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Adidas Residency: Brands Using Art in the Web3

adidas NFT
By Luigi Savarese
Luigi Savarese

5 Min

September 13, 2023

Adidas dives deeper into the Web3 world with its innovative art residency initiative, aptly named Residency by Adidas. The program is a facet of the Three Stripes Studio unveiled earlier this year. It aims to nurture Web3 artists and facilitate the creation of artist-rendered digital products and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

Adidas aims to collaborate with a diverse pool of global digital artists. Moreover, it wants to foster a creative synergy that spans both digital and physical realms. These artists will also play a pivotal role in releasing limited-edition NFT art, significantly departing from Adidas's traditional sporting heritage.

The debut of this pioneering project is scheduled for September 6th, coinciding with the Korean Blockchain Week conference in Seoul. Adidas commissioned four NFT artworks for this inaugural sale. Also, it includes contributions from Tokyo-based MonkeeMoto, and Lebanese creator Adra Kandi. Each artist's portfolio will comprise 100 pieces, totaling 200 NFTs. He will retail for ETH 0.15 (equivalent to approximately $250). Notably, these NFTs will be bundled with a physical hoodie adorned with the symbolic Three Stripes Studio logo.

Additionally, an open-edition sale will run concurrently, offering NFT art at the more accessible price of ETH 0.03 (approximately $50). However, this option does not include the physical hoodie. The entire sale process is facilitated through the Manifold minting platform, accommodating both cryptocurrency and credit card transactions.

Stacey King, the global head of communications and activation for the Three Stripes Studio, expressed her excitement about this venture. She emphasized the importance of diversifying Adidas's role in the Web3 community. She also cites the success of previous open editions in Berlin and New York. In fact, it was a catalyst for their deeper involvement in engaging artists within the Web3 ecosystem.

Alts vs. Residency by Adidas

In line with Adidas's Web3 strategy, they have plans to introduce digital, physical, and linked drops that will run parallel to the ongoing 'Alts by Adidas' initiative, a separate Web3 fashion project unveiled earlier this year. It's worth noting that the Residency by Adidas operates independently of Alts. The Alts project, which gained traction in April 2023, is an extension of Adidas's 'Into the Metaverse' strategy, offering access to tangible and virtual items. Owners of Alts enjoy exclusive benefits like digital wearables, access to a specialized Discord channel, and invitations to physical events. In recent times, Adidas has also made its mark by outfitting Profile Picture (PFP) avatars in digital Adidas attire and presenting a digital-only jacket collection at the Metaverse Fashion Week in April.

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The Blurring of Boundaries Between Art and Commerce

Adidas's foray into the Web3 arena comes when its competitors, Nike and Puma, actively embrace this transformative technology. Sneakers, a core commodity in the fashion realm, are especially sought after within the Web3 community. Notably, Nike's 'Dot Swoosh' Web3 platform, unveiled in November 2022, is set to empower individuals to design and sell their very own digital sneakers.

However, the decision by a fashion brand like Adidas to venture into the world of art residencies and NFTs raises interesting questions. Adidas's initiative can be seen as a step toward innovation and diversification. However, some may argue that it blurs the lines between fashion and art, potentially commodifying the creative process. This intersection of art and commerce within the Web3 space is a topic that warrants critical examination.

The Future of Creativity and Authenticity

Adidas's 'Residency by Adidas' is a pioneering endeavor to bridge the worlds of fashion, art, and technology in Web3. It represents a significant leap forward for the brand. However, the intersection of art and commerce in the Web3 space raises intriguing questions about the future of creativity and authenticity.

The fact that a fashion brand like Adidas is supporting an art residency is a sign that the boundaries between industries are becoming increasingly blurred. This trend will continue accelerating in the Web3 era as brands and artists find new ways to collaborate and create value. The future of creativity and authenticity will be found at the intersection of art, commerce, and technology. Brands that can embrace this new paradigm will be the ones that succeed in the Web3 era.

Of course, there are also risks associated with this blurring of boundaries. For example, there is a danger that art could become commodified and lose its meaning. However, the benefits outweigh the risks. By working together, brands and artists can create new and exciting forms of expression that will enrich our lives.

Only time will tell how Web3 will unfold. But one thing is certain: how we bridge the worlds of art, commerce, and technology will shape the future of creativity and authenticity.