In the NFT world, it can feel fatiguing — and disingenuous — to hear that anything is “the first” of its kind.
In some cases, though, that title of ‘first to do this' is legitimate and well-deserved, as in the case of DRESSX.
The virtual wearables fashion company is coming to Async Art to release the first fashion-focused Async Blueprints collection, showcasing classical work by artists Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas.
Each unique Edition — of 375 in total — are generated by mixing and matching bucket hats, sweaters, pants, and three different showroom backgrounds. Not only does the collector receive the NFT, but each is also entitled to an outfit in AR by the DRESSX app.
Plus, those lucky Legendary Edition collectors (there are three!) will also be entitled to receive an exclusive AR filter.
Read on to learn more about this project, from DRESSX team members Daria Shapovalova, Natalia Modenova, and Viktoriya Melnikova. The following is a written interview, edited for clarity.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. What was the vision for DRESSX upon conception? What prompted you to move into the NFT space?
Daria: After 15 years in the traditional fashion industry, we realized that we want to contribute to its significant shift to a more sustainable, affordable, and digital future. Barclays Bank research has shown to customers in some developed countries only buy new clothes to make a picture for their social media only to return them later, and while we genuinely share the beauty and excitement that physical fashion creates, we believe that technology can become a solution to producing less, enhancing creativity, and solving the numerous problems that traditional fashion has been facilitating over the years.
Natalia Modenova: When launching DRESSX in Summer 2020, we were choosing our path: secure and transparent distribution of the digital fashion assets on chain as NFTs or as a user-friendly and easy-to-use ecommerce experience for the customers and the first adopters of digital fashion.
As our goal is to digitally dress up a billion people, we selected the user-friendly route with the plan to launch on-chain distribution down the way. The rapid growth of the interest in NFTs in the end of 2020 and in the beginning of 2021 sped up this evolution and we’ve done multiple drops and partnerships in the NFT space, including ones with Crypto.com, Foundation, Engine, Binance, Counter Strike, Atari, The Fabricant, Balmain and many others within 2021.
Digital assets were in place in gaming for a while, but the game is actually changing; we’ve already become “the avatars of ourselves” via multiple social media channels, messaging, and streaming services. Digital fashion is designed to dress our digital selves, and our digital selves get more and more freedom to live and explore the metaverse.
As traceability and provenance are the key for high fashion, the implementation of NFTs and blockchain in the digital fashion will definitely drive an additional value to it.
Q: Tell us more about your history in NFTs. How has your experience been? What moments have been most significant to DRESSX?
Natalia: Crypto fashion places the highest value onto exclusivity of the artworks, creating excitement based on scarcity, appreciating the value of uniqueness, facilitating collaboration, and building like-minded communities. Distribution as an NFT opens up the new market of digital fashion luxury.
Moreover, it brings the new monetization model to the market. Fashion has never been able to reward the original creative directors in perpetuity for the heritage they’ve developed and the crypto economy, meta economy — and the distribution through the NFTs is the new business model.
Daria: While digital fashion itself has revolutionized the industry, bringing more power to the actual fashion creators, NFTs provide even more control and make the industry more fair to the artists disregarding their social or financial statuses.
Q: From where do you find your inspiration (for either branding/marketing/storytelling or for the fashion designs themselves)?
Daria: The possibilities digital fashion brings for creative expression are endless, making the digital fashion realm very appealing for both 3D, traditional fashion brands, design studios, foundations and more creative outlets. Digital fashion is an opportunity to give a second life to clothes which are sometimes unsuited for being worn in our daily lives — young designers' graduate collections, some high-fashion or couture designs. While such items could be seen as too bright and expensive for our daily lives in the real world, we can look at the clothes in a completely different way in the digital space.
Natalia: Our big aim is to provide an endless digital closet to every person in the world for their digital presence with no boundaries to express themselves creatively. Same with the creators — 3D and fashion designers — we want to empower talents and provide them with a safe place to create and grow professionally. Meta fashion creates a great opportunity for the industry to get to the next level and open new opportunities, create new markets, and integrate in a digital creative economy.
Q: What was the inspiration for your Async artwork?
Viktoriya: We’ve been inspired by the classic art and contemporary culture coming together since the very first days of DRESSX’s existence. Together with Async, we decided to reinterpret the famous artworks of Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet to fit the metaclosets of today’s generation.
Featuring some of the most recognizable paintings of all time, the NFT outfits were designed to preserve the original artistic styles and look impeccable when mixed and matched forming unique wearable art combinations.
Q: How was the creative process? We’d love some insight into the origin of this project, any obstacles you overcame, and your learnings in its creation.
Viktoriya: The creative process overtook us completely, we were so inspired by the idea of combining the art pieces together...
The main idea was to combine the artists the way they would look great in any kind of random combo. This required a bit of brainstorming (we hope it came up the best way possible). Technical requirements were clear and there were no obstacles there.
Q: What do you hope viewers gain or understand from this collection? What conversations do you hope to start?
Viktoriya: With this NFT drop, we want to bring attention to the eternal works of the classic artists and make a room for history in the metaverse. The world is evolving, and so does the communication around art and fashion. We want to show classic art in a brand new light and give it more use cases in the digital realm.
Q: What does the future of NFTs look like? What does this mean for you, for art/fashion, and for digital wearables as a whole?
Natalia: We believe that in the future every fashion brand — luxury, haute couture, streetwear, everyone — will own a digital fashion line. Same as high-fashion luxury brands have perfumes or accessories. With a difference from the physical item price point yet high precision, digital fashion will become a new way for customers to enter the high fashion world, discovering the new way to shop luxury, reducing their environmental footprint, and experiencing the same excitement from wearing designer pieces in digital.
NFTs will add yet another layer, providing a sense of belonging, scarcity effect, and a luxury feel, which would not be otherwise achieved in the digital world.
Daria: While we keep saying that metafashion will define the future of the industry, we also understand that digital fashion will never completely substitute physical clothing — at least, not in this iteration of the world’s order. While we still have physical life, we will also need to have physical clothing. At DRESSX, we aim to replace at least 1% of the traditional physical goods (150 billion items of clothes are produced every year) with the digital alternative for the cases when consumers buy clothing for content creation or their online presence, like calls and online conferences.
Q: Any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? Anything else we should know about your team, your work, or this project in particular?
Daria Shapovalova: The upcoming months are packed with events and launches for DRESSX, and although we cannot disclose all the news at this point, you can definitely expect to see DRESSX at the major fashion events, partnering with more renowned traditional brands and big stakeholders, introducing more in-house 3D fashion collections, launching new DRESSX app features, and exploring the metaverse through all the possible (and yet impossible) directions.
Natalia: Within the next month, DRESSX will introduce its own NFT marketplace, which we believe will make a big difference for the current digital fashion market; nft.dressx.com will become an ultimate destination for discovering, buying, re-selling and most importantly — wearing the NFTs; dressing feature for the photos and in AR will be available for every item and more wearable use-cases will be announced.
View the exciting Blueprints collection, available here for presale minting on Thursday, February 17, and for public minting on Friday, February 18.