With each minting, each drop, each avatar dressed in a digital garment backed by a non-fungible token, the worlds of the metaverse and the physical world keep getting closer.
Last week, MNTGE, the digital fashion house launched last year on the idea of photographing real-world vintage clothing kept in a Southern California warehouse and feeding those images into Web3, took its next step with the launch of the MNTGE + Sean Wotherspoon collection.
This “custom token-gated experience” allows users to unlock trunks to reveal one of four digital vintage garments that also exist in the physical world. One is a ’70s jean, another a thrashed denim jacket from at least the ’70s. A third is a “Granny Sweater” which features a mock neck, turtleneck, and boat neck all in one. The fourth, titled “The Beach Tee,” is a vintage shirt depicting a sunset surrounded by Saturn’s rings.
Also in the trunk are three “inks” that will allow users to participate in the design of their digital and, eventually, physical garments.
“Each of those pieces of apparel and those ink bottles have different rarities and different stories to tell,” MNTGE co-founder Nick Adler told Sourcing Journal. “Then there will be a two-week holding period where people can decide if they want to keep their wardrobe piece or they want to trade it or they want to acquire more and more of the inks and kind of create a treasury. Then on the fifth of April, you’ll be able to then come back to what we’re calling our ‘factory’ and you’ll be able to then play with those different pieces and blend them together and create what are the more dynamic digital assets.”
Though Adler is fluent in metaverse fashion, Web3 is still a foreign concept to many people in the U.S.
A study published by Ipsos in January of 2022 revealed that 38 percent of U.S. survey takers claims to be very or somewhat familiar with the metaverse, but only 16 percent—and only 42 percent of those claiming knowledge about it—selected from a multiple choice the correct description of it as “a virtual, computer-generated world where people can socialize, work and play.”
To help bridge that education gap, the documentary series “Let’s Form Group” created by Collab.Land launched last week Tuesday an 8-minute, 14-second exploration into the daily life and work of the MNTGE team.
In the film, self-described “big dreamer” Wotherspoon is seen obsessing over a pair of vintage jeans and jean jacket in the new collection.
“It’s not every day you see a hoodie on an avatar that’s fraying,” Wotherspoons says in the film. “It shows you wore this and created a story with it. We need to bring this to life through Web3.”
Adler notes that he, as well as the third co-founder, Brennan Russo, help bring more down-to-earth attributes to the team alongside Wotherspoon, who has been creative director on projects with Adidas, Nike, Porsche, Asics, Guess, and Vespa.
“Sean really is the big thinker and when it comes to style and fashion and what the youth and Gen Z want to purchase, he’s ahead,” said Adler, describing Wotherspoon as “a real collector.”
The documentary closes with Adler questioning the public’s continued skepticism toward blockchain and cryptocurrency.
“The sooner we drop the word ‘NFT’ it will be integrated into our lives and it becomes this toolset. This is going to be the biggest, most massive transition that we’ve experienced,” Adler said as the film credits roll.
Adler hopes MNTGE’s next step will help familiarize people with what Web3 is all about.
“It’s just gotta be simpler,” Adler said. “I think NFTs is a bad word.” He suggests that people who aren’t convinced they need the metaverse should just give it a try. “You don’t have to use it for the purposes of trading jpeg cartoons, use it for the purposes of enhancing your life the same way you would any other technology, right?’” he said.
As for last week’s launch, Adler hopes that 65 to 70 percent of the more than 1,000 people who own their digital trunks will begin opening them and discussing and exchanging their pieces on social media.
“We’d love to see some kind of real collector conversation around the product, and then we want to keep the energy and momentum towards where you can blend these together and start to create your own digital clothing,” Adler said. “And we want to continue to storytell so that when we release our physical product that our core collector base [is] the first to acquire it, but we can build an on-trend brand that lives on in the Web3 toolset.”