As in the physical world, sustainability is rapidly becoming a hot topic in the metaverse, with buzzwords and marketing tactics like metawashing taking over the virtual realms. This week, Jing Daily explores the impact that new technological advancements are having on our world, and whether the ambitious real-world goals Web3 players once advertised are still possible. Meanwhile, Anthony Stead, co-founder and CEO of virtual sneaker brand Blanksoles, joins Jing Meta to discuss the label’s latest partnership with Solana Spaces and share what’s next on the digital sneaker horizon. 
Love is also in the Chinaverse’s air this week, as campaigns for the Qixi holiday take over popular social platforms. Next up, Baidu’s interactive application Xi Rang is making waves across the luxury sector once more, this time with its immersive showcase of the repeat Prada Fall 2022 show that took place over the weekend at Prince Jun’s Mansion Hotel in Beijing. The Italian brand has witnessed promising growth across China for the past year; now, they’re placing their bets on a Chinaverse takeover. But with the country’s virtual space as volatile as ever due to governmental policies, is luxury ready to pay the cost if digital ventures backfire? Prada’s latest move signals that might be the case.

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- Bethanie Ryder, Metaverse Editor

As the conversation about fashion’s approach to sustainability continues, developing technologies are opening up new opportunities for global climate objectives, as well as fresh obstacles. For many, the metaverse’s conception hailed a promising alternative to overproduction in the physical world, through the substitution of tangible goods for virtual collectibles. But as Web3 gains traction, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the matter isn’t that simple. Jing Daily explores.
Metawashing: The Latest Buzzword Taking Over Web3

From the eye-watering reality of NFT energy consumption to the growing number of companies taking part in metawashing — investing resources in marketing virtual products as sustainable rather than working to minimize the impact of their campaigns — the buzz surrounding the metaverse’s possibilities is wearing off. Now, all eyes are on how Web3 can be navigated responsibly. 

Read the full story on Jing Daily here
Jing Meta's top Web3 digital fashion drops to add to your calendar.
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The brands making their name known in the Web3 space this week.
Copenhagen Fashion Week Welcomes Rotate's Inaugural Digital Garment Project

Copenhagen-based fashion label Rotate has entered the world of Web3 with the launch of its first-ever NFT and digital garment. In conjunction with Copenhagen Fashion Week SS23, the inaugural release spotlights the brand’s signature “Theresa” dress, which has been transformed into a virtual garment using augmented reality on Snapchat. 

