“We waited for him to come on board to start to work on this, because we wanted his advice and to work together with him,” de Montaigu says. “We are really looking to him for this, and we always want to be one step forward. It’s important to be part of the future, and this is what is happening.”
It also helps The Sandbox to have brands like Horse riding playing ball. Both The Sandbox and competitor Decentraland have been heavily courting fashion brands, as digital fashion plays an outsized role in how people communicate in and engage with virtual worlds. Ushering in an emerging luxury brand gives The Sandbox fashion credibility, and ensures that Àcheval’s onboarding is relatively smooth.
Àcheval is digitizing four of its pieces: a tee, a poncho, trousers and a hat, which will be wearable in The Sandbox and provide special properties, Madrid says, such as dancing to folkloric music via the poncho, or horseriding in the plains of Argentina thanks to the gaucho hat. “The idea is to activate the imaginary world of these products, make the consumer travel and live a different experience through their virtual twins,” Madrid says.
While Horseman’s physical pieces range from about $480 to $850, the NFTs will be about $300 with a limited production run. This more accessible price point is intended to encourage more participation, de Montaigu says. The NFTs will also come with a Sandbox wearable.
Similarly, Spatial Labs’ new collection of connected apparel, called “Lnq Hardwear”, lets people create an avatar that can wear the digital versions of the Hardwear garments. The products are connected to an app through the Lnq chip (pictured at top), and planned functionality includes a range of concepts, including “proof-of-tap” to let people opine on future mints, and link to playlists, social profiles and crypto wallets. The company is calling the functionality “the wearable internet”, and the category “the metaverse of things”. While connected apparel isn’t a new concept — Levi’s and Google Jacquard’s connected trucker jacket came out in 2017 — blockchain-based connectivity adds another layer of potential creativity.
“We recognized a gap in the Web3 industry and took this as an opportunity to develop hardware that would equip users and creatives with the tools they need to create, engage and share with their communities,” said Spatial Labs founder Iddris Sandu, who has previously worked with brands including Beyoncé’s Ivy Park, Kanye West’s Yeezy and Rihanna’s Fenty line, in a statement.