Adidas Originals have unveiled its debut collection of blockchain-based virtual wearables, as it looks to strengthen its “community-based, member-first,” open metaverse strategy.
Housed under a new ‘Virtual Gear’ product category, the 16-piece limited collection of virtual wearables will be released as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on adidas.com/metaverse. The collection was developed by the brand’s /// Studio (Three Stripes Studio) and aims to bring together its “past and future, virtual and physical, communities and creators, culture and identity”.
Commenting on the launch, vice president of the Adidas /// studio (‘Three Stripes Studio’), Erika Wykes-Sneyd, said in a statement: “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.
“I love the opportunity this collection represents for our most engaged community of holders. Every capsule holder has a choice at launch – burn and express their virtual identity with Adidas’ first ‘Virtual Gear’ collection, or list and allow others to join this community.”
Adidas targets a “community-based, member-first” open metaverse strategy
Each of the pieces in the NFT wearables collection has been designed to be worn by virtual avatars, explains Adidas, and are accessible through a PFP dressing tool, as well as interoperable with other identity-based projects and worlds. This means that the Adidas collection can respond and adapt to the metaverse environments being built, “so that the ‘Virtual Gear’ is ready for all frontiers of Web3”.
Wykes-Sneyd added: “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.
“No matter what, no matter where – Adidas is synonymous with the boundary breakers. Now, in whatever realities they choose to inhabit.”
The collection includes a series of “disruptive designs,” including a retro classic ‘C2172′ top built for the year 2172, an iridescent, crystal-like ‘Space Crystal’ hoodie with the Adidas logo, and reflective red and green ‘P.F.D – Personal Flotation Device’ puffer coat.
There is also the ‘Neobone’ jacket inspired by Adidas’ rubberised sole pattern of its Superstar silhouette and a playful ‘Wallrunner’ textural design crafted from Adidas Original’s trefoil in the form of stuffed animals.
In addition, there are also three limited edition creator-led wearables, each representing the creative flair of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Gmoney, and Punks Comics.
Owners of the Adidas Originals: Capsule NFT Collection, which was launched in May 2022 as part of one of the largest NFT Airdrop in history, have been allocated pieces at random. This means they can either reveal and replace their Capsule NFT by agreeing to ‘burn’ it or sell it on NFT marketplaces.
For those who don’t currently hold an Adidas Originals: Capsule NFT, the new ‘Virtual Gear’ collection will be available to purchase directly on NFT marketplaces. As an added benefit, community members who hold a virtual wearable NFT and a compatible partner collection NFT (BAYC, MAYC, Inhabitants) will be able to utilise a PFP Tool, coming soon, to ‘dress up’ their NFT with their Adidas virtual wearable.
Nic Galway, senior vice president of creative direction for Adidas Originals, added: “As a brand, Adidas has always been about exploring the edges of creativity and pushing the boundaries to find what’s beyond. 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.
“Creatively, we’re extremely proud to say that this virtual collection represents more than just a historic first for adidas. It also represents an idea of wearable clothing that can transcend time and space, a community that is vividly diverse, and a level of utility that can be explored and even discovered as worlds and avatars take new forms.”