NFT, Cryptocurrency, DAO’, it’s like Jazz music; either you get it, or you don’t. Emerging from the world of gamers & young men, a new vocabulary is emerging, rewiring the current fashion landscape as we previously knew it. From the world of screens & fantasy, a fashion brand is poking its head into the real world ( IRL). Vivienne Tam, always an ambassador, daring to cross the east-west divide, now fearlessly has built a bridge from fantasy to NYFW. A web3 platform of blue chip NFTs with Bored Apes & Cyberkongs are being interpreted through Vivienne’s fashion lens, embroidered, printed & crocheted fabrics of Broderie Anglaise, brilliantly cut & draped–converging IRL and the metaverse to forge a new frontier in fashion and technology. Vivienne Tam blurs the lines from the Tech world to the real world. Confusing and questioning, Fashion or Tech or maybe even Art?
This season, Vivienne Tam is bridging the virtual world with the material realm. For her 2023 Spring/Summer collection, Tam pulls numerous avatars from the most iconic blue chip NFT collections and incorporates them into her upcoming looks; this collection surpasses genders and generations. Ubiquitous characters from the Yuga Labs umbrella (Bored Ape Yacht Club & CryptoPunks), classics like CyberKongz, and Awkward Astronauts (and more) will be sewn, embroidered, printed, and emblazoned onto and into various cuts and silhouettes, including numerous accessories, merging Tam’s rich culture and expertise with a brave new digital world.
Vivienne Tam found NFTs reminiscent of her beloved Mahjong. “With Mahjong, you’re using your mind while talking with friends and family,” says Tam. “It’s about intelligence and playing the game as much as winning it. I wanted to bring my Chinese-ness, my Eastern philosophy, to the design and collection.”
Vivienne Tam has always excelled in her efforts to create, transform, and amplify color, texture, and patterns to create something entirely new and perhaps even more iconic than the source fodder. These images, so personally connected to these growing communities, remain enthusiastic, optimistic, dynamic, and deeply engaged.
The timing is perfect for Tam to elevate and reinvigorate these humans and their avatars while adding an entirely new demo and a layer of meta complexity. After all, many of these digital avatars have fashion baked in.
Vivienne finds NFT images very inspiring, especially the Apes, the Punks, and the CyberKongz.
She is fascinated with their backgrounds, the storytelling, the style, the fashion, the art, the variety, the playfulness, everything. Vivienne Tam is grounded in the physical world but is now expanding her horizons. So much iconography with NFTs can find new life in the real world. Young people spend so much time online. But clothes, you can touch, IRL (in real life).
Vivienne wants to bring a powerful and deft feminine touch to a Web3 multiverse still primarily dominated by young men. Yuga Labs, the studio behind the BAYC and new owner of CryptoPunks (initially founded by Larva Labs), allows buyers and collectors who purchased respective NFTs that feature these unique avatars to license the imagery out freely and as they see fit. A group of the most enormous “whale” collectors and NFT influencers have permitted Tam to use their most recognizable avatars, usually functioning as a profile photo for these humans (whether anonymous or doxxed), to see their respective avatars elevated into the realm of “high-fashion.”
“I want these collectors to see how beautiful these digital images can be in the physical world,” says Tam. “I want them to see how I see and feel; to bring femininity and make it wearable. My mother taught me so much about using my hands. Everything was about feeling and touching. Where NFT collectors and I converge is based on the same principle my mother underscored about how special and unique a clothing item can be; to be truly unique is to be the only one.”
The collection will be presented against a massive digital IRL landscape created by Scapes, which will flank the central runway. The crypto exchange platform First Digital Trust is Asia’s leading technology-driven financial institution powering the digital asset industry and servicing fintech innovators, including blockchain start-ups, money service businesses, and token issuers and are also coming in as partners along with Gemini, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Nifty Gateway, the NFT trading, and auction and gallery platform.
“I wanted the creators of these NFTs and even those unfamiliar with NFTs to be excited and to think, ‘Wow, they’re alive!’ That brings me joy.”