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Digital Marketing

Fashion house Balmain drops Unicorn sneakers along with identical NFT versions

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If your high-end brand is in need of some inspiration on how it might engage with the possibilities of Web3 in the months and years ahead, you could do a lot worse than looking at what some of the most forward-thinking luxury brands are doing in that space right now. 

A further recent demonstration of that potential has been Balmain’s drop of 130 limited-edition Unicorn sneakers, which came bundled with identical NFT kicks as part of a collaboration with Space Runners. 

Limited-edition real-world shoes, complemented nicely by virtual equivalents 

Yes, you read that right; Balmain as a fashion house might have a history going back to 1945, but it is most certainly not stuck in the 20th century as far as its involvement with the latest creative and marketing technologies is concerned. 

This was shown by its release on Wednesday 22nd March of the limited-availability NFT sneakers, based on its real-world Unicorn footwear that is no less eagerly sought-after. And with these bundles, purchasers are able to help themselves to both the virtual and real-world variants of these sneakers. 

It’s all part of the Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection, which consists of a variety of distinctive sneaker designs, priced – at the time of this article being written – from $1,795 to $2,095. Would-be purchasers can pay in either traditional currency or ETH, although the fashion house has warned that the ETH price quoted “is subject to change due to market conditions.” 

Space Runners is a digital fashion company supported by a range of investors, including – but not limited to – Pantera, Jump Capital, Polychain, and the Hong Kong-based entrepreneur and founder of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu. 

A physical-digital linkup that helps expand Balmain’s audience 

Explaining the thinking behind the initiative, Balmain’s chief marketing officer Txampi Diz said in a statement shared with Decrypt: “As the physical and digital continue to merge, Balmain is dedicated to constantly exploring emerging pathways that help add new recruits to the very engaged, diverse, and global Balmain Army.” 

He added: “This collaboration allows us to introduce this historic house to a broader audience.” 

This drop represents only the most recent Web3 experiment for the venerable brand, which has been aggressive over the past year in its pursuit of partnerships, membership schemes, and limited-edition launches that embrace blockchain technology. 

There has been no shortage of ‘sweeteners’ included with the Unicorn drop; those who invest in one of these bundles will also get to enjoy early access to future Balmain drops and other exclusive products from the fashion house. In addition, they will be able to make use of further digital wearables across online games and metaverse platforms. 

Mr Diz spoke of his conviction last year that to Balman, “Web3 is like social media 10 years ago or ecommerce 20 years ago. We need to test which [Web3] experiments make sense for us as a luxury house. This has to be part of the global marketing strategy for every brand.” 

Here at Skywire London, we would be hard-pressed to disagree. So, when you are seeking partners for the innovation and optimisation of your own brand’s Web3, digital marketing, or luxury loyalty strategy, why look any further than our skilled, proven, and experienced team? 

We would be delighted to hear from you, and to advise on, guide, and help coordinate your brand’s efforts, when you reach out to us via phone or email


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