Why Nike’s Next Web3 Move Is A Black Hoodie: Rtfkt Founders Tell It All


Rtfkt is designed with an Apple-like “ecosystem” mindset, which means products and benefits are created to work in concert. Those who possessed a Clone were air-dropped Mnlths, and its products can be carried by Clones, and so on. “Because you have all the elements, you don’t want to walk away from it,” Pham says. “It’s your digital identity and the 3D avatars and the items they can wear.”

Opening up the platform to developers is also similar to Apple’s strategy, Pagotto points out, and was informed by the track record of the founders. Le, who lives in Salt Lake City, has worked in entertainment and games making music videos and skins. Miami-based Vasilev worked on social media pages for streetwear brands before starting a sneaker customization business. And Paris-based Pogotto worked in luxury, before becoming CMO of esports company Fnatic. They met when Pogotto approached them about turning a skin into a shoe. They quit their day jobs in October 2020 when their digital sneakers started selling in six figures.

Forging demand

For all its inclusion, the price of admission into the Rtfkt ecosystem might have more in common with luxury than it does with Nike. A clone will net you at least 11 ETH, or more than $13,000. “It’s still a few thousand dollars on a digital artifact. To me, that trade-off still isn’t realistic enough to spend a few thousand dollars, for, you know, rent,” Pham says. The progressive nature of NFT projects, which means early collectors have access to future drops, also means new fans have a higher threshold for participation, she adds.

Vasilev says Rtkft is working to onboard new people, but every drop still has a scarcity pattern. And not every item starts high – Metapigeons started at $1 in May of last year. (The pigeon’s resale value is now in the thousands.) Although Rtfkt derives revenue from the resale market, it does not set these higher prices. “If an item sells for $100,000 in the secondary market, we don’t make $100,000,” says Pagotto. “One of our collectors and supporters is making money.

People always say you need your first 100 customers, then 1,000. Our first hundred customers are now millionaires. We made people millionaires,” says Pagotto, due to the dramatic rise in resale prices. Growth in terms of customers is likely to be an ongoing measure of success. “With each new drop, we think about how to integrate new people,” he admits. “But, it’s an interesting position which is very luxurious, because we have more demand than we have to offer.”

Expect more physical and digital drops related to NFTs and NFC chips, especially in the sneakerverse, which was an early adopter of digital fashion. Competitors include Cult & Rain and a new luxury brand from Gmoney, in addition to expansions from incumbents Adidas and Puma.

Aside from teasers and speculation on Twitter and Discord, Pagotto can’t share any details about plans for later this year. He can propose that he will continue to invite people to change the way they think about a sneaker, and play on the idea of ​​multiple skins to beautify a single primary shape. “You have a base, just like a base character, and you change the look with skins. We’re going to focus on the base, and we’ve developed some cool material, but I can’t talk about that now. When you see it , you understand that it comes from a digital world first.

Comments, questions or comments? Email us at [email protected].

More on this topic:

With the acquisition of Rtfkt, Nike invests in the metaverse

A perfume in the metaverse? Byredo and Rtfkt bet on the visual “aura”

Nike and Rtfkt take on digital fashion with first “Cryptokick” sneaker


Comments are closed.