by Christopher Blomquist

Aware that they always have to stay au courant, several fashion brands are embracing the latest in modern “merchandise,” NFTs (non-fungible tokens), unique digital – and currently super-hyped – creations that have been pegged as “the future of art collecting.” (In this case, the buyer purchases a digital creation/asset versus, say, a physical painting.)

For instance, Original Penguin wraps a two-week online Augmented Reality-powered NFT campaign and auction today to support young digital creatives. It allowed fans to view and purchase TikTok videos created by the brand and five influencers as the actual NFT asset. The AR videos show eight penguin avatars (pictured above) in a colorful Miami Beach setting.

Bidders could pay with either crypto currency or credit cards and the auction will benefit the Free Arts NYC charitable organization that serves underprivileged youth via free arts and mentoring programs.

Likewise, seven-year-old London-based menswear brand Cole Buxton has just launched its first-ever NFT collection based on its design archives. The NFT Collection #1 is made up of over 100 completely unique, hand-drawn pieces, created from original concepts and designs of co-founder and lead fashion designer, Cole Buxton.

The NFTs will be given to the brand’s most loyal customers for free who will then be encouraged to resell them to benefit the brand’s forthcoming Cole Buxton Charity Foundation. The initial NFT owners will also receive a physical print of their image.

The brand, which has a flagship store in London, is sold in the US via its own online store and END Clothing.

Finally, Italy’s Diesel has also joined the NFT craze and will be gifting a specially produced one to honor the launch of its new “Prototype” sneaker model to insiders and friends of the brand in the coming weeks.

Perhaps this business trend is a sign that it’s time for fashion to either go digital or go home….