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Selfridges steps into metaverse with ‘over the counter’ NFTs

By Huw Hughes

Jan 14, 2022

Fashion

Image: Selfridges store, courtesy of Jason Alden

Selfridges is the latest fashion company to step into the metaverse as it announces it has begun selling NFTs in its physical stores.

The iconic British department store chain says it is the first retailer in the world to sell fixed-price NFTs over the counter.

The company will sell over 1,800 NFTs ranging from around 2,000 pounds to over 100,000 pounds at its London store’s Corner Shop.

The move comes as a part of ‘Universe’, a “major multi-dimensional project” launched on Thursday by Selfridges in partnership with Fondation Vasarely and French fashion house Paco Rabanne.

The NFTs will feature either artwork by Op Art movement pioneer Victor Vasarely or one of the first 12 iconic dresses ever created by Paco Rabanne, called the ‘Unwearables’.

Sebastian Manes, Selfridges’ executive buying and merchandising director, said: “As Selfridges looks to the future, we continue to find inspiration in the past. In the case of Victor Vasarely and Paco Rabanne, we have more than fifty years of proposals for the future to explore.

“I love the idea of bringing Vasarely’s art to a social space like Selfridges - alongside the distinct identity of Paco Rabanne - and using their vision as a way to bring emotion, connection and accessibility to the experience.”

The rise of NFTs in fashion

NFTs, which are ‘one-of-a-kind’ digital assets that can be bought and sold online, have taken the world - and the fashion industry - by storm in recent months.

In the past few weeks alone, fashion heavyweights like Boohoo, Adidas, Karl Lagerfeld and Harvey Nichols have all launched NFT collections.

The NFT space, and the wider metaverse, offer new and exciting prospects for the fashion industry.

And while it remains uncertain just much value they will have in the future, it is understandable why brands are racing to enter into the space so early, with many considering the metaverse to be the successor to the current internet era.

In December, sportswear giant Nike went as far as to snap up RTFKT, a virtual sneaker and fashion start-up that makes wearable NFTs for the digital world.