BTC Markets Goes Couture in Australian Fashion Week Partnership

Key Insights:

  • Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets partners with Afterpay Australian fashion week (AAWF) to deliver couture NFTs.
  • In collaboration with Australian fashion designer Daniel Avakian, AAWF will bring together the physical and virtual worlds of fashion.
  • Australian fashion week follows a 4-day fashion week in March, where big names, including Estee Lauder, debuted in Decentraland (MANA).

This year, we have seen the fashion industry continue to embrace NFTs and the metaverse. Fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Victoria’s Secret are no stranger to NFTs and the metaverse.

With the fashion industry seeing NFTs and the metaverse as a reach to the global couture audience, NFT activity and virtual shows are on the rise.

BTC Markets Partners with Australian Fashion Week to Launch an NFT Dress

Today, BTC markets announced that it is the ‘Official Partner of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.’

Via Twitter, BTC Markets tweeted,

“A week-long exhibition of Australia’s incredible designers will collide with #crypto, with lots of cool giveaways to come – watch this space!”

 

This year, Afterpay Australia Fashion Week will run from May 9-13.

Once more, crypto exchanges eye major events as opportunities to build brand awareness and engage with target audiences.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler shared the announcement on Twitter, tweeting,

“Taking Crypto to the Catwalk! Another first from @BTCMarkets – official Cryptocurrency partner for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. We’ve also got an awesome collab with Daniel Avakian to share along with lots of other goodies to announce!”

Bowler will also be a speaker at Afterpay Australia Fashion Week’s “The Talks” on Tuesday, May 10.

Australia Fashion Week announced the event stating,

“Fashion week has entered the metaverse, with NFTs and augmented reality gaining popularity amongst consumers who want more ways to shop and engage with brands. The session will break down the fashion-tech trends.”

AAFW Follows Fashion Houses into the Metaverse

It has been a busy 2022 for fashion as more major fashion houses embark on the virtual journey.

In March, Vogue and UNXD collaborated to deliver a four-day fashion week on Decentraland (MANA) titled MVFW.

Visitors and global brands virtually attended fashion shows, live music events, and after-parties. Attendees could also buy and wear digital clothing, with some digital catwalk collections redeemable for physical pieces.

Big Brand names, including Gucci, have paved the way for the broader fashion industry. In May 2021, Gucci and Roblox hosted “Gucci Garden,” a virtual version of a real-world installation in Italy, which offered themed rooms to commemorate Gucci’s centenary.

In February, Gucci announced that it purchased LAND on The Sandbox (SAND). Gucci planned to offer interactive fashion experiences, where attendees could buy and use fashion items in the metaverse.

Victoria’s Secret Plans NFTs and Entry into the Metaverse

Mainstream corporate interest in NFTs and the Metaverse has continued going into February.

This is in spite of a sharp fall in NFT trading activity through the early part of February. NFT trading activity had hit an all-time high in January, with OpenSea leading the way.

Major Brands Continue to Go NFT and Metaverse

In recent weeks, a number of major brands and corporations have filed for NFT and Metaverse-related trademarks.

Last week, we reported Gucci’s LAND purchase in the Sandbox (SAND). Back in 2021, Gucci had already collaborated with Roblox to host the “Gucci Garden”. This was a virtual version of a real-world installation in Italy, offering themed rooms in commemoration of Gucci’s centenary.

Major brands have also been embracing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in rising numbers.

Gucci was among the first luxury fashion houses to sell NFTs, with Louis Vuitton, Prada, and sports brands Adidas and Nike also active in the NFT space. The rise in interest has been so significant that Nike purchased digital collectibles and sneakers creator RTFKT last year.

With Gucci and the likes of McDonald’s and Warner Music Group entering the Metaverse, it was only a matter of time before fashion week took to the Metaverse. Last week, Vogue Business announced on Twitter a 4-day digital fashion week in Decentraland (MANA) commencing 24th March.

Global brands and visitors will be able to virtually experience fashion shows, attend live music sessions and the after-parties. Attendees can also buy and wear digital clothing directly from catwalk avatars.

