The company’s acquisition could be a major step forward for the metaverse, NFTs, and the digital fashion industry.
Nike today announced the purchase of RTFKT Studios, a leading metaverse fashion house best known for its lineup of high-end digital clothing. Since 2020, the company has employed a variety of cutting-edge technologies such as NFTs, crypto, blockchains, and AR technology to establish a one-of-a-kind brand that blends the physical and digital worlds.
What began with NFT sneaker drops has since expanded into a full-fledged digital clothing brand.
“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming, and culture,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc in an official statement. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”
We covered RTFKT earlier this year after the company partnered with VR avatar platform Ready Player Me to release a small lineup of limited edition digital outfits based on the company’s most sought-after pieces. I myself was lucky enough to score some exclusive digital merch during the October drop and let’s just say my virtual counterpart has never looked better.
Since then RTFKT has continued to expand its offerings in the metaverse. Earlier this year, the company launched its new line of Clone X NFTs, a digital fashion collection inspired by anime, sci-fi, and streetwear. As soon as the Nike acquisition was announced, floor prices for RTFKT’s Clone X NFTs on OpenSea skyrocketed, becoming the most heavily traded collection on the platform and surpassing blue chip NFT collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club within a day of the reveal.
Most recently, RTFKT released a limited jersey at Art Basel in collaboration with eSports team FaZeClan and a partnership with UK fashion retailer Harvey Nichols for a Clone X NFT in-store giveaway. Within the first hour of the Nike announcement, over $20 million worth of Clone X NFTs were traded on OpenSea.
The company’s acquisition by Nike could be a major stepping stone towards the mainstream adoption of digital fashion as well as NFTs, crypto, and immersive technology. For Nike, the purchase opens up access to a whole new market in which to dominate.
“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” says Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders. “Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”
For more information on the acquisition, take a look at Nike’s official statement here. RTFKT was founded last year by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev. You can find additional information regarding the metaverse fashion house here.
Feature Image Credit: RTFKT Studios