“My mission is to make the Metaverse accessible to normal people.” said Philipp Plein, CEO and maverick showman behind the eponymous label. “The Metaverse will become truly successful when my mother goes in there.”
It’s a good soundbite. He’s good at soundbites. But he’s also bang on the money.
According to Morgan Stanley
Plein who remembers the start of the internet and watched it develop over the course of 20 years believes its Metaverse successor, an evolution accommodating spatial experiences, will develop much faster due to current technology.
BACK TO SCHOOL WITH THE WEB 3.0 GENIUS BAR
To address this vast untapped market — according to research by Finder.com, only 2.8% of American internet users currently own an NFT — he’s embarking on an education drive to make the Metaverse more accessible to regular folk.
Like the rest of the population, the majority of his consumers don’t have crypto wallets so when he launched NFTs he sold them on his own website where people could pay with regular credit cards or ApplePay as well as cryptocurrency.
He’s recently leased a new store in London’s Old Bond Street — the town house formerly occupied by Michael Kors — but while he’s waiting on the permits needed to open officially, he’ll launch a pop-up this spring.
“When you come in we’ll assist you to make a Metamask wallet; we want to be a kind of information center for people who want to get into this world and crypto is a part of it because one is linked to the other,” he said.
One floor will be a dedicated museum experience with screens showing his brand’s Crypto King$ NFT artworks by creator Antoni Tudisco alongside physical sculptures collectors acquired as utilities “because for the moment you can mostly only buy NFTs online.”
Last year he began offering cryptocurrency as a payment option for physical goods on both e-commerce and in-store. He’s honest about his initial motive. “I did it because I wanted to be cool and create hype,” he said, “but it’s been a huge success; we now take $100,000 in crypto every day.” Customers can pay in 20 different cryptocurrencies with rates updated every 10 minutes as the market fluctuates.
LET’S GET PHYGITAL
His strategy of linking NFTs to physical components has paid off. He developed a game involving Tudisco’s NFT ‘Lil Monsters Gang Crypto King$ characters. Purchasers collecting all six could exchange them for a rarer 3D version and six of those got them a physical sculpture worth $20,000. He made 80 of these sculptures, all of which have since been claimed.
At his Milan fashion show in January, Plein also sold NFTs, redeemable five months down the line for his newest Plein Sport sneaker. In what was effectively a presale for the shoe, he took over $1 million in a couple of days — something he said would never have happened without the NTF featuring in the mix.
Come holiday season he’ll sell NFTs in-store that come with physical versions in frames “so people can carry them home and put them under the Christmas tree and open a box because people still want to touch something and they want to feel something.”
Another plan is up-selling — offering digital wearables to the customers of physical goods. “You’ll go to the cash desk and while you’re paying the sales assistant will encourage you to buy the same cap for your avatar in the Metaverse,” he said.
Alongside other designers including Dundas, Plein presented his first full collection of digital Decentraland specific wearables at a show which took place during the recent Metaverse Fashion Week on real estate he’s bought in virtual world. Looks emerged on the extended tongue of a custom created digital robotoid.
His top selling item on the Decentraland marketplace was a reassuringly expensive digital $17,610 gold puffer jacket complete with ultraviolet backpack and floating monster accessory on a snowboard. Because accessories are everything.