A 26-year-old single malt whisky and crypto fashion. A match made in the metaverse.
There’s a reason Glenfiddich has earned a reputation as the most awarded and best-selling single malt Scotch whisky – its maverick spirit of innovation drives them to experiment with intersecting cultural realms and intriguing finishes.
Sure, that may sound like a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. But just look at their latest revered aged liquid, the Grand Couronne (French for ‘Great Crown’): The whisky is aged in European and American oak before being finished off for two years in French Cognac casks. In the world of 26-year aged whiskies, that’s a pretty daring ‘finish’ to a classic ‘expression’. (I know, I know… so much jargon. But bear with me.)
As a brand, this belief transcends their product. It’s in their DNA. So, to commemorate the launch of the Grande Couronne, they launched the Grande Composition – a series of global, cross-cultural collaborations where artists reimagined the ‘expression’ of the Grande Couronne’s packaging design. In short? They asked artists from around the world to take an ornamental but timeless design aesthetic, the filigree, and go crazy. The results are stunning. Check some of them out:
Glenfiddich x David Aiu Servan Schreiber
Glenfiddich x Mzukisi Mbane’s Grande Composition
Glenfiddich x Malwina Konopacka
Now, you might argue that, so far, this is a fairly traditional example of product-led artistic ‘expression’. But, as a brand that promises to champion the convergence of contemporary creative spaces, Glenfiddich stayed true to its word and pushed the envelope when it came to the ‘finish’. The next frontier? The world of crypto fashion and the limitless potential of NFTs inside the metaverse.
They partnered with UK-based visual artist, Stephanie Fung, to create a crypto-fashion collection inspired by the above three Grande Composition designs. Known for her unique use of modern techniques to explore traditional themes, she merged the original works with her own 3D aesthetic, adding Chinese embellishments to create virtual garments that were sold off as part of an NFT auction.
In case you don’t already know, “NFT” is short for non-fungible token. Think of it as a digital proof of ownership, or a title deed authenticated via blockchain. Essentially, it’s made it possible for people to prove they own just about anything, even things that exist only in the virtual world, like digital art, music, tweets, in-game real-estate or, in this case, even virtual garments. You can learn more about NFTs here.
To many, that sounds a lot like crazy talk. But think about it for a sec. Social media has paved the way and primed us all to accept the value of a curated online persona. The words “filter” and “selfie” say it all. Now, go one level deeper than Instagram or Snapchat. What if you could add an exclusive virtual outfit, that exists nowhere else, to your interactive online avatar? Welcome to the metaverse.
Millions of people around the world have, and continue to join, virtual worlds like Decentraland and Roblox where they get to live and express themselves in a digital reality without the limitations of our own physical world. And brands are not letting the opportunity pass them by, especially when people are willing to spend as much (or more) on virtual merchandise as they are on the real-world counterpart. Again, real-world, and digital self-expression are now essentially one and the same thing.
In many ways, it’s the perfect opportunity for a hyper-connected brand experience. And some of the biggest brands are putting their crypto cash where their mouths are: Balenciaga created an exclusive hoodie skin for Fortnite’s Doggo. Louis Vuitton launched their own metaverse game for people to collect NFTs. Burberry created NFTs for Blankos Block Party. The list goes on.
If you’ve been asking yourself where and how your brand can meet your future fans and customers, perhaps the answer quite literally is out of this world and in a digital one. A world where neither they nor your brand are constrained by any physical limits. A world of endless possibility. A world which we’d like to connect over and explore with you.