Some of the digital catwalk collections can be redeemed to receive the brand’s physical pieces. Buyers will need an Ethereum (ETH) wallet to purchase clothing.

Following last week’s news, beauty and lingerie powerhouse Victoria’s Secret joins the growing list of leading brands to enter the Metaverse.

Victoria’s Secret Plans Metaverse Debut

On Sunday, Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney, announced on Twitter trademark applications made by Victoria’s Secret.

According to Kondoudis, Victoria’s Secret “plans to offer digital collectibles and media created with blockchain tech and online clothing and media for use in virtual environments”. Victoria’s Secret filed the applications on 8th February.

The Sandbox Price Action

On Sunday, SAND slid by 3.79% to end the day at $4.06. Risk aversion stemming from the rising risk of Russia invading Ukraine weighed on SAND and the broader crypto market.

At the time of writing, SAND was down by 3.59% to $3.916. A move through February’s high $4.87 would bring January’s high $6.03 into play. SAND would need plenty of support from the broader market, however, for a breakout from $5.00 levels.

A move back through to $6.00 levels would then give SAND a clear run at November’s ATH $8.48. Breaking down resistance at $7.00 would be key, however. Geopolitical risks will need to subside to support the more bullish SAND price predictions.

SANDUSD 140222

Adidas and Prada Unite to Hit the NFT Market with a First-of-its-Kind Collaboration

While the crypto market sees deep red, as FED policy and regulatory chatter break investor resolve, the NFT market has kicked off the year in stellar fashion.

Founded in 1913, Italian fashion house Prada has joined forces with Germany leading sports brand, Adidas.

Fashion, Sport, and NFTs

Sports and NFTs have been in partnership for some time now. U.S leading sports franchises the NFL and the NBA both launched NFT market places to allow sports fans to collect or trade scoring moments and digital highlights.

Such is the growth in the NFT space that leading player Dapper Lab (Flow) became the first NFT-linked company to register to lobby with the U.S government. Regulatory scrutiny has spiked at the turn of the year, with the SEC warning of more regulatory activity to come.

Europe and the NFT Market

Prada and Adidas are not the first big European brand names to enter the NFT space. Other big brands include Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

RTFKT, formed back in 2020, has certainly influenced fashion houses and sports brands to enter the space. RTFKT creates digital collectibles and sneakers. Such was RTFKT’s success that Nike bought RTFKT late last year.

Gucci was among the first fashion houses to enter the NFT space. Last year, Gucci sold a 4-minute video at Christie’s auction for $25m. Proceeds of the sale were reportedly to be donated to UNICEF USA to support the non-profit COVAX initiative.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Paris Fashion Week went NFT last year. Not only has fashion embraced NFTs but are now selling product as NFTs. RTFKT and Gucci have sold digital sneakers in the NFT market place. Other big names selling virtual articles have included Stella McCartney and Nike. Valentino, Burberry, Balenciaga, and Hermes are other big names that have also entered the virtual world.

The Prada Adidas Collaboration

This week, Adidas and Prada announced a “first-of-its-kind open-Metaverse & user-generated NFT project”. The project will be on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain and is titled the “Adidas for Prada re-source”.

According to the announcement, 3,000 community-sourced artworks will be minted as NFTs. The NFTs will form tiles in a “mass-patchwork NFT”, which will be designed by Zach Lieberman. NFT market place SuperRare (RARE) will auction the final NFT.

From Monday 24th January, “anyone can register with a digital wallet and have a chance to create and mint a pseudonymous NFT”. Selected contributions will then appears as individual tiles in the final “mass-patchwork NFT”.

Polygon Price Action

At the time of writing, MATIC was up by 0.35% to $1.708. The modest rise this morning comes off the back of a 13.2% tumble on Friday. Market sentiment towards FED monetary policy and a global equity sell-off weighed on the crypto markets on Friday, leaving MATIC in the deep red.

Sitting well below November’s ATH $2.925, a move back through January’s high $2.603 would give MATIC a run at $3.00 levels. Sentiment across the broader market would need to change, however, for MATIC to breakdown resistance at $2.00.

MATICUSD 220122

European Stocks Rally as Energy Prices Cool

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.1% in broad-based buying to reverse weekly losses, with miners, automakers and utilities in the lead.

