The IoDF are sending a Thierry Mugler-esque NFT down the LUKSO blockchain

In 2021 the internet rebranded itself as the metaverse as big tech began to hawk a hybrid future where any digital and physical borders would glitch themselves into oblivion. As crypto-nerds spoke endlessly about the blockchain and Ethereum, the CEO of Balenciaga even announced that the label had established a metaverse department manned by a hundred engineers. So, like it or lump it looks as though the “metaverse” is a permanent thing, which means we are all going to have to get accustomed to, and stop being rude about, non-fungible tokens. 

At the forefront of all of this is the Institute of Digital Fashion, a disruptive, if not lovingly loud-mouthed, start-up, incubating the future of fashion. Since they joined forces back in 2019, Catty Taylor and Leanne Elliot-Young, IoDF’s Edina and Patsy, have accrued a catalogue of “firsts”. There was an immersive AR experience at London Fashion Week, their research on virtual inclusivity and diversity, and now, they have launched the world’s debut red carpet NFT. 

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The duo first hatched their creation on a bitingly cold November evening as they heckled celebrities making their way into the Fashion Awards. There, poised and ready on the Royal Albert Hall’s red carpet, Taylor and Elliot-Young filmed Kristen McMenamy, Leomie Anderson, Evan Mock, and Kehlani as they stepped into otherworldly AR looks. Reminiscent of both Mewtwo from Pokémon and Thierry Mugler couture, the designs are being sold as three distinct NFTs in partnership with The Dematerialised. Meta-Fashion Onyx, Meta-Fashion Opal, Meta-Fashion Obsidian, and Meta-Fashion Crystal go from €25 to €5000, with the colourways and possibilities of use increasing with price. 

True to IoDFs commitment to fusing the URL and IRL, whoever secures Meta-Fashion Obsidian and Meta-Fashion Crystal will also be treated to lunch and virtual fittings. “The fact that our NFT asset is an industry first is an exciting proposition,” says Catty. “NFTs are making history, disrupting and decentralising the landscape of art and culture through crypto and blockchain.” And, according to IoDF, the commotion surrounding NFTs is well warranted. “There’s a buzz right now for all the right reasons. It’s a space where the control is given back to creators and designers. It shouldn’t be seen by brands as a fleeting trend to cross off of their “to-do list” so they can still stay relevant. Authenticity is key in exploring these spaces and it is clear that there is still a long way to go. To invest in NFTs is to buy the art, the craft, an artisan, and their story.”

“NFTs and digital fashion are the perfect pairing, there are endless opportunities within this space,” Elliot-Taylor adds. “Our discourse at IoDF is about changing the system, we are an emblem for change, we believe in a future where NFTs are championed, where they go beyond the buzz and become an integral part of the infrastructure of our industry”. IoDF and The Dematerialised will be launching their NFTs on LUKSO, an energy efficient blockchain, at 7pm GMT tonight.