As Web3 continues to redefine the digital space, major brands are actively exploring ways to cultivate a deeper bond with their communities. Leading this trend, Adidas, with its 74 years of influential presence in streetwear and lifestyle, has announced its foray into the metaverse with the groundbreaking ‘RESIDENCY by Adidas’ program.
Understanding Adidas’s Web3 Aspirations
- Origins: Triggered by the broader corporate recognition of Web3, fueled in part by Elon Musk’s commentary on cryptocurrency, Adidas launched the Three Stripes Studio (also referred to as Adidas /// Studio) in 2022.
- Notable Collaborations: The brand has forged alliances with industry giants like Yuga Labs and PUNKS COMICS. Its ‘Into the Metaverse’ initiative garnered international spotlight, notably for its massive NFT AirDrop in June 2022 and the launch of a virtual-only clothing line in November of the same year.
- Platforms: The Adidas COLLECT and ALTS by Adidas platforms stand out. While COLLECT focuses on blending the virtual and tangible, ALTS encapsulates Adidas’s essence in the digital realm, offering users unique avatars and exclusive access to collectibles.
The Unveiling of RESIDENCY by Adidas
Designed to serve as a lighthouse for both budding and established artists, the RESIDENCY program aims to provide a unique Web3 platform. Its goal is to fuse art, identity, and creative expression, aligning seamlessly with Adidas’s core values.
Stacey King, Global Head of Communications & Activation for the Adidas /// Studio, has played a pivotal role in driving Adidas’s digital campaigns since 2018. Recognizing the potential of NFTs in mid-2021, her vision has been instrumental in steering Adidas’s journey in the Web3 sphere.
King shared her perspective on the program’s significance, highlighting Adidas’s historic connection to various cultural movements, from music and art to fashion. With the RESIDENCY program, the brand seeks to leverage its platform to support artists, especially those struggling to gain traction in the Web3 environment.
Commitment to Artists
King emphasized the brand’s dedication to amplifying artists, offering them the limelight through various events, discussions, and diverse marketing opportunities. By collaborating with artists, Adidas envisions creating both tangible and digital products that resonate with the brand ethos, whilst also spotlighting the artists.
Inaugural Event and NFT Sale
The RESIDENCY program will be officially launched during the much-anticipated NFT Now event, with King participating as a panelist speaker. The kickoff sale, scheduled between September 6th and 11th, will feature:
- Exclusive NFT Artworks: Four NFT pieces resulting from collaborations with the program’s inaugural artists, Tokyo-based MonkeeMoto and Lebanese artist Adra Kandil (known as Dear Nostalgia), will be unveiled.
- Availability: The sale, exclusive to the Korean Blockchain Week conference attendees in Seoul, will encompass 200 pieces, with each artist contributing 100.
- Pricing: These artworks can be acquired for ETH 0.15 (around $250) each and will be accompanied by a physical hoodie adorned with the emblem of the Three Stripes Studio.
Spotlight on the Artists
- MonkeeMoto: A digital visionary proficient in artistry, web3 game development, and design. MonkeeMoto symbolizes Adidas’s dedication to nurturing artists who are redefining digital terrains. Follow their journey on Twitter.
- Adra Kandil (Dear Nostalgia): The Lebanese digital artist masterfully intertwines modern elements with collective nostalgia, resulting in ethereal creations. Globally recognized, her collaborations range from high-end brands like Gucci to impactful projects with the UNDP. Explore her creations on Instagram.
The Broader Implications for the Fashion and Tech Industry
As Adidas bravely treads into the intricate web of Web3, the industry watches closely. The blend of fashion, art, and technology is no longer a nascent concept but a rapidly burgeoning sector that brands are eager to capitalize upon.
- Setting Trends: Adidas’s move reaffirms the notion that embracing technological advancements is not merely about staying relevant but leading with innovation. With its holistic approach towards blending the physical and digital realms, Adidas is setting a precedent for holistic brand experiences in the future.
- Artistic Collaborations: The emphasis on artist-brand collaborations marks a pivotal shift in how brands view content creation. It’s no longer about unilateral brand messaging, but a dialogic process involving various creators who bring their unique visions and interpretations to the table.
- Community Engagement: At the core of Web3 is the idea of decentralized ownership and community engagement. By actively involving the community, from artists to consumers, Adidas is harnessing the true potential of Web3, ensuring that its initiatives are grounded in what the community truly desires and values.
With this ambitious step into the Web3 universe, Adidas cements its position at the nexus of fashion, art, and technology. As competitors like Nike and Puma recognize the potential of Web3, themes of digital artistry and “co-creation” continue to emerge as significant intersections in the world of fashion and Web3. The RESIDENCY program marks another milestone in Adidas’s continuous evolution, blending brand legacy with future-forward thinking., setting a benchmark for other brands to emulate in their respective Web3 journeys.