adidas Originals is launching its first collection of NFT digital wearables. The 16-piece limited edition collection marks the launch of a new adidas Originals product category the brand is dubbing “Virtual Gear”
“We’re laying down a marker in this new age of originality – one that unquestionably serves the community, heroes the purveyors and collectors of emerging style and culture, benefits the value creators, and supports the diversity of expression and utility that blurring virtual worlds has allowed us all to explore,” VP of the adidas /// studio (Three Stripes Studio’, Erika Wykes-Sneyd said in a statement.
The release follows a teaser campaign with the adidas Discord community and it’s also community that is central to the adidas strategy.
WHO CAN WEAR THIS FIRST ADIDAS VIRTUAL GEAR COLLECTION?
Next week adidas will release a PFP dressing tool enabling this first edition of the adidas Virtual Gear collection to be worn by PFP avatars from compatible partner collections — first up Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Inhabitants.
However although it’s previously been possible to ‘burn’ virtual clothing onto a PFP as a permanent addition, the real gamechanger here is that the new PFP dressing tool will allow users to change their PFP’s outfits just as they can with regular avatars like Ready Player Me versions.
Going forward expect further PFP and avatar communities to be integrated into the interoperable system.
“With our community and creator ecosystem at the core, adidas will explore every viable utility, platform, and experience within Web3 to unlock new possibilities for our wearables, with a focus on tangible value and immutable utility for our community members,” Wykes-Sneyd added.
Community has been integral to adidas’ Web3 strategy from the get-go — in January it created a community generated NFT with Prada and artist Zach Liberman who tiled entries from 3000 participants into one giant NFT artwork. While this was auctioned for charity, a percentage also reverted to those 3000 creators.
HOW TO OWN A PIECE FROM THE VIRTUAL GEAR CAPSULE
Owners of the adidas Originals: Capsule NFT Collection (24,280 in total), which was launched in May 2022, will each be allocated a randomized piece from the new Virtual Gear collection for free. However, they won’t know which one unless they choose to ‘burn’ their Capsule NFT — essentially switching it for a piece from the Virtual Gear collection of digital wearables. FYI they can also hold onto their capsule without burning it and wait for Phase 3…
For those who don’t own the original adidas Originals: Capsule NFT, pieces from the Virtual Gear collection will be available to buy at secondary market on on Opensea.
THE COLLECTION IN DETAIL
All creative takes on the adidas DNA, the pieces in the Virtual Gear capsule comprise jackets or hoodies of some description with WALLRUNNER quilted jackets made of 3D layered trefoils made of toweling, inflatable style PFD (That’s Personal Flotation Device) puffers and the NEOBONE tops inspired by the rubberized sole pattern of the adidas Superstar sneaker.
“As a brand, adidas has always been about exploring the edges of creativity and pushing the boundaries to find what’s beyond,” said Nic Galway, Senior VP of Creative Direction for adidas Originals. “But Web3 offers our designers and collaborators a new outlet to imagine, and reimagine, how our brand can be represented in augmented and virtual worlds.
It should also be mentioned that the detail on the 3D wearables’ is highly impressive. While accessories are generally easier to render, any 3D designer will tell you that materials —such as toweling or anything more textured for that matter — are notoriously difficult to make realistic.
Three out of the 16 piece limited edition NFT wearables collection are nods to adidas’ earliest Web3 partners Bored Ape Yacht Club, GMoney and Punks Comics — highlighting their ongoing collaboration. The BAYC trait pieces are fluffy red balaclava hoodies and the Punks Comic leather biker jackets. The GMoney pieces are black puffer jackets. Each is cobranded with the insignia of both the parters.
While Adidas hasn’t released the numbers, these three partner trait NTFs are the rarest of all with the Bored Ape Yacht Club red hoodie set to be the Web3 equivalent of the mythological Golden Fleece.