Audiences will be able to try on the digitally rendered dress right after the SS23 collection has been showcased. The label has also announced that it will be dropping a series of NFTs based on the Theresa dress exclusively via digital fashion platform The Dematerialised, which will be priced at €80 euro each and offer benefits such as early access to future releases. The drop marks the opening of the virtual “Rotat3” verse created in collaboration with digital provider Mojomoto. In addition to the NFTs, buyers can opt to purchase the ‘Rotat3’ phygital garment, priced at €800: a one-off that comes with an AR experience, an animated .mp4 collectible, and a limited-edition physical Theresa dress.
After previously working for companies such as Yeezy and Anti Fund and Animoca Brands, Anthony Stead, co-founder and CEO of Web3 sneaker label Blanksoles, has found the perfect intersection to apply his Web3 and sneaker knowledge. Now, he shares with Jing Meta the firm’s latest partnership with Solana Spaces, the crossovers between streetwear and NFT drop culture, and how Blanksoles are striving to lead the virtual footwear industry through one-of-a-kind tech and a community-driven approach.
Blanksoles recently dropped a phygital sneaker with Solana Spaces, a retail store collaboration with the Solana Foundation. How did the partnership come about?
Our team is quite close to the Solana Foundation team. Around three months ago, Solana Spaces reached out to us because they were looking for cool projects in the Solana ecosystem to incorporate into their store launch. The first time we spoke, they explained their idea about the retail stores and we were super excited. But I don’t think we envisioned just how real it could be initially until we saw it come to life. 
How did the design process differ from the experience you have in creating traditional, physical sneakers?
One concept that is important to Blanksoles is bringing our partners and community members into the design process to promote community membership and ownership. With solana spaces, we incorporated this model by allowing their design team to use our sneaker ‘blanks’ as canvases that they could paint on, rather than us just telling them how we want the pieces to look. The 3D digital design part is also very important. Something we’re working on now is our live AR function where each NFT will have its own traits that are digitally interactive. Imagine seeing your unique sneaker in your bespoke digital showroom, exhibiting traits that only your sneaker has. We want to utilize digital innovation to push the concept of what individual sneaker ownership means.
What is Blanksoles’ USP?
There are two things. We just onboarded a really strong CTO, Stevie Huh, who has an engineering background and has worked at BCG digital ventures. I think leading the charge on technological innovation is important in this space, and that’s what he’s doing. Number two is strong, authentic execution on the sneaker brand side. Our sneakers are designed and developed by Marc Scepi, who is VP of Production at Shoe Surgeon and has 20 years' experience in sneakers with global brands. It’s also about going the extra mile. Having a cool narrative weaved into the branding model is important in high-quality NFT projects. It’s still in a relatively nascent stage, but we are working on a unique drop model that we believe will have a significant impact on the sneaker landscape as a whole, but I can’t elaborate on any more as it’s still early stages!
Who makes up Blanksoles’ community? 
It’s two-pronged. Firstly, it's streetwear individuals who have not yet been introduced to Web3 and are around 18-29. Then it’s also addressing people who are already on-boarded onto crypto and are looking for something that offers authentic cultural streetwear, in addition to having an understanding of the nuances of a legitimate brand. There’s actually a lot of crossover as the hype models that run streetwear drops are pretty similar to a lot of hype models that drive NFT culture. 
Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
We are doing a lot of cool stuff right now. The Solana Spaces partnership is a big one for us, as it’s the first blockchain retail space and will also serve as a platform not only for more partnerships, but for innovation with the whole digital and physical shopping checkout experience. We have a couple NFT project collabs that we'll be dropping over the rest of this year. We’re also going to be releasing this whole product suite called Flight Kit by Blanksoles, which is essentially these tools that we recognized that we want, but they don't exist, so we’re going to be building them for ourselves first then offer them to partners. I think projects like these will allow us to be recognized as a thought and product leader in the space.
The latest virtual developments taking the Chinaverse by storm.
Prada Captures China’s Attention With Help From The Metaverse

Hot on the heels of Dior's first-ever metaverse exhibition in Baidu’s interactive social platform Xi Rang, the Italian luxury house has showcased its Fall Winter 2022 collection via the metaverse app. Will more luxury brands tap into Xi Rang in the future? Jing Daily explores.

Read the full story on Jing Daily here.
Dior is back in China's digital landscape once again. This time, with an interactive WeChat campaign to celebrate the mainland's annual Qixi holiday.
Dior Warms The Hearts of Its Web3 Audience Through An Interactive Qixi Campaign
What Happened: To commemorate the Chinese Valentine's Day holiday, Dior released an interactive campaign via WeChat, which aims to engage with local shoppers while bringing awareness to the brand’s latest capsule collection launch. The campaign is centered around the luxury house's signature astrology-inspired motifs, taking inspiration from the Dior Zodiac Printed Pixel design that has featured on iconic silhouettes such as the Micro Lady Dior Bag and the Book Tote. 
The Verdict: Like many holidays across the mainland, including its recent 55 event and 618 shopping festival, brands are utilizing the metaverse as a means of amping up their marketing efforts and exploring new virtual avenues. The virtual realms are also an opportunity for labels to engage with the next-gen consumer base, who rely on applications such as WeChat for social interactions as well as e-commerce purchases.
Festivals like these provide a time-limited touchpoint for brands to test the waters before they adopt a more permanent Web3 strategy. But with tough restrictions and governmental policies still in place, companies must navigate the metaverse carefully to avoid backlash.
The latest NFT drop that Jing Meta has its eyes on.
By Far's First Ever NFT Celebrates The Qixi Festival

The metaverse also hosted other brands’ Qixi celebrations, with Bulgarian accessories brand By Far launching its own series of NFTs in honor of the romantic holiday. A limited series of virtual heart pendants, each priced at 777 RMB (115.07 USD),  was available to purchase from July 27 to August 7 via Xiaohongshu’s digital art platform R-Space
The collection was made exclusively for a youthful Chinese shopper — a demographic that will continue to drive growth for the label, which has rapidly gained attention among consumers thanks to Xiaohongshu. Incorporating the world of Web3 into its marketing strategy demonstrates By Far’s commitment to deepening its relationship with this Gen-Z audience, as well as utilizing popular digital channels such as R-Space to accelerate its presence across the mainland.
All social listening data is sourced from social listening tool Digimind.
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