Sportswear and footwear maker Nike has announced the acquisition of RTFKT Studios, a developer of fashionable digital footwear for virtual universes.
RTFKT Studios was founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev. The company specializes in creating virtual collections of clothing and accessories. One of RTFKT’s flagship products is a hybrid of NFT and physical collectible shoes inspired by the legendary CryptoPunks NFT collection.
The purchase of RTFKT was announced on Twitter by Nike.
RTFKT is now a part of the NIKE, Inc. family pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA
— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021
“This is a unique opportunity for the RTFKT brand and we are delighted to benefit from Nike’s fundamental expertise. It is the only brand in the world that shares our deep passion for innovation, creativity and the metauniverse, ”said Benoit Pagotto, co-founder of RTFKT.
The rise in popularity of the metaverse is driving the demand for virtual fashion objects. The lucrative and fast-growing sector was not overlooked by Nike, which back in 2019 patented the Cryptokicks system for tokenizing shoes as non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain.
Commenting on the RTFKT Studios acquisition, Nike President John Donahoe said:
“This acquisition accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and enables us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sports, creativity, games and culture. We plan to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community, and expand Nike’s digital presence and capabilities. ”
Gradually, the purchase of fashionable clothes and accessories from leading brands in the form of NFT becomes mainstream, and the digitized collections of the leading fashion houses are acquiring quite utilitarian properties. For example, the ability to replenish your wardrobe for your avatar in the Decentraland or Sandbox metauniverses.