News March 31, 2021
Dept creates AR puffer jacket as limited edition virtual apparel drop
Dept – one of the world’s fastest growing digital agencies – has created the advertising industry’s first virtual AR (Augmented Reality) apparel drop, using NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Snapchat’s new full body-tracking tool. The initiative is designed to help brands better understand the value of virtual fashion and goods, while highlighting the burgeoning trend for digital ownership.
The drop comprises a limited number of NFT virtual puffer jackets, available to try-on in AR on Snapchat. Designed by Dept-owned marketing technology agency, Byte, the gravity-defying 3D jacket features bold bright animations of Dept’s logo. Using Snapchat’s new full body-tracking tool, Byte also created an AR lens so that the jacket’s buyers can post clips of themselves to the platform wearing the limited edition item while on-the-move.
NFTs allow people to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. Creating NFTs on some blockchains, including Ethereum, can be particularly damaging to the environment. Dept chose to create their NFTs on ‘NFT Showroom’ which is built on the less environmentally damaging blockchain and cryptocurrency, Hive. They have also limited the drop to 1/20 editions. When someone buys one of the Dept NFTs they will own a video render of the Jacket, and be able to unlock the Lens Studio design files.
The virtual puffer and Snapchat lens are available to buy as part of Dept’s ongoing Dept Apparel monthly drop that offers the agency’s global 1,750-strong workforce exclusive streetwear from sustainable fabrics, recycled materials, dead-stock and vintage items.
Byte’s Director of Technology, Isabel Perry, said: “Social media users have been hungry for virtual fashion and goods for some time now, a trend that ramped up during the pandemic. And now that Snapchat has released its new body-tracking tool, people are better able to showcase their virtual items across social platforms. What’s more, after Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days artwork auctioned at Christie’s as an NFT worth $69-million, it’s clear that NFT-powered digital ownership is something brands need to start thinking about. So we wanted to use the next Dept Apparel drop to unite these trends as a way of powerfully showcasing the future of shoppable AR.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about how brands can capitalise on NFTs and digital ownership can sign up to Dept’s interactive panel session on 6 April at 15:00 BST // 16:00 CET // 10:00 EDT. Panellists include: Brandon Aaskov, Director of Web at Rocket Insights (part of Dept); Isabel Perry, Director of Technology Byte (part of Dept); Will Scougal, Global Director Creative Strategy at Snapchat; Kerry Murphy, founder of The Fabricant; Damara Inglês, Designer of Extended Reality Experiences and Virtual Fashion; and Rachel Mayer, VP Growth and Product Marketing at Circle.