To become a Vogue Business Member and receive the Technology Edit newsletter, click here.
Former Paris-based luxury boutique Colette is launching a collection of 25 unique NFTs in collaboration with cyclopean avatar project Darcel Disappoints, tapping NFTs’ ability to play into legacy and nostalgia.
Ten of the NFT collection will be auctioned on Opensea on 20 March for 48 hours, with prices to be set on Sunday. Five NFTs will be reserved as giveaways for Dour Darcels token holders, nine will be raffled exclusively available to Dour Darcels holders for 0.2 Eth, and one will be reserved for Colette. Dour Darcels are NFTs that launched last month from well-known cyclopean avatar project Darcel Disappoints, known for collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Nike. In addition to the NFT, buyers will also receive a custom Casetify phone cover with their name, token number and NFT as the artwork, along with a Dour Darcels hoodie. Rather than wearing designer fashion, the avatars are wearing blue and white Colette-branded apparel including hoodies and hats.
This isn’t the first retailer to see opportunity in the NFT space: in January, British luxury retailer Selfridges began selling NFTs in store in collaboration with artwork by Victor Vasarely and designer brand Paco Rabanne. In December, Los Angeles boutique Fred Segal displayed physical representations of popular NFT profile picture projects and artworks.
Colette’s pivot to the metaverse marks the 25th anniversary of the boutique’s opening, and 10 years since its first collaboration with Darcel — an exhibition including 150 avatar portraits of influential figures including Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and Steve Jobs. Since then, the two entities have collaborated on various projects including a joint collection for Ikea. This NFT project offers the chance to tap into the store’s nostalgia by potentially appealing to those who remember its status as a cult destination for trendy fashion. Historical archives have emerged as a compelling reservoir for fashion’s metaverse experiments: Karl Lagerfeld’s photographic archives were registered on the Lukso blockchain; and Sergio Rossi has digitised some archival designs (not as NFTs). As early as 2019, an experimental London pop-up offered digital fashion inspired by historical David Bowie looks.
“Dour Darcels wouldn’t be what it is today without Colette. As long-time collaborators — and friends — we’re thrilled to be working together again,” Craig Redman, the artist behind the project, told Vogue Business. “This has been a joy to work on, bringing a piece of Darcel’s history to web3.”
Colette, founded by mother-daughter duo Colette Rousseaux and Sarah Andelman in 1997, was considered the first concept store, known for its strong cultural reputation, fusing fashion, lifestyle and art, and also held concerts and exhibitions. The boutique was also one of the earliest to embrace streetwear.
In January, Andelman returned to retail after stepping back following Colette’s closure. She launched Just a Space, a pop-up store that mixed fashion with art and food, to coincide with Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.
Comments, questions or feedback? Email us at [email protected].