Feature

The Story So Far

Brand New Vision's founder, Richard Hobbs, shares the brand story and vision of the blockchain enabled fashion platform that aims to be "where fashion goes digital".

Richard Hobbs

Brand New Vision was formed nearly 5 years ago as a company that would research and develop new tech solutions for the traditional fashion industry.  An industry where processes and relationships have hardly evolved in the 35 years since I first started out in this business.

The wastage of resources, money and time, the excessive costs and complete lack of trust and transparency through the cycle of initial ideas through to the finished product in consumers hands had to be shaken up. 

While we were developing an end to end business model utilising 3D design, automated manufacturing and various APIs through PLM, CRM and ecommerce systems we started looking at blockchain technology and how that could be used to validate the authenticity of physical products.  That was when we first started to discuss NFT’s.

So, just over 2 years ago we started to brainstorm a completely new business.  No physical product but instead creating beautiful 3D renderings of apparel, footwear and accessories, working together with established brands then tokenising and selling exclusive, limited edition products that people could collect or trade and, eventually, be able to wear in various digital platforms.  We were looking into the future at gaming and communications using avatars and started thinking about these so-called metaverses that were starting to be talked about.  These were pipe dreams, possibilities that we believed in and hoped would be coming together in maybe 5 years time.

...just over 2 years ago we started to brainstorm a completely new business.  No physical product but instead creating beautiful 3D renderings of apparel, footwear and accessories...

Then, in 2019 things happened on the streets of HK which meant we had to put a few things on hold. In early 2020 Covid came along.

While the world has changed forever and is continuing to get to grips with the consequences of a global pandemic and millions of deaths (there are other platforms to discuss the whys and wherefores and debate the preparation for and handling of a totally predictable scenario) it also made people reassess many parts of their lives, both business and social. In January 2020, just after getting back to Hong Kong on the last (ever?) flight I took, I jokingly said to a few friends, “Sell airlines, buy video conferencing and gaming!” If I was an investor I would have taken my own advice at that point. Instead I got back together with my tech team and we started a full on plan for bnv.me as a Fashion NFT auction house and marketplace. In the middle of the year funds were committed for the building of an MVP version of the dapp and site using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

At that time there was no buzz around NFTs and we had no other expectations other than a quiet launch in early 2021 while reaching out to a few friendly brands to get involved in this new area that could possibly be really interesting and should be fun.  Behind the scenes we started to have some interesting conversations with people and companies that had heard about what we were building and wanted to know more, and maybe get involved. We were happy with our plans.

In January 2021 the world discovered NFT’s and the next 4 months was a whirlwind of digesting news and gossip and speculation and crazy numbers.  Meantime we went ahead with a planned launch of our MVP on the day before April fools!

In January 2021 the world discovered NFT’s and the next 4 months was a whirlwind of digesting news and gossip and speculation and crazy numbers.

Soon after launch we finalised our seed investment round which included Animoca brands. They have been one of the most active investors in NFT and gaming related businesses for 3 years and aggressively since raising US$138m recently, taking them into the unicorn class.  Having Animoca behind us means we can definitely start looking at how we can take fashion brands and designers into the digital realm of NFT’s but also into metaverses and gaming much much faster than our initial outlook of 5 years time.

Since our first investment round we have been working on upgrading pretty much everything.  We have gone from myself and 3 part time guys, although they have been 100% committed to the project, to 6 full time and a network of freelancers and representatives around the world and are continuing to recruit.

Our current deployment introduces Stories.  A destination for all things digital fashion related and how that links and gels with the worlds of tech, gaming and metaverses.  News, features, opinion, spotlights and educational insights working with a collection of partners to gather and comment on all things fashion and digital.

We have revamped our smart contract structure and will be integrating this into our platform to give enhanced sales and trading options for the next round of NFT drops.  We are working with our 3D product development team to bring elevated experiences to brands and designers who would like to work with us.  And, we are moving into the metaverses, stay tuned for really exciting news in this area.  Our UIUX, engineering, digital marketing and content teams are working full steam on continuous upgrade programmes while we actively pursue partnerships and collaborations with like minded brands and companies.

We are just touching the very early stages of fashion in a purely digital form.  BNV intends to be at the forefront of this Brand New world and will be working with brands and designers to offer multiple opportunities to build their virtual presence, and make money, in these new worlds.