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Street fashion might not sound like a perfect analog for the NFT space, yet early on it's seeming like a match made in metaverse heaven.
Lately, Bobby Hundreds, owner of the street brand, The Hundreds, has become an NFT uber-evangelist on full blast across his social channels and podcasts. He's turned into this inspirational, almost Steve Jobs type figure, who has made it his mission to open up the NFT space and personally onboard as many people as possible.
Last year The Hunrdeds had their own NFT drop called the Adam Bomb Squad, consisting of illustrated bomb characters that have graced the brand's streetwear for decades. The founder of Hundreds ah-ha moment was when he realized they were sitting on this deep legacy of IP and a super passionate community: the two main drivers of a successful NFT project. After a few tests, The Adam Bomb Squad was a success. Selling out its first mint and now experiencing a healthy life cycle on the secondary market. This has only fueled Hundreds enthusiasm and conviction in the space. And like I said, he's bringing as many people with him as possible. Including all of his OG streetwear friends, which means street fashion could really be the next big thing to follow art into the metaverse.
Another early streetwear foray into the metaverse famously came from RTFKT and their fusing of meta-video game, hyper aesthetics to create a line of virtual sneakers and become the first famous metaverse fashion brand. Nike took note and acquired RTFKT just when their heat couldn't get any hotter.
Streetwear circles tend to be tight and insular, so it was no surprise, yet also a pleasant surprise, when RTFKT tapped streetwear legend Jeff Staple to bring his game-changing and iconic Pigeon Dunks into the metaverse. The alchemy of the old and new came together to create an instant classic. What must have first felt like an experimental lark for Staple, turned into his own ah-ha moment in the NFT space as he witnessed the awesome community embrace and power that comes when an authentic creator offers something meaningful and heartfelt in the space.
And so after the hype of the drop settled down, Staple is approaching the metaverse again, this time with his own solo NFT project.
A connected community universe built around Staple's iconic Pigeon brand. Here, hypebeasts will be able to mint "Feed" and later have the option to risk throwing their feed to turn it into either a "Pigeon" or "Poop." It's the kind of risk it all layer that we've seen implemented in a few NFT projects. Like the Bored Apes Serum, which takes away your original Ape forever and gives you a brand new Mutated Ape in return.
The website is slick. The passion and creativity leaps off the screen. The art for the first drop is perfectly executed by illustrator B. Thom Stevenson. This week, Chapter 1 dropped. It presents a series of graphics that represents the highs and lows of living in New York. As the project builds out, Staple envisions adding references to new cities around the world to the Stapleverse.
There is a roadmap for the Stapleverse, and it's already clear that Staple has the passion and energy to keep creating in the space. With a known, authentic creator behind the project, confidence rises that this will not be a rug pull. Staple has already been a part of NFT history and now is looking to build off his legacy in the space.
There is a strong psychological connection between hypebeast street culture and NFT culture. Both worlds center around literal "drops" of their products. In both space, catching wind of early hype is credibility and currency, as well as often the difference between those who ape in early and those who live with FOMO in perpetuity.
For those who need the right Nikes that no one else has, or the t-shirt that only came from one single shop, NFTs area a kindred spirit. For streetwear and NFTs are both markers of status. And as our lives turn increasingly digital, it figures that we will need more than just a follower count to signal our status and what we are into. Found out about Bored Apes before anyone else? Your Twitter profile will be the judge of that. Get in on the first Stapleverse drop? Just flash your wallet. From now on, your cool points will be stored on the blockchain, available for all to see and judge. It's Supreme drops, but for the web3 savvy.
You won't see the long mysterious lines of people with insane kicks in questionable New York or Tokyo alleys. Instead, these early streetwear adopters will be going on whitelist quests inside of Discord servers. All hell bent on finding out first, where the the latest cool is at.