The world’s most famous doll is entering the world of NFTs, dressed in pink silk satin by luxury fashion house Balmain.
This collaboration marks Barbie’s first incursion in the world of NFTs and also one of their first collaboration with Balmain, which, thankfully, has put POC models at the forefront of their marketing.
As per Mattel’s new NFT site, nft.mattelcreations.com:
“Barbie fashion is getting a digital makeover with NFTs designed exclusively by French luxury brand, Balmain. We’re thrilled to introduce Barbie to the digital art world via NFTs, and these authentic pieces of collectible, digital fashion will be available by auction right here. All you have to do is bid!”
Their auction will feature three special Barbie and Ken avatars that wear fashion pieces from the Balmain x Barbie collection.
On their page, we can see some stylish avatars wearing pink pillow bags, sweater dresses, and of course, the Balmain x Barbie logo. Another avatar features a dress with a maxi bow and pink silk satin.
Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has labeled this collaboration a dream come true, giving rise to a diversity of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories.
As expected, almost all pieces feature varying degrees of the Barbie pink to some of Balmain’s signature outfits, including their famous sailor shirt.
The auction will take place on mintNFT’s platform. Bidding opened on January 11, and the collection went on sale worldwide since January 13.
As many streetwear and luxury brands have been implementing their NFT digital strategy, they’ll be providing the highest bidders with the avatar and a physical Barbie-scaled version of the outfit their avatar is wearing.
The first clothing brand to dip its toes into the uncharted digital waters of the Metaverse and NFTs was Adidas, followed by Nike and Balenciaga.
Similar to how Balmain partnered with Barbie, Gucci has partnered with Superplastic to create SUPERGUCCI (yes, all caps), a 3-part series of super exclusive NFTs designed by Gucci’s head of design
The collection will include ten exclusive NFTs and physical ceramic sculptures.
In the SUPERGUCCI collection, the digital characters are covered in Gucci’s iconic floral prints and equestrian-themed clothing.
One could imagine the Balmain x Barbie avatars and the SUPERGUCCI collectibles as luxury brands’ foray into the Metaverse.
Gucci is also creating an online concept store called the Vault alongside their collaboration with Superplastic as part of the Metaverse.
The Vault will serve as a digital time machine of sorts, including historical fashion pieces, art, and memorabilia, many of them also NFTs.
After all, collecting exclusive NFTs is not too different from collecting limited-edition pieces from luxury brands, just that in this case, it’d be in the digital world.
However, both of these brands have introduced the idea of physical and digital bundling. Balmain x Barbie will be sending the highest bidder a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll, while SUPERGUCCI will be handmade Italian ceramic sculptures crafted by both brands.
2022 is not the first time Gucci has participated in the world of NFTs, though. In June 2021, Gucci dropped an NFT collection based on their 2021 Fall/Winter collection, taken from the film Aria.
Similarly, French fashion house Louis Vuitton celebrated their 200th anniversary with a mobile game, Louis the game, released on August 2021, with 30 NFTs inside its digital world.
British house Burberry has collaborated with Mythical Games to launch its NFT in their game, Blankos Block Party.
While the Barbie doll is a newcomer in the digital world, this is not Balmain’s first digital rodeo. The French luxury house has already pursued several NFT projects, focusing first on in-game items and digital pieces.
Among their pre-Barbie NFTs, we can mention a pair of trainers, a digital membership card, and a Bold Dogpound collaboration. A physical version of the trainers, signed by Olivier Rousteing, was also released.
In the future, it seems like real luxury will be instead represented not by what someone wears but what their metaverse avatar does.
Only time will tell which luxury brand comes up with the most original NFT project of all, but this one seems to be the best choice for Barbie fans.