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CFDA struts into web3 and celebrates 60 years with first-ever NFT launch

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By Webb Wright | Reporter

December 12, 2022 | 4 min read

The trade association will also host a virtual fashion exhibition beginning December 19.

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The CFDA is one of many major players in the fashion industry that’s investing in virtual assets and experiences. / CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), a trade association that, according to its website, has a membership of more than 500 fashion designers, released its first-ever NFT collection this morning. The Association will also launch a “metaverse fashion exhibition” in The Sandbox next Monday.

Both campaigns are being developed in partnership with blockchain platform Polygon Studios and launched in celebration of the CFDA’s 60th anniversary.

“As part of the CFDA’s commitment to innovation and … mission towards the future growth of the fashion industry, this watershed moment will guide America’s design talent towards new technologies and virtual worlds bridging culture and fashion and integrating designers and brands into web3,” the CFDA wrote in a statement on December 1, when the twin campaigns were originally announced.

The NFT collection, titled “Lighting the path of American fashion,” includes seven tokens that will be available for bidding today through Friday, December 16. Each token was developed by an iconic fashion brand or designer – including Coach, Michael Kors and Vivienne Tam – and opens the door to what the CFDA describes as “unique utility perks that allow unprecedented access.” (The Coach NFT, for example, comes with two tickets to a holiday event that the brand is throwing at Rockefeller Center, as well as a Re(Loved) designer bag.)

Five of the NFTs have a starting price of $25,000. The other two begin at $15,000. All proceeds will reportedly go to the CDFA Foundation, which the Association (somewhat vaguely) says on its website “was created to raise funds for charity and industry activities.”

The CFDA will follow its NFT auction with the launch of “Fashioning the shades of American design” in The Sandbox – a popular blockchain-based mobile game – starting December 19. Showcasing “60 looks from the CFDA’s six decades,” the Association writes that visitors to the virtual exhibition will be “invited to explore this retrospective celebrating the creativity of CFDA members past and present, which have been organized into five themes: Illuminating a Fantasy, Illuminating Romance, Illuminating the Avant-Garde, Illuminating Understanding and Illuminating Soul.”

The CFDA isn’t the only fashion industry bigwig that’s been looking to plant its flag in the burgeoning web3 space lately. Last month, for example, luxury fashion brand Lacoste announced that it is opening a virtual holiday store with VIP experiences available to those with a UNDW3 NFT, which the brand released in June. Also in November, Parsons School of Design revealed that it will be offering a new program – developed in partnership with Roblox – aimed at educating students about virtual fashion starting in the spring of 2023.

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