Gucci has just announced its newest collaboration—and it’s one that may leave some looking even more nonplussed than a certain NFT ape.
Gucci has entered into a multi-year partnership with blockchain technology company Yuga Labs, best known for their NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 profile picture NFTs hawked by celebrities including Jimmy Fallon, Justin Bieber, and Mark Cuban, and currently the subject of a class action lawsuit.
Business of Fashion reported that the partnership will include Gucci designing metaverse clothing for Yuga Labs’s the Otherside and designing for NFT collection 10KTF, created by Beeple and purchased by Yuga Labs. Gucci previously collaborated with 10KTF on a line of custom NFTs for a project called “Gucci Grail” last year, a design project from former creative director Alessandro Michele.
The partnership was also announced on Twitter by the fashion house itself, writing only: “Continuing to explore the Metaverse, the House comes together with @yugalabs. Stay tuned as a new narrative takes shape, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital.”
Gucci also shared a photo of a Gucci and Yuga Labs-branded bottle being held in a digital hand, perhaps a first look at one of their digital designs.
The news comes on the same day as another major company—Disney—is moving in a decidedly different direction on its metaverse work. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the entertainment giant is shutting down its metaverse division and laying off all 50 employees associated with it. These are part of broader layoffs—roughly 7,000 employees are expected to be affected—but signify a lack of confidence in the metaverse market nonetheless.
On the flip side, Robert Triefus, Gucci’s senior executive vice president, corporate and brand strategy, shared a statement indicating excitement for new developments in the world of web3.
“We are excited to unveil this multifaceted partnership with Yuga Labs, a leader and creative pioneer in web3,” he said, per Business of Fashion. “This will give us an active role in Otherside and 10KTF’s continuing narrative, unfolding in multiple forms.”
In 2022, Gucci first cemented itself as an early adopter of the metaverse with spaces on several digital platforms: “Gucci Vault Land” on The Sandbox, a world populated with NFTs about the brand’s history, and “Gucci Town” on Roblox, a virtual community where you can dress in Gucci clothes, shop in Gucci stores, and gather at a Gucci-logo piazza.
Now, Gucci is doubling down on its commitment to digital real estate with its new Yuga Labs partnership, signaling that they believe in its power not just now but several years into the future. Gucci will reportedly appear on Otherside as soon as next week.
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