Puma unveils first-ever metaverse website experience with NYFW link
Puma — like many other companies this year — is diving deep into the metaverse with its first metaverse website experience, called Black Station.
Crucially linking the physical and the virtual, this will feature exclusive NFTs with limited edition redeemable physical sneakers, as part of its 'Futrograde' show during New York Fashion Week.
Black Station has been “imagined as an immersive and interactive place to experience the future of the brand. As a blank and ever-evolving 3D canvas, [it] will become a dynamic destination to visit, connecting consumers with various web3 activations emerging over the course of the next year and beyond,” we’re told.
And part of it is “uncharted territory for the brand in the web3 space” as it establishes its first Puma-owned NFT that links digital design with in-real-life physical products for consumers.
The connection to Black Station is key as 20 years ago, this was the brand’s “home for our most innovative designs in fashion”so it clearly extends the name’s innovation link while also adding an element of continuity.
Chief Brand Officer Adam Petrick said that “given the boundaries we are pushing from a product design and digital standpoint, we found it fitting to bring Black Station back as a new portal for digital exploration across fashion, sport performance, our heritage classics, and innovation”.
So what exactly will visitors find? The experience starts when they enter a “hyper-realistic digital lobby space” with three separate portals.
The first two portals, accessible from Wednesday, unveil exclusive never-seen-before Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid sneakers linked to Puma's recent NFT Nitropass mint.
The third portal of Black Station will act as the entry to the digital NYFW metaverse fashion show, which comprises an “interactive space abstracted with point cloud style effects”. Consumers will “journey through a digital adaptation of the show, where visitors can interact with the collection's pieces”.
It was developed by creative ventures company FTR and has been built with Unreal Engine 5 to produce cutting-edge graphics.
For those first two portals launching today, the company said that “those who minted a Nitropass can receive two NFTs – one tied to physical products and one that unlocks a customised experience linked to their chosen shoe”. And after the Futrograde show, minters can claim their physical sneakers by burning their product-claimed NFT.
Digital product design comes courtesy of the firm’s in-house designers who’ve been able to “push the creative boundaries to envision what a 3D digital sneaker could look like”.
Global creative director Heiko Desens said the team “took a lot of liberties when envisioning these footwear styles. We told them the sky is the limit. As a result, we were able to harness their creativity without the typical confines and limitations of our shoe production process”.
The shoes “recontextualise iconic Puma features through bold, innovative designs. Fastroid takes a performance tech silhouette to the extreme with exaggerated volumes of Nitro foam in gradient high-impact hues. With 'sport is art’ as the guiding ambition, NFRNO appears like a hybrid collision of the past and future, drawing inspiration from obscure archive styles to arrive at a multi-part moulded construction”.
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