First NFT and Crypto-Enabled Luxury Fashion Store Opens Doors in London
Germany-based fashion designer and entrepreneur Philipp Plein launched a crypto concept store in late April on London’s Bond Street, allowing its customer to make payments in its brick-and-mortar store for its products in over 25 cryptocurrencies at the London flagship store.
Last year, Philipp Plein was also one of the first online stores to begin accepting crypto payments for its merchandise. This year’s move to the physical store is, therefore, a natural progression for the company. Should the Bond Street crypto concept store prove successful, Plein will apply it to the company’s other 100 outlets.
Plein has gone further in his web3 pivot by launching a free and independent online NFT trading platform.
Plein’s approach is unique compared to that of the other leading luxury brands that are buying up metaverse land or creating exclusive communities in the metaverse.
Plein isn’t targeting the uber-tech-savvy users but ordinary shoppers and roping them into the emerging tech, particularly cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Web3, ultimately, is a numbers game, and its success hinges on its ability to attract mainstream users.
Plein sees massive potential in the metaverse as “the future of the internet” but one whose success will depend on its reach. He not only wants to drive shoppers to his metaverse and crypto platforms but he also wants to play a role in recruiting more users into the metaverse.
At his four-story London flagship, there are three floors of accessories and ready-to-wear, complete with an NFT art gallery called The MoNA (Museum of NFT Art). The MoNA showcases the designer’s CryptoKing$ collective made with the creator Antoni Tudisco. There are also physical ‘Lil Monster sculptures that the collectors of the series snapped early this year.
For ordinary consumers, Plein’s metaverse-infused flagship store in London will serve as a metaverse information center and there will be staff on hand to guide people on how to set up a digital wallet and navigate the convoluted and intimidating process of purchasing NFTs and digital fashion.
The crypto concept flagship store in London supports a very large number of cryptocurrencies, 24 in total. Users can access the exchange rates in real-time by scanning a QR code for each of the products on offer.
Based on its success in Plein’s Bond Street flagship store in London, the service will eventually be rolled out in the brand’s more than 100 stores across the globe. The QR code system integrated with the cryptos is a great innovation in the concept store and drastically simplifies crypto transactions. It is something that could be replicated by other retail outlets trying to integrate the metaverse into their retail experiences.
Purchases can be refunded via Fiat currency in your jurisdiction or in crypto, based on the exchange rate on the day of the return.
Plein also wants to simplify the NFT ownership process so that ordinary and non-tech-savvy people can also become NFT collectors. As a result, Plein will be having NFT giveaways along with the physical products. This not only spreads the NFT culture but also expands the designer’s customer database.
Plein says that up to 30% of his merchandise will be linked automatically to an NFT and customers can choose to either keep those or resell them in NFT marketplaces.
Plein has also come up with a unique concept that will allow users to display their NFTs as digital art if they are not planning to sell them. He will be selling different sizes of hardware frames where customers can upload and display NFTs in their homes.
In his NFT marketplace, Plein also wants to simplify the NFT purchase process. As opposed to the leading NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Plein’s NFT marketplace has credit card and Apple payment options in addition to the constellation of crypto payment options.
Plein’s payment price also covers everything so you won’t have to worry about the volatile gas fees for your NFT transactions. Plein compares gas fees to adding delivery charges on physical merchandise and an obstacle to the NFT trade. This was seen in the recent Otherside’s Otherdeeds sale when gas fees were in many instances higher than the price of a single deed.
However, Plein is planning to sell more than just his NFTs in his crypto marketplace. This will also be an independent platform for NFT artists and Plein will be offering them some major incentives to create on the platform. For instance, they won’t be charged a commission.
Plein says he wants to “create a community of users” such as Facebook and Instagram and wants to build a substantial community on his platform in under two years. Plein’s NFT marketplace also aspires to be a one-stop location for vendors interested in the Web3.0 space. There will be tutorials on how to mint NFTs and on how to create marketing materials and smart contracts. The platform will also give vendors access to analytics and advice on royalties for both mint and secondary sales.
During the store’s launch in London, British Jamaican rapper Stefflon Don gave a performance that was live-streamed to a virtual event hosted in the Decentraland Metaverse where Plein had purchased a $1.4 million lot known as Plein Plaza. The Decentraland Plein Plaza had also hosted the designer’s virtual fashion show during the Metaverse Fashion Week in March this year.
Plein Plaza also hosts a virtual MoNA that is linked to the artist’s NFT marketplace. The MoNA provides a projection of the Plein Plaza in Decentraland and showcases pieces from Plein’s collaboration with the visual artist Antoni Tudisco. Plein wants the MoNA to be an artistic, cultural, fashion as well as a futuristic hub.
From his crypto store to the Decentraland Metaverse land to the MoNA blockchain-based exhibition and even a 24-hour NFT gallery that is based in Chengdu, China, Philipp Plein has shown a healthy appetite for the metaverse and practical ability to leverage this in real-life commerce and shopping experiences.
The designer plans to roll out several physical MoNA exhibitions in his large store network across the world.