Oil prices dropped for a second session, while European gas futures also fell back from record highs. [O/R]

There was also some relief on the U.S. debt ceiling front after U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced plans to extend the borrowing limit into December.

French luxury goods maker Hermes jumped 3.1% after HSBC upgraded the stock to “hold”, while peers LVMH, Richemont and Kering all rose more than 2%.

Royal Dutch Shell inched up 0.4% after saying that soaring natural gas and electricity prices around the world will provide a significant boost to its cashflow in the third quarter.

Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika rose 2.0% after it said it could overcome rising raw material costs and supply chain restrictions to increase its sales and profit margins this year.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

European Stocks Add to Losses on Growth Worries

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.2% by 07:18 GMT, holding near a two-month low hit in last week’s selloff.

Banks, automakers and luxury stocks were the top decliners on fears of a slowdown in global growth as the world’s second largest economy deals with fresh COVID-19 restrictions, a property sector slowdown and regulatory clampdowns.

French luxury stocks Kering and LVMH, which draw a major portion of their revenue from China, fell 1.9% and 1.5% respectively.

Morrisons fell 3.8% after U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) won the auction for Britain’s supermarket group with a 7 billion pound ($9.5 billion) bid.

Rivals Tesco and Sainsbury inched up.

UK telecoms group BT Group and Nordea Bank were the top losers on STOXX 600, down more than 6% each.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

 

German Shares Slump 2%, European Index Hits Two-Month Lows

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 1.5% by 07:45 GMT, with mining stocks plunging 3.2% on a slide in commodities prices.

Asian equities also skidded following a torrid session for China Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer.

The benchmark European STOXX 600 has now fallen for three straight weeks on worries about slowing global growth, soaring inflation, persistently high COVID-19 cases and the spillover from tighter regulation of Chinese firms.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting is in focus on Tuesday and Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to lay the groundwork for a tapering. Overall, 16 central banks are scheduled to hold meetings this week, including in the UK, Norway, Switzerland and Japan.

“To be sure, the (Fed) is set to default to keeping the QE (quantitative easing) spigots open at this week’s (meeting), given the sizable August jobs disappointment alongside a spotting of soft economic indicators,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho.

“But this merely defers taper. By how much is the question.”

German shares tumbled 1.8% to their lowest since late-July as data showed a bigger-than-expected jump in producer prices last month.

In its biggest ever overhaul, the blue-chip German index began trading on Monday with an increase in the number of constituents to 40 from 30.

Europe’s fear gauge jumped to a four-month high.

China-exposed luxury stocks such as LVMH, Kering, Hermes and Richemont fell between 2.5% and 3.7%, extending sharp losses from last week.

Daimler AG shed 2.3% as a report cited the chief of its truck division, the world’s largest, as saying the unit had seen the supply of crucial chips tighten further in recent weeks.

Lufthansa, on the other hand, reversed early declines to jump 3.1% after saying it expects to raise 2.14 billion euros ($2.51 billion) to pay back part of a state bailout that Germany’s top airline received during the coronavirus crisis.

All major European subindexes were lower in morning trading, with healthcare, utilities, food and beverage and real estate posting the smallest declines. The group is perceived to be a safer bet at a time of heightened economic volatility.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Luxury, Mining Stocks Weigh on Europe Ahead of U.S. Inflation Data

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2% after a partial recovery on Monday from last week’s slump.

Luxury stocks including LVMH, Kering and Richemont fell between 1.6% and 2.0%, tracking their Asian peers lower on concerns about the spread of COVID-19 cases in China.

Jewellery maker Pandora rose 3.7% after it said it aims to achieve sales growth between 6.0% and 8.0% over the coming years.

Mining stocks dragged UK’s commodity-heavy FTSE 100 0.3% lower, even as data showed British employers added a record 241,000 staff to their payrolls last month.

Danish brewer Carlsberg fell 2.6% after a double downgrade to “sell” by Berenberg.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

European Shares End Higher on Commodity Recovery After Bruising Week

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.7% higher after losing nearly 1.5% last week. Oil and mining were the best performing sectors, rising about 2.1% and 1.5% respectively.

