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Gap Debuts Dapper Dan-Approved NFT Designs

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Gap is venturing deeper into the metaverse, and it’s taking Harlem-based designer and Spring 2022 campaign star Dapper Dan with it.

On Saturday, the apparel company held a 48-hour auction of NFTs designed in collaboration with the designer. The NFT collection featured both a digital and physical offering, including a one-of-a-kind digital varsity jacket designed by Dapper Dan and a special-edition physical version he signed.

The auction opened on the same day as non-profit advocacy organization Fifteen Percent Pledge’s first annual benefit in New York City. All proceeds raised from the auction will be donated to the organization through its fiscal sponsor the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, supporting Gap Inc.’s commitment to create access and opportunities for the Black community by increasing its pipeline programs by 15 percent. The auction raised 1,400 tez (about $5,200).

The collection marks Dapper Dan’s first venture into NFTs. Gap featured the designer in its Spring 2022 campaign in March, where he was included alongside 12 other multi-hyphenate creatives advocating for social justice, environmentalism and women’s rights causes. As part of the campaign, Dapper Dan launched a limited-edition logo hoodie featuring the words “Dap Gap.”

“NFTs are a huge part of what’s shaping culture right now,” the designer said. “From analog to the metaverse, I am excited for the opportunity to explore this space with Gap and bring the newly hyped Dap Gap hoodie to a whole new audience.”

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In January, Gap debuted a four-level NFT offering of digital hoodies in collaboration with apparel brand Frank Ape. Levels included Common, Rare, Epic and One of a Kind, and each level above Common could only be unlocked with the purchase of the previous, adding a gamification element to the offering.

Gap rolled out a similar structure for the Dapper Dan NFT collection following the auction, with Common available to the public on April 5 for 2 tez (approximately $7); Rare available on April 7 to those who have purchased a minimum of four Common NFTs for 10 tez ($51); and Epic available on April 12 to those who have purchased at least two Rare NFTs for 100 tez ($325). The One of a Kind NFT was sold at Saturday’s auction.

The limited-edition digital collectibles are available to shop exclusively on Gap’s website on their respective day, and are available on a first come, first served basis. Those who collected Frank Ape NFTs will be rewarded with NFTs from this collection throughout the week.

Along with the drop, Gap is offering customers a chance to connect through a new Discord server, which can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads. Discord is an instant messaging and digital distribution platform that allows users to communicate using voice calls, video calls and text messaging. Brands are establishing Discord channels for their customers to cultivate a community of likeminded individuals and boost engagement.

Gap is one of many brands recently moving to the metaverse with top influencers. Heritage denim brand Wrangler dropped an exclusive NFT and physical offering made in collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Leon Bridges. The debut included a two-part NFT drop under the name “Mr. Wrangler” that centered on a denim suit specially designed for Bridges.

And the metaverse is only gaining in popularity. In March, Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform, hosted the first Metaverse Fashion Week with more than 60 luxury and digital brands bringing presentations, concerts, after-parties and more to the virtual world. Tommy Hilfiger, Mango and Imitation of Christ were some of the brands showcasing their digital collections.