If you work in fashion and you’re reading this, you’re early to the game. NFTs and Metaverse events have only scratched the surface of what’s possible, because new tools and technologies have outpaced creativity in this space. For now, anyway—and that’s where you come in!
First though, let’s put the major stressor of FOMO to rest, because there’s no need for it. This is a time for curiosity, open-mindedness, and relationship building. If WEB3 and the Metaverse were simply additional marketing avenues, requiring brands to load up more deadlines and deliverables onto already over-extended schedules, then resistance would be a natural (and right) response. But the core functionality of this new technology is bridged decentralisation, replacing redundancy with nuance and coordination.
At the onset of a new era—and some are calling WEB3 a bigger disruptor than personal computing and the internet combined—we get to set new precedents. What would the fashion industry metamorphose into, if designers could focus on what they loved doing? How is WEB3 ushering in a techno-creative revolution?
Digital Persistence & Programmability
- In the digital sphere, permanence doesn’t mean unchanging—it just takes the inevitability out of disintegration, which invites novel opportunities such as streaming updates, composable garment systems, and incentivized exchange, to name a few.
Authenticity & Access
- Brands that launch WEB3 products can put authenticity claims to rest, giving rise to communities built on trust. Traditional verification processes are resource-intensive and distract from the real work at hand: nurturing community culture.
- A secondary market free from the frictions of authentication, sizing, location, and condition, promises to be extremely fluid. Baked-in royalty percentages that flow revenue back to everyone written into the contract—at each transaction—establish entirely new passive value streams. Exchange can be further incentivized by rewarding different classes of contributors, such as curators, influencers, contributors, and community members, who are now aligned in increasing a product’s circulation and visibility.
These are areas I’ve experienced first hand that directly enhance, and in some cases deeply counteract, the current way our creative landscape operates. It’s not just about building, either–as old structures get dismantled, we rediscover all the value hidden behind walls and buried in archives that’s prime for re-release.
As a creator, I feel empowered and engaged because my input is having a real-time effect; as a community member, I’ve received residual rewards for work that formerly went unattributed; as an individual, I’m becoming hyper aware that my own conditioning limits what I think is possible. Therefore I remind myself, and everyone around me, to take the time to reconsider everything, so we don’t miss this opportunity to build an iteratively more fun, fair, and full existence than what’s already been.
Wes has been a lot of things: Artist (Venice Biennale 2017+2013, Manifesta 11, solo presentations in Europe and US, Armory, Volta, Liste, among others), Researcher (Ai Weiwei Studio), Founder (FYI Dao), Core Team member (MetaFactory.ai), Writer (V Magazine), and Director (Newcoin Foundation). Insider vantage points across all these sectors make Wes a singularly effective communicator and bridge maker. He is currently focused on building integrated creative economies that leverage Blockchain technology.