Sentiment appeared to have improved after growing uncertainty over when the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin tightening policy, which sparked a broad selloff across global markets last week.

Focus now turns to the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium beginning later in the week.

“With the Jackson Hole meeting beginning on Thursday, investors may be reluctant to make big new commitments in the next couple of sessions,” Ian Williams, economics & strategy research analyst at Peel Hunt, said.

Data in Europe suggested that business activity remained strong in August, albeit at a slightly slower growth pace than the two-decade peak seen in July.

With a nearly 18% rise so far this year, the STOXX 600 hit a record high earlier this month, but has stumbled recently on concerns over the Delta variant of COVID-19 stalling economic growth.

Among individual stocks, Britain’s second-largest grocer Sainsbury’s jumped 15.4% and was the best performer on the STOXX 600, following a report that private equity firms were circling the company with a view of possibly launching bids of more than 7 billion pounds ($9.5 billion).

Last week, smaller rival Morrisons backed a 7 billion pounds offer from U.S. private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Germany’s BioNTech surged 7.6% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Luxury stocks including LVMH, Kering and Moncler clawed back some of last week’s losses after being sold off on China’s wealth redistribution plans.

Switzerland-based Cembra Money Bank plunged 30.9% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after it terminated its credit card partnership with Swiss retailer Migros.

French lottery operator La Francaise des Jeux fell 1.7% after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to “sell”.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Holmes)

Star Black Designer Virgil Abloh Gets Bigger Role at LVMH

By Mimosa Spencer

Abloh, 40, a U.S. national who also works as a DJ and visual artist, was hired by LVMH in March 2018 to create menswear collections for Louis Vuitton, the luxury giant’s biggest revenue driver.

He will continue in that role while also working with the group to launch new brands and partner with existing ones in a variety of sectors beyond fashion, the company said on Tuesday.

His arrival at LVMH marked the marriage between streetwear and high-end fashion, mixing sneakers and camouflage pants with tailored suits and evening gowns. His influences include graffiti art, hip hop and skateboard culture.

The style was embraced by the world’s biggest luxury group – led by France’s richest man, 72-year old Bernard Arnault – as it sought to breathe new life into some labels and attract younger customers.

The sale to LVMH and higher profile for Abloh also show renewed interest from the group in launching new brands, after putting its Fenty label fashion venture with Rihanna on hold in February.

Over the past three years, Abloh has drawn on messages of inclusivity and gender-fluidity to expand the Louis Vuitton label’s popularity, weaving themes of racial identity into his fashion shows with poetry performances and art installations.

With an eye to reaching Asian consumers grounded by the coronavirus pandemic, the designer sent his collections of colourful suits and utilitarian-flavoured outerwear off to Shanghai last summer when many labels cancelled fashion shows.

More recently, he designed U.S. film director Spike Lee’s clothes, including a hot pink double-breasted suit, for this month’s Cannes film festival, where Lee chaired the jury.

LVMH is also purchasing a 60% stake of Abloh’s Off-White label, which will be folded into the spirits-to-jewellery conglomerate.

Abloh will retain a 40% stake and continue as creative director of Off-White, which he founded in 2013. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Abloh, who was raised near Chicago by parents from Ghana, said LVMH would help him to develop Off-White into a “truly multi-line luxury brand” while he hoped his expanded role at the French company would also help to foster diversity in the industry.

The prolific designer has drawn on his training in engineering and architecture for a wide range of products, collaborating with LVMH-owned Rimowa on a line of see-through suitcases as well as champagne bottles for the group’s label Moet & Chandon.

He also introduced popular partnerships with brands such as Nike and Ikea.

Abloh first gained experience at the luxury group as an intern at LVMH-owned Fendi, alongside Kanye West, in 2009.

The Off-White brand is known for its luxury urban style, featuring hoodies that start at around 400 pounds ($543.64).

LVMH earlier this month took a minority stake in a new clothing and accessories label that is being launched by the former Celine designer Phoebe Philo under her own name.

($1 = 0.7358 pounds)

(Additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Silvia Aloisi and Jane Merriman)