Home » Maison Margiela joins luxury brands betting on loyalty through phygital product sales

Maison Margiela joins luxury brands betting on loyalty through phygital product sales

This week, both Maison Martin Margiela and the digital fashion startup Mmerch launched web3 products catered to collectors.

On Wednesday, Maison Margiela launched the public mint for its MetaTABI NFT. Its iconic split-toe boot was transformed into a digital product offering exclusive benefits for the brand’s luxury clientele. Sold on the digital fashion e-tailer The Fabricant, 1,500 NFTs are being offered for $616 each, while 15 are being offered for $8,400 each. Those making the larger investment receive a limited-edition, handmade pair of the brand’s Tabi boots. Members of the larger group get a custom leather wallet.

Also on Wednesday, Mmerch debuted a collection of phygital fashion products developed using generative AI in collaboration with illustrations by artist Gilbert Hernandez. Each of the 960 available NFTs corresponds to a unique hoodie, with variations in their sleeves, hood and edges. The phygital sets are selling for $460 each on the brand’s e-commerce site.

The ongoing trend of fashion brands rolling out digital and phygital products is being fueled by luxury consumers’ demand for unique experiences and other perks. Plus, the adoption of blockchain — which mints NFTs — is poised for acceleration. By 2026, products sold in the E.U. will be required to have digital product passports.

Ownership of a Margiela MetaTABI NFT grants access to exclusive digital wearables within platforms like The Sandbox and Ready Player Me. In addition, it ensures priority access to the brand’s future web3 projects, AR experiences and exclusive events.

“These initiatives drive long-term loyalty within the digital community,” said Stefano Rosso, chairman of Maison Margiela. “They incentivize community engagement from the beginning and foster a sense of belonging to a project that will continue to add value and utility over time.”

But for Mmerch, it’s the customized physical products — not their corresponding NFTs — that are drawing attention to its phygital collection launch.

“People really value the physical components of their digital assets,” said Colby Mugrabi, founder of Mmerch. He noted that the collectors won’t know what hoodie they’ve bought until they mint their NFT.

In March, Mmerch — which specializes in phygital fashion goods — announced a $6.4 million seed funding round led by Liberty City Ventures.

To market the launch, on April 15, Maison Margiela hosted an X Spaces event, which attracted over 1,000 listeners who were keen to learn about the MetaTABI project.

“True to the ethos of web3, but also true to great fashion, this approach [of communication] creates a sense of belonging and engagement among collectors, bridging the gap between virtual and physical experiences, said Rosso.

In addition, the brand actively participates on Discord, where it has 10,000 members.

By leveraging Discord and other community engagement tools, brands can glean more about their customers. For example, just to enter the Margiela Discord requires users to answer questions about which OTB brands they are interested in and where they are from. Users’ interactions shape their experiences, thus fostering a sense of belonging and long-term loyalty within the digital community.

OTB owns Maison Margiela, along with Marni and and Diesel. In 2023, it recorded revenue of €1.9 billion ($2 billion).

Merch’s Discord has nearly 250 members and more than 2,000 X followers. On these platforms, the brand saw 328,000 impressions in the 28 days leading up to its phygital collection launch.

Brands including LVMH, Lacoste and Crocs have also launched phygital products over the last couple of years.

Source: Glossy