Nike Acquires RTFKT
This has to be one of the biggest fashion news of the year. Following up from a partnership with online game Roblox last month, Nike takes another digital step into the metaverse with the acquisition of NFT collectables brand RTFKT.
Recognized as a virtual sneaker creator, RTFKT (pronounced artifact) has been merging realities in fashion and gaming since 2020, dropping hot collaborations like ones with Jeff Staple, the Los Angeles Dodgers and even Japanese contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami.
Their most recent release is CloneX which is an NFT collection of 20,000 metaverse ready avatars that serves as the culmination of what RTFKT has been working on for the past couple of years. This hugely anticipated collection included pieces designed by Murakami himself.
The CloneX NFT's will now represent future utility within the RTFKT and Nike ecosystem and is set to be one of the most sought after 3D avatar collectable available right now.
According to Nike, Inc.’s CEO, John Donahoe, accelerating the digital transformation toward the metaverse is one that allows the sports and lifestyle brand to serve athletes and creators at the crossroads of sports, creativity, gaming and culture. With acquiring the RTFKT brand, Nike is signing up to a very talented pool of creators along with it, with long term investment in plans to serve and nurture in the areas of innovation and creative community to break further boundaries with their digital footprint and capabilities.
Having been fully formed in the metaverse, co-founder of RTFKT, Pagotto reveals that the brand is excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build and empower the communities involved. This is apparent as Pagotto further emphasizes that Nike is the only brand in the world that shares a similar passion to them - one that roots for innovation, creativity and community.
Despite being well recognized for their virtual collection, an array of RTFKT’s designs include physical sneakers, tangibly created for its Space Drip Artists series. They often reference classic Nike designs like the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1. Following an announcement released on their official Instagram account, the brand’s digital designs are presented alongside the actual Nikes, which we suspect might be a cheeky sneak peek to what we can expect from this exciting merge.