RTFKT Studios, a virtual fashion company, has been acquired by sports giant Nike.
The company, pronounced “artifact”, is largely focused on virtual and augmented reality sneakers that are modelled as 3D assets, turned into NFTs, and authenticated through the Ethereum blockchain.
The purchase marks Nike’s first public step into the world of digital assets and the metaverse, following on from Adidas’ partnership with notable NFT brand Bored Ape Yacht Club earlier in December.
John Donahoe, president and CEO of Nike, said: “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.
“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.”
Founded in January 2020, the young team of three behind RTFKT has charted an astronomical rise to the forefront