DIGITAL FASHION

Just shoe it — Nike buys virtual sneaker company RTFKT

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to wear your favourite Jordans, Converses, and other Nike products on a metaverse platform near you.
By ERIK SEDIN
December 16, 2021

This Monday, sneaker and sportswear giant Nike announced the acquisition of RTFKT, a virtual fashion collective that describes itself as ”the new age Supreme, for a digital audience.” A statement on the bolder side, but RTFKT are without a shadow of a doubt reaching levels of hype that Supreme could only dream so close to its launch.

Formed by three friends Benoit Pagotto, Steven Vasilev and Chris Li at the beginning of the COVID era in January 2020, RTFKT was literally born into the metaverse. The three founders write on RTFKT’s website that ”the RTFKT project was scheduled to take off in 2040, but the human development in consciousness has accelerated faster than anticipated”. In its comparison to the physical brand Supreme, the prognosis of a 20-year-old timeline to fully take off does match Supreme’s story since its launch in 1994.

RTFKT’s rise to fame has come from the brand’s early adoptions of NFTs. Besides sneakers and fashionable avatars for sale, the brand also creates memes and collectable exclusives.

— This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture, says John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc, and adds:

— We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.

RTFKT products can only be bought via the blockchain with Ethereum as of today. Wallets being supported by the brand are Bitski and Metamask.

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