Under the watchful supervision of designer Sean Wotherspoon, vintage apparel and streetwear are 3D-scanned and transformed into digital wearables.
Even though vintage clothing and NFT collectibles are very different, they have both created secondary markets where the value is partly based on where the item came from, how rare it is, and what makes it unique. These similarities led to the creation of MNTGE, which is pronounced “Mintage” and is a digital fashion startup that wants to connect vintage clothing with the metaverse.
Nick Adler, an entrepreneur and Snoop Dogg’s brand manager, started MNTGE with Sean Wotherspoon, a sneaker designer and streetwear store owner, and Brennan Russo, a former Adidas marketing manager. Adler told Decrypt that he and Russo came up with the idea for MNTGE while they were at Wotherspoon’s shop, Round Two.
“We just started to kind of really geek out over it,” said Adler of the parallels and potential mash-up between NFTs and vintage apparel.
The company plans to bring physical vintage clothing to the NFT world as digital wearables that can be used in metaverse platforms. It will launch on Wednesday with an Ethereum NFT called the MNTGE Pass. But it also wants to bring together people who like fashion and streetwear by giving them first access to real vintage finds.
After the MNTGE Pass comes out, MNTGE has a lot of different plans, but they all start with a drop of digital fashion picked by Wotherspoon himself in the first quarter of 2023. The drop will show off the kind of technology that the startup is experimenting with. It will use a high-end capture system—the same one that is used to make digital doubles of actors for movies—to perfectly recreate vintage clothing.
Adler displayed a video demonstration of the aforementioned garment, which was stitched together using imagery acquired by the equipment and transformed into a digital wearable. It’s based on a denim jacket from the 1960s that Wotherspoon purchased at auction, and Adler stated that his co-founder wanted to be able to see the stitching on the scanned digital replica.
Wotherspoon, who collects rare vintage clothing and has created for brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Porsche, told that MNTGE intends to introduce “a level of detail and imagination that you wouldn’t have expected in a Web3 garment before.”
Although it would be possible for MNTGE to simply scan existing historical garments and sell them as NFTs, there is an obvious legal obstacle in the way. Adler stated that the firm has received “broad licenses” from as-yet-unannounced labels in order to bring their vintage clothes into the metaverse, but that it will first establish itself through unlicensed pieces.
Each of the 1,500 MNTGE Pass Day One NFTs will be sold for 0.5 ETH (about $640) and will provide holders access to MNTGE’s token-gated Discord community, in addition to early access to Wotherspoon’s drop and more from other designers. Along the way, NFTs will be airdropped to holders as “Easter eggs,” according to Adler.
MNTGE is working on ways to provide holders with access to the vintage gems that Wotherspoon and his allies consistently source. Passholders will be able to buy at the forthcoming MNTGE Market online store to acquire authentic vintage apparel, which Adler says will be sold without the hefty markups normally observed in trendy shops.
MNTGE also intends to offer future physical pop-up shops in conjunction with global art and fashion events such as Art Basel and New York Fashion Week, giving holders with additional perks. Adler stated that the company is collaborating with popular NFT profile picture (PFP) initiatives to identify potential future collaborations for digital apparel.
Adler has advised a variety of Web3 ventures, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club and The Sandbox, in addition to assisting Snoop with his numerous NFT endeavors. He is currently designing for the metaverse at a time when NFT land plots and avatars no longer command the astronomical prices and intense demand that they did at this time last year.
“No pun intended—the land grab is over,” said Adler.
Instead, he wants to create something original from scratch that he feels will outlast the down market with MNTGE. As devices like as VR headsets and AR glasses become more approachable and accessible in the future, Adler predicts that digital clothes will flourish as an NFT-powered Web3 metaverse grows.
“Some of the hype has died, and you’re gonna see a lot of losers from the metaverse craze,” he said. “But there will be a handful that sustain and will come out as big winners. We’re going to go into a future where this metaverse exists.”
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