The baby blue box hits the metaverse: Tiffany & Co. is offering a few hundred CryptoPunks owners the chance to turn their very own NFT, using enamel and gems, into a very luxurious Web3 token that can be worn out in the real world.
On Monday, the luxury brand announced that it would be partnering with blockchain-based software development company Chain to launch its very first NFT – or in company parlance “NFTiff” – exclusively available to 250 CryptoPunk holders in the form of 250 digital assets that give them the chance to purchase a custom, one-for-one pendant of their pixelated punk. Each pendant in 18k rose or yellow gold will feature at least 30 gems that Tiffany jewelers will carefully color-match to approximate Punk’s digital hues, at a cost of 30 Ethereum, or currently around $51,000 USD.
Interestingly, neither the popular NFT collection CryptoPunks nor its parent company, Larva Labs, are directly involved in the collection. Instead of like Hypebeast reports, “it’s made possible by individual punk owners leveraging their intellectual property (IP) rights,” providing a relatively novel approach as many brands, luxury and othertry to create a customer base in Web3 bedrock.
“As the owner of CryptoPunks, I saw a partnership with Tiffany as a way to make NFTs accessible to new collectors as well as strengthen the existing community that has embraced the art,” said Deepak Thapliyal, Chain’s CEO, in a press release. On Monday, Thapliyal tweeted a picture of his own Tiffany CryptoPunk pendant, captioned with its flexible price of 30 ETH.
According to the press release, the collaboration took shape after Alexandre Arnault, vice president of Tiffany & Co. and son of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, submitted his own custom Punk pendant earlier this year, outfitted with a pair of sapphire-and-ruby-lensed 3D glasses and yellow diamond earrings. (The 3D glasses-wearing CryptoPunk #3167 also serves as Alexandre’s profile picture across his social platforms.) But it’s just the latest of many very 21st-century ventures the LVMH-owned brand has taken on since 30- year-old Alexandre took over the helm of Tiffany last year, which he started with an ad campaign featuring Jay-Z, Beyoncé and a giant Basquiat painting and followed up with a collaboration with the archetypal skatewear brand Supreme.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Arnault père expressed some trepidation about the French conglomerate wading into Web3 waters. “We have to see what will be the uses of the metaverse and NFTs,” Bernard Arnault said during the company’s earnings call back in January on Vogue Business. “It can undoubtedly have a positive impact – if it’s done well – on the brands’ activity, but it’s not our goal to sell virtual sneakers for €10. We’re not interested in that”. This collaboration, which depends on the exclusivity , which makes both luxury goods and expensive non-fungible tokens desirable in the first place, gives the NFT-branded collaboration a bit more grandeur.