I am a kid from the 90s, and during that decade the whole gaming industry was going through some rapid changes. We saw a sudden shift from those lovely pixelated 2D games to the (at the time) impressive world of 3D games.
With this change, the immersion into the game narratives became even more prominent. I recall that the garments my favorite characters wore were the things that I enjoyed the most when working on my drawings. I became a pro sketching Final Fantasy-style outfits and Resident Evil badass gear.
I didn’t realize back then that I was starting to draft my dream of intersecting fashion and video games at some point in my life.
Nowadays, with the rise of Digital Fashion and the so-called Metaverse, I see the potential for this intersection to happen in a more fluid manner.
In recent years, fashion has embraced gaming and gamers as legitimate areas of interest. It is partly because gaming has become mainstream and it is not more stigmatized.
In addition to this, fashion is looking at gaming as a form of immersive media. Fashion is, at least in part, about storytelling, or “selling the dream.” In a virtual world, a vision can be brought to life interactively without the restrictions of reality.
The other way around also applies here. There’s so much inspiration within the world of video games — from fantasy, first-person shooters, epics, RPGs, and so on — and Fashion can easily take clues from these elements and bring them to the real world via super stylish apparel.
Who would not want to wear something that could give you the same swag as your favorite game character?
Fashion is old-fashioned
Long has been the time when Fashion was at the forefront of driving major consumer trends and generating innovative products or business models.
Fashion has become old-fashioned and dirty.
We have too many new garments being overproduced, leading to more waste, and also Fashion is missing a lot of the opportunities that web3 brings.
That’s why I got bored and mad at the Fashion industry.
Having run my own label for 6 years, and showcasing my designs in global fashion weeks, I began to notice a trend as I began to build a close relationship with the new generation of customers.
Traditionally, it has been a monologue from designer/brand to consumer. However, new technologies have enabled consumers
to engage brands in a meaningful dialogue to express their evolving needs, passions, ideas, and feedback.
We are now witnessing the end of the era of the superstar designer and the rise of the prosumer or community-driven brand.
Prosumer, a term coined by futurist Alvin Toffler in his 1980 book “The Third Wave” to describe consumers’ active role in the commercialization of goods, derives from the words producer and consumer.
The term “prosumer” has transformed from meaning “professional consumer” to meaning “product and brand advocate or co-creator.” People are no longer just consumers of products; they are now influencers who have a significant impact on the success or failure of companies, products, and brands, particularly through their participation on the internet.
We now live in a consumer-driven world. In order for businesses and brands to thrive, business leaders and marketers must not just identify prosumers, but also acknowledge, respect, and build relationships with them. This aligns completely with the core of what a web3 brand is and could be.
But what the hell is Web3?
Web 3.0 is a term used to refer to the third currently emerging developmental stage of the internet. The difference between the simple, read-only websites of web 1.0, and the more interactive, dynamic, and social websites of web 2.0, with web 3.0, is that the latter operates on decentralized technology that no one person or entity can control, allowing pretty much anyone around the world to own their content and assets, while utilizing the internet in whichever way they see fit.
Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, metaverse, NFTs, and communities are all keywords in web3.
First and foremost, the community is a big piece of marketing in web3. In web3, a community is often established before a product, and products often come out of the community.
In Web 3 marketing is all about building meaningful relationships with your customers and creating partnerships that benefit everyone involved. It’s time for businesses to stop thinking of customers as a number in a database, but instead, people looking for the same thing you are.
And what about blockchain?
Your grandpa thinks it’s a scam and you’ve decided you’ll never understand it, but fear not! Blockchain is not as complicated as it seems — it’s actually very cool.
Blockchain is the system that verifies, authenticates, and records all cryptocurrency transactions. It’s the ecosystem that everything that we’ve mentioned above lives on. You might hear blockchain referred to as a distributed, public ledger. We know that is not a helpful description. This might be:
A public blockchain is similar to a database but is differentiated by a few key attributes.
Decentralized: no third party controls the record and there is no master copy. Synchronized copies of the blockchain are distributed and stored on computers around the world.
Public: anyone who wants to can access the blockchain. Public keys of wallets and their transactions are made viewable so that any user can confirm that transactions are legitimate.
Immutable: once a transaction has been entered into the record (aka: ledger), changing it or erasing it is infeasible (and nearly impossible).
