by John Russel Jones

Aku, the cryptonative NFT character created by artist Micah Johnson, announces the highly anticipated launch of Akutars, a collection of 15,000 unique, 3D avatars launching on the Ethereum blockchain. The first Akutar collection will launch on April 22, 2022 on aku.world with an all-star lineup of legendary fashion and streetwear collaborators, including:

  • Billionaire Boys Club – the globally recognized clothing, accessories, and lifestyle brand, founded by Pharrell Williams and Nigo in 2003, whose blend of streetwear and luxury has influenced countless pockets of fashion, music, design, and culture
  • ICECREAM – the global skateboard lifestyle apparel and accessories brand founded by Pharrell Williams in 2004 that champions diversity within the skateboarding community
  • Paper Planes – Roc Nation’s apparel brand and streetwear label that combines street fashion, music, and design
  • PUMA – one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling, and marketing footwear, apparel, and accessories
  • Upscale Vandal – pioneering luxury fashion and streetwear creative and expert Michael Camargo
  • WHO DECIDES WAR – NYC-based contemporary luxury label by Ev Bravado and Téla D’Amore

Each collaborator will create unique, handcrafted one-of-one Akutar designs within the 15,000 3D avatar collection, and particular elements from those designs will also randomly appear throughout the collection on other Akutars. The highly covetable and first-of-its-kind collection of Akutars celebrates the pioneers of luxury fashion and streetwear culture alongside the next generation of creators and appeals to a wide-ranging audience across multiple generations.

Akutars will grant holders entry into the ever-expanding Akuverse, where lines are blurred between the digital and physical worlds. Akutar owners will gain exclusive access to culture-defining experiences, products, and collaborations.

Akutars will offer an airdrop of free Akutars to existing Aku community members who own one or more Aku Chapters and other Aku-related NFTs. Aku Chapter holders will receive at least 1 Akutar, with additional access to exclusive rare traits available only to holders of multiple Chapters. Owning multiple unique sets will result in multiple sets of rewards.

In just over two years after making his debut in the digital art space, Johnson, a former major league baseball player, has amassed a dedicated community, and his NFT character Aku has been optioned for TV and film projects, the first NFT deal of its kind.

“Akutars are the next step in Aku’s journey and evolving Akuverse,” said Micah Johnson, artist and creator of Aku. “Akutars will give our community, creators, and collectors the opportunity to further express themselves creatively alongside iconic, culture-defining brands.”

Aku advisors and founding creative council members Pusha-T and Upscale Vandal worked closely with Johnson and the team to curate the first group of collaborators for the first Akutar collection.

Aku began as an NFT series based on Johnson’s own experience of hearing a young boy ask if astronauts could be Black. The NFTs are short video clips that follow Aku, a young boy with an oversized space helmet that acts as a portal to his dreams and digital exploration. The 10-part series was released in 10 chapters from February 2021 to February 2022 and has generated over $24MM in sales to date.

The first Akutar collection will be previewed on Aku’s social media channels in the coming weeks. Akutars will launch on April 22, 2022, at aku.world.