit into this. Considering that they are also the biggest buyers of crypto and NFTs, collections that allow them to buy vintage in a digital form are the best of both worlds.
Dhouib has expressed similar sentiments ahead of the launch, saying, “It’s our role to cherish and to inspire the new generation. Selling archive pieces as NFTs to cherish the past feels very natural, almost like a virtuous circle.”
Should this collection be as much of a success as the brand is banking on, we could see even more in the future.