Sent on September 7, 2022, 8:30 am
The metaverse is not yet an Eldorado for luxury, but the pillars of the industry continue to invest heavily there. Due to the collapse of cryptocurrencies, many observers expected a slowdown in launches in the various spaces (metaverse, sandbox) presented as the most promising. But the brands that had launched NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in 2021 did not change their strategy and continued their investments.
Despite the fluctuation of these alternative currencies, they again offered new NFT collections this summer. “A year ago, luxury was groping in the metaverse, now it stands out with cutting edge and more profitable offers,” notes one expert. According to the Dune Analytics study conducted by Noah Levine, LVMH-owned jeweler Tiffany (owner of “Les Echos”) made a notable leap this year to the highest-earning brands in this field. The American jeweler would have reached 12.6 million dollars in turnover, ahead of Gucci of little account (11.6 million dollars). Neither the jeweler nor the maison confirm the amounts of Dune Analytics. On the other hand, they don’t hide their satisfaction.
Tiffany’s place now in the high-end of the most successful brands is explained: in early August the jeweler blew up sales of CryptoPunks, one of NFT’s most popular series, by marketing the first jewel-related NFTs with a series of 250 charms at $ 50,000 each, sold out in 20 minutes. The operation should be renewed with a collection that will present “the same degree of exclusivity”.
For its part, Gucci, Kering’s flagship, has distinguished itself in the use of a dozen cryptocurrencies as a few luxury and fashion players. “Since mid-August, all Gucci stores in the US have accepted them,” says the group. Gucci also went a step further by integrating in August the Apecoin currency, created by Yuga Labs, the origin of the Bored Ape Yacht-Club, whose collection of 10,000 NFT with the image of monkeys is one of the most famous.
Prada has also just proposed a capsule collection linked to NFT which will not allow it to increase its immediate income in this area but “it is a success”. For this collection, his choice was to offer these unprecedented NFTs to his clientele. Since this summer, Balenciaga has also opened “the doors to cryptocurrency payments”. Since August, its US store network has accepted “12 cryptocurrencies”. Where do these transactions take place? Mainly in California, New York and Miami.
Finally, the latest noteworthy launch, that of Tag Heuer. Frédéric Arnault, managing director, cites “a hundred models” already sold in cryptocurrencies. The watch brand enjoyed considerable success by marketing an original watch in June. Called Connected Caliber E4, it has integrated a unique display functionality “allowing you to present for the first time on the face of a watch, an NFT of your choice”.
According to a study by Morgan Stanley, the potential of this market would be 50 billion euros for luxury by 2030. In the United States, 36% of Millennials and 23% of Generation Z already own cryptocurrencies. “Part of the young American luxury clientele perceives the metaverse as a driving force; the big brands are innovating and taking a stand, ”observes Luca Solca, Bernstein’s luxury analyst.
Prioritize the notion of rarity
“Luxury was one of the first sectors to invest in it and we are only at the beginning” estimates Mattis Meichler, director of Hash Consulting. According to him, several groups should further strengthen their investments in the ecosystem that leads to the Web3, of which the blockchain is the basis. “NFT owners, like luxury goods, have the feeling of belonging to a community, to a privileged group; the notion of rarity unites them ”, continues Mattis Meichler.
Against all odds, summer 2022 was therefore a period of overheating. New investments should also be noted. Aglaé Ventures, a venture capital firm backed by Bernard Arnault and LVMH, launched a € 100 million investment fund dedicated to Web3.0 and cryptocurrency (start-up) projects a few weeks ago.
According to Dune Analytics, Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana remains the most profitable in this new business field (with $ 25.6 million in revenues since its first launch). However, this estimate is considered a bit “overestimated” by two luxury analysts. But Dune Analytics says its collections launched since spring alone have brought in “over $ 19.8 million”. Its 2021 revenue was just over $ 5 million. “Being a forerunner is always an advantage,” recalls Luca Solca, of Bernstein.