For those who don’t know the brand RTFKT , defining it as “the first totally digital sneaker brand created in the Metaverse, and recently bought by Nike” doesn’t explain its full potential, at least according to how the founder Benoit Pagotto see his brainchild. To him RTFKT is “the first 100% digital company thriving on scarcity, collectability and digital craftmanship” better explains.
The brand is born in 2020 as a digital art / NFT creator, then, after selling in 7 minutes $3.1 million of virtual sneakers in March 2021, was acquired by Nike in the same year, when the annual turnover hit $180 million. Its totally digital catalog of NFTs and art editions, now includes a RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks, dropped in 2022, and a new series of hoodies and other all digital items.
Pagotto is not new to collaborations: while studying art in Paris, he worked at Colette, the legendary concept store, selling limited edition items to people like Karl Lagerfeld himself. Aside from having a precise idea about where luxury market is heading to, like colliding with gaming, digital art and metaverse acts, Pagotto has launched the first RTFKT collab, bringing the very physical luxury brand Rimowa in a Web3 interactive, community and story driven world.
Still to be disclosed in details, the collaboration has launched some days ago through a video, in the form of a massively multiplayer online game (MMO in the gaming jargon) platform, implying that a virus has infected a space artisan manufacturing plant (supposedly Rimowa’s), which is requiring help to upcoming players.
Interestingly enough, Pagotto’s vision is focused on the potential of a brand born in a digital-first culture, made for a generation “who loves games, anime, sci-fi, Harry Potter” (like he declares to Business of Fashion). After all, it coincides with what we have observed to be the strongest driver for collaborations in the latest seasons, since the launch of Louis Vuitton x League of Legends. But this Metaverse – NFT based ecosystem adds a new business perspetive on the last mile, the reselling – typical to sneakers and streetwear collabs: money is kept in the brand’s hands.
That is why we believe we should keep an eye on RTFKT and its collaborations.