Then comes NFTs
In the same way, cryptocurrencies reinvented money, NFTs are reinventing… Pretty much every other item we interact with (and even create new ones!).
Crypto tokens like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) and fiat currencies like the dollar and euro are fungible tokens. You can have one ETH and exchange it for any other ETH, or you can exchange a 100-dollar bill with any other 100-dollar bill.
On the contrary, non-fungible tokens or NFTs are crypto tokens that represent information about unique or rare digital and real-world assets. This information stored in each NFT makes them non-interchangeable on a 1:1 basis. An NFT cannot even be divided into smaller parts like other crypto assets or fiat currencies.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are unique or rare digital assets. They can represent anything from a digital work of art to an avatar's skin, they can be a proxy for a physical object or grant you a piece of ownership to your favorite song.
We’ll shoot straight with you, NFTs would probably feel 100% less confusing if they weren’t called Non Fungible Tokens. Consider them to be unique digital objects that you can own, welcome to the era of digital ownership.
But the bigger, most exciting thing behind NFT adoption — and why this is so fundamentally important for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole — is linked to culture. The more we spend time online, the more our digital identities become as important as our physical ones. And this is where NFTs come into play; they’re the Web3 vehicle for self-expression and social currency.
The genesis of VALACLAVA
Looking at this consumer trend and at the new developments with web3, then adding our team's passion and expertise with gaming and 3D digital fashion, we decided to start work on a new brand, a brand for the future, born in the metaverse and built by the clan.
In a nutshell, VALACLAVA is the first gaming-world-to-real-world brand born from gaming and web3 culture. We are on a mission to collectively create a future-proof, web3-ready innovative fashion brand while extending apparel to new realities.
What else your garment can be? How else a brand can serve you? How can we inspire the industry to be a little bit better?
Established through a process of technology and made-to-order study, VALACLAVA examines the codes and language of modern, luxury gamewear through the lens of innovation, community, globalization, and modernity.
VALACLAVA derives from balaclava. We picked that because we are a next-generation collective of fashion designers, builders, and rule-breakers. Carefully designed in the metaverse & born in web3, VALACLAVA is redefining what it means to be an authentic brand. In the CLVN you find your kind of people — mysterious, creative, extreme, loyal, driven, and ineffable.
Different from any traditional fashion, VALACLAVA is foremost driven by our community-first mindset. Every one of us brings our own stories, passions, and dreams. VALACLAVA is here to connect us and nurture the finest culture, rooted in a love for fashion, gaming, and crypto-art that is built both with supreme artistic provenance in the metaverse, as well as in the real world.
We know this is best done with imagination and the community at the core, as these are the fuels catapulting innovation towards more sustainable and innovative practices.
With each VALACLAVA piece, we consider the environmental and social impacts across the entire life cycle. We developed a digital-first mindset that catapults our operation to be fully inventoryless.
Through the use of
By employing Made-to-order, 3D Digital Design and circularity, we want to minimize resource consumption, eliminate waste and extend the life of our products.
That is the reason why we don’t keep stock. All Valaclava pieces are made-to-order and everything is produced precisely to our clients' orders taking up to 21 days for an item to be completed and shipped.
This process allows people to create something uniquely their by using our customization feature. With every design, you have the option to customize it with hundreds of possible variations. From adding or removing design elements, to picking all-over prints, to deciding about placed prints over embroidery, we are excited to see what you come up with.
The vast majority of our products are developed by our manufacturing and production team in Portugal, where they take part in a longstanding cultural tradition of premium craftsmanship and workers receive a living wage. Portugal also has many specialized fabric mills, where we are able to work with the teams to develop our custom technical materials. Our Portuguese teams are the reason we are able to innovate such unique products while maintaining our rigorous standards.
Cyber-physical: connecting physical products to NFTs
We already explained what NFTs are to you, and we know that NFTs have been circulating on the blockchain for some time now. They are unique digital goods purchased with cryptocurrencies. The tokens serve to signify ownership of objects in a variety of markets including art, video games, fashion, and music.
The NFT guarantees sole ownership of digital assets to an individual. An NFT can be purchased for a set price, but because it is often in limited quantities, its value can fluctuate based on supply and demand.
Among the main arguments in favor of NFTs is that they create digital scarcity where none existed before. However, there may be a quality deeper and more meaningful than scarcity, and that is authenticity.
