In the world of crypto-native fashion, Gmoney needs no introduction. With 9dcc, the luxury brand launched by the pseudonymous businessman in August 2022, he successfully combines luxury physical fashion and Web3. In the process, he created a new generation model that became an industry benchmark.
On Wednesday afternoon, in the French capital during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, gmoney launched an exclusive limited edition collaboration along with streetwear pioneer Jeff Staple—who has his own Web3 game in the digital world, Stapleverse.
Each of the 250 9dcc x Stapleverse baseball caps (redeemable via NFT) features the Stapleverse signature pigeon emblem in an understated tone-on-tone embroidery on the front, with co-branded metal hardware logos on the sides.
It should be following-style stealth luxury if it weren’t for the funny edge detail that resembles a splatter of pigeon poo.
“In its simplest form, it’s a beautiful hat,” Staple said Decrypt. “But there’s a ton of technology buried inside.”
The highly connected cap integrates 9dcc’s Networked Product technology through an embedded NFC chip, opening up interactive experiences within the ecosystem of both brands through gamification and rewards.
Each cap also comes with a digital wearable that can be worn by Stapleverse Sapienz characters. This facility is operated by Ethereum ERC-6551 technology developed by Staple’s team in collaboration with Future Primitive, which allows NFTs to “hold” other NFTs internally. It also allows for “digital signatures” for connected fashion.
“It’s like if you go up to someone like LeBron James and have him sign your jersey,” gmoney said, using a real-world parallel to drive home the concept. In this case, gmoney or Staple can provide a digital signature through the smartphone app, which is then tied to the token associated with the connected garment.
The launch event took place at Staple’s Paris pop-up restaurant, which ran during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in collaboration with three local eateries: Mao Corp dumpling bar, Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Miznon, and Jajaja Mexican taqueria.
The idea is in line with the 9dcc treasure hunt that gmoney ran at NFT NYC in April, which started at his favorite warehouse in the East Village.
“Instead of doing a fashion show or a showroom where we work our asses off for 12 hours, we decided to do a place where people can come and hang out,” Staple said.
Actually, it’s in the pop-up VIP section above Decrypt sat down with gmoney for an in-depth conversation about the connected future of the luxury fashion industry, and the importance of combining state-of-the-art blockchain technology with this kind of experience in community embedded in the story.
The thought leader describes how its integration with the blockchain gives rise to a new era and changes the concept of luxury.
According to gmoney, one aspect of particular value for the fashion industry emerging from Web3 is the latter’s focus on the aforementioned community and experience—with the consumer being “part of the process as opposed to just being sold.”
“I think that’s very powerful, and thatto me, is the definition of new luxury,” he said.
While he acknowledges, of course, that the quality of workmanship and product is paramount, luxury is also about “creating a unique experience on top,” he says.
As evidenced by the POAP functionality-that is, the ability to obtain a ticket stub-like NFT for attending events-which is integral to its own 9dcc brand, using technology to encourage those people to connect in real life is the key.
“The most amazing part of the human experience is connection,” says gmoney, “whether that’s a significant relationship or even a casual hello. That’s what POAPs allow us to do.”
“They allow you to put that human element in the chain to remember your interactions in a digital environment,” he continued. “That is the essence of what we do here. I strive to build a community of like-minded individuals — early adopters who want to push technology forward.
The block element means that the power rests with the community without their data being held by social media behemoths. The gamification of this experience through challenges and rewards, as demonstrated by initiatives such as his bodega treasure hunt, allows the shopper to become part of the story and storytelling alike.
“Storytelling is essential to any brand selling a vision,” says gmoney. “For thousands of years, we’ve connected through storytelling. That’s what stories are—understanding things through a story.”
“When people see a brand with similar values, they want to engage and be a part of it,” he added. “They’re like, ‘I really know this, so I like it.’”
Louis Vuitton takes the lead
The conversation turned to Louis Vuitton’s Web3 “Via” debut and how it compares to its competitors’ strategies. The luxury giant recently launched a limited number of tokenized “Treasure Trunks” for €39,000 (about $42,700) each, promising exclusive benefits and experiences alongside one of the physical trunks.
“From the outside looking in, it’s very on brand, very Vuitton,” gmoney said.
“I also think it’s great that it’s shown in the main louisvuitton.com website and users were not directed to some random place,” he said, describing how some traditional brands are reluctant to push their on-chain efforts outside the Web3 community.
Staple agreed. “While other brands have just dipped their toe into Web3, Louis Vuitton is all in,” he said, “which is an important sign.”
Case in point: Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton debut show on Tuesday in Paris featured an orange Speedy colorway (the Via Speedy 40), available only to holders of the Maison’s Via Treasure Trunk tokens.
.@Pharrell absolutely stunned by her LV debut.
An exclusive bag for VIA Trunk holders was unveiled, while Pharrell himself wore an all-pixel fit.
This is a time to celebrate. I have never been more excited about the future. Web3 has never looked SO GOOD!!! pic.twitter.com/zNLu2HJQZj
— seedphrase (@seedphrase) June 21, 2023
While it’s gmoney integral to Adidas’ Web3 playhe is also an “unofficial Prada ambassador,” or as he describes it, “a friend of the brand.”
“Luxury homes play an important role in cultural development,” he said. “It’s interesting to know how these brands approach everything they do. They have to be on top of what’s happening, but also be true to themselves and their brand — protecting it at all costs and don’t just jump on a trend because it’s popular.
And if he has any advice for luxury homes looking at the connected opportunity that Web3 provides?
“I think every brand has to come up with a unique approach that speaks to them,” gmoney said. “Now is not the time to rush, like people did in 2021. It’s about being true to their heritage and their brand, taking their time, and being thoughtful about how they do it.”
Looking ahead, he is adamant about “the intersection of physical and digital aspects, and that it is no longer a matter of either/or.”
“I think there’s a lot more ‘interwovenness’ going on in content,” he concluded. “And that’s where we’re trying to position 9dcc.”