Up close with Yahoo x Rebecca Minkoff’s new NFT and AR experience

Rebecca Minkoff has just become the first great American designer to make her collection available through NFT.

In a new technology collaboration with Yahoo Ryot Lab, unveiled on Friday, the project offers digital versions of the designer’s fall / holiday looks, along with immersive online experiences and augmented reality.

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The partners made WWD through a tour of the experience, which premieres alongside New York Fashion Week.

Optimized for mobile and also available via desktop, the project guides viewers through an abstract cityscape modeled in New York City, inspired by Minkoff for the new line. Visitors can tour neighborhoods and virtual neighborhoods representing areas such as FiDi, SoHo, TriBeCa and Midtown, with 2D photographs of models wearing their latest looks.

Fans can scroll down to a stylized version of their SoHo store, aired here to look like the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and fly inside to see the portrait models on display.

According to Yahoo and Minkoff, who offered WWD an in-depth look, the project is more than just a fantasy online flight. The photographs are offered as NFT: blockchain-based digital resources that have been deployed this year among the most advanced artists and fashionistas, thanks to their uniqueness and integrated authentication.

Immediately, people may notice that the images are interactive, with clicks or taps causing color bursts. A pop-up window allows them to bid for NFT photos, thanks to an auction system managed by OpenSea. A separate NFT gallery or catalog view is also available.

The addition of augmented reality adds another dimension, as mobile users can scan a QR code to bring the experience home. The AR feature opens to a 3D “vignette” of New York superimposed on your living room or other spaces and includes audio effects, such as car horns, as well as color explosions, which in this case they flow into their real environment.

The final piece, beyond the physical collection, online experience and NFT resources: the partners created 3D versions of the products, which will be available for sale in the digital market The Dematerialized.

The variety of technology offers a new and expansive way for Minkoff fans to participate in her latest work, which the designer calls a “love letter” in New York.

As he explained to WWD, “every piece is about celebrating my heritage, be it the words ‘I Love New York.’ [as featured in her premiere T-shirt], the relaunch of my Morning After Bag on Steroids, the heels, zippers and fringes, and the iconic things you think of when you think of Rebecca Minkoff – you know, this hard mix with the soft. So for me, this is the epitome of what continues to inspire me about New York. And, therefore, it is only a matter of celebrating it ”.

The move is appropriate, not only for Minkoff’s long love affair with the city, but also for the moment, as Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington, DC.

In essence, the theme of the project is imbued with a mixture of business feeling and knowledge, as well as a sense of defense.

“For 99 percent of the population who can’t attend fashion week, how do we offer them this immersive and amazing experience? So when we got together to talk about what we were doing, it just seemed appropriate, ”Minkoff continued. “You know, you’ll get a real-world gallery-like experience for those who come. But outside of that, you get this universe [Yahoo’s] team created to bring to life the history of these NFTs. So that was the goal. “

The proceeds, he added, will go to a grant to support companies founded by women affected by the pandemic, so they can “wait for … to recover,” she added.

As for the Yahoo Ryot Lab, this project is a continuation of the fascination of the fashion week of the technology development group, which began last February with his previous collaboration with Minkoff that made him work at AR .

“We are very focused on the laser to offer customers these amazing and immersive experiences, especially on the things they love and especially when a lot of people don’t have access to wonderful and fantastic events like fashion week,” explained Jo Lambert, head of Yahoo consumers.

Yahoo’s focus on the use of technology for storytelling and content has turned fashion into an area of ​​particular interest, although it also operates in other categories, including games and e-sports.

But here, “we are very excited to work [Minkoff] and the team, not only because we’ve been able to show what’s possible with fashion, but also the combination of fashion and entertainment, ”he said.“ As it evolved, we were able to get to know Rebecca’s collection and Participating with the NFTs in this virtual gallery really gives us a great opportunity to expand the reach of the public, not just for Yahoo, but obviously for Rebecca and her team through this next … an active community with experience, really mobile ”.

In fact, it looks like Yahoo has now detected the fashion bug.

In addition to this NFT / AR / 3D project, the team is in the middle of another fashion partnership with designer Christian Cowan, which is about another piece of futuristic technology: holograms. Cowan has been hitting the internet lately to show off camera-laden shots and a fully digital 3D version of himself.

Apparently, the last piece of this collaboration is slated for Friday night on their NYFW show. Both live audience members and remote fans will be able to access some sort of new holographic experience, thanks to a QR code feature built into the track show.

Once published, the designer will display all of his holograms at the Yahoo + Christian online center and the tech company promotes this and Minkoff’s experience through all of its channels, including Yahoo’s website and social media accounts. .

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