By storing all relevant data about a garment’s provenance on the blockchain, manual authentication processes are eliminated, and the risk of fraud is greatly reduced. That’s a great example of how blockchains can go far beyond their source code to affect people’s value of tangible, real-world goods.
VALACLAVA uses blockchain technology to store and share product information with partners and consumers in an attempt toboost authenticity, ownership, transparency, and a sense of community.
VALACLAVA is the link between the real and the virtual, where you own the digital NFT and their physical counterparts.
From the purchase of your physical garment, you will also own its NFT digital passport (connected to your NFT via our unique tag), which following the purchase of your NFT would be sent directly to your mailbox.
When the NFC tag on the garment is scanned, the NFT embedded reads directly on the blockchain that it is you who owns that garment.
Our garments are tagged with unique scannable tags that unlock a bespoke digital platform that displays the digital twin of the garment. As a digital passport, it gives you all the information you need about your product, from provenance, traceability, authenticity, rarity level, and ownership. The digital passports will bring together all product-specific data into one place available at any time at the click of a button.
This NFT will work as proof of who owns the garment and grant access to the Valaclava Clvn to the holder.
This is how it works:
Scan the coin-shaped tag on your garment using the NFC reader feature on your phone
Download our app and scan the tag scan with the camera on your phone
Unlock your product’s unique digital passport and verify authenticity
Check back whenever you need
This is what you get:
4K rendered image
4K rendered animation
3D files for you to work with it
Exclusive access to VLCLV CLVN (Discord channel)
Early access to drops
Access to members-only virtual and physical events
Opportunity to collaborate and vote on new designs
Opportunity to activate the creation of an exclusive digitally tailored photo
Our INFINITY Collection and the Major Drops
VALACLAVA Infinity collection is a collection of 8,000 NFTs, composed of 8 base garments — developed by an anonymous team of fashion mavericks — that can be combined in hundreds of unique ways. Collections and gamewear drops take their cues from streetwear, techwear, blackwear, and athleisure.
VALACLAVA ultra-rare garments give you membership access to CLVN. There you will have a two-way conversation and participation in our moves. It starts with exclusive gamewear and design collabs, NFT drops, live events, and much more that will be revealed over time.
The CLVN is a corner of the internet where fashion, gaming, community, and culture fuse to create magic. The lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring and the rules are being rewritten.
While the Infinity Collection is our beta collection with higher availability, our drops in partnership with major game franchises will be ultra-limited.
We enable game franchises and brands to streamline feedback, ideas, and insights to the VLCV CLVN who forge these into inspiring high-quality and limited collections of apparel and footwear for you to collect.
VALACLAVA’s first gaming partnership will be with the Call of Duty franchise, which holds over 6 million daily active players. The drop will be out in mid-August and it consists of 4 garments that compose a full look and each garment has a scarcity level of 300 units each.
The Call of Duty x VALACLAVA drop will be available at www.valaclava.com and at the www.shop.callofduty.com
Whether an IP wants to make the brand resonate with its audience via a new product category or bring the digital universe of a game into the physical world, they can count on the VALACLAVA CLVN.
We take care of bringing the IP into the apparel/footwear world, while they focus on what they do best: the game!
Phase 01 — Q2 2022
Building the team and the tech stack
Soft-launch of Valaclava Shop with the Infinity Collection
Activation of the Valaclava CLVN
Phase 02 — Q3 2022
Full-launch of the Valaclava Shop
Call of Duty Drop and new partnerships announcements
The community starts participating in the next drop design iterations
Phase 03 — Q4 2022
AR Experiences and Tailor-made digital photos/animations
Skins for metaverse experiences
IRL and URL events
Airdrop of our Golden NFT garments
We have always believed that lines between physical and digital fashion will blur and that new rules will be written in this context. Continuing this narrative in our company, it is very exciting to see this manifest in our reality today. I am truly looking forward to building the VALACLAVA community and to both exchange and express much more compared with the traditional fashion as a medium.
We believe that neither sustainability nor quality has to be sacrificed in order to make beautiful clothes and that the future belongs to brands that truly innovate while embarking on web3 and have respect for the planet.
I speak for our entire team when I say we’re excited about this change and are looking forward to the new conversations, challenges, and opportunities to come