Indian fashion debuts in the metaverse with Manish Malhotra’s NFTs
A few months ago, when The Hindu Weekend delved into fashion NFTs, we came across several international experiments — from NFTs given away to selected attendees at Paris Fashion Week, to Brooklyn-based digital creator Ravi Guru Singh, who minted the first traditional Indian fashion NFT collection. But where were the Indian fashion designers? Why weren’t we seeing NFT bundles from a Tarun Tahiliani or Anamika Khanna?
The ongoing FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week has finally catapulted us into the metaverse. Manish Malhotra just dropped India’s first fashion NFT on homegrown platform WazirX, and it sold out in seconds! The collection included sketches and GIFs of five couture pieces worn by models and actors such as Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, and Lisa Ray. ‘Illuminous Showstopper’, a custom-made constellation sketch for Kareena Kapoor Khan, got the highest bid — picked up by NFT creator-collector Mike Blue for 3,000 WRX (approximately ₹2.8 lakh).
“[My first NFT collection] traced the journey of the brand; the moments that have been instrumental to taking the label to what it is now,” said Malhotra, on an FDCI x LFW panel discussion. The designer has always been open to experimentation: he was part of LFW’s first virtual reality experience, back in 2017, which went on to become the most-watched fashion video in India on Facebook at the time (it has over 4.2 million views). “I’m always intrigued by the new. There’s something so amazing about technology, and the reach is so wide. NFTs are a new world, and it helps make [your work] universal and immortal,” he said, adding, “There just might be NFT outfits in the future; you never know. That’s the fun part.”
We are counting on it, especially with the recent news that Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana has set a new record by selling NFTs amounting to around $6 million. We’d like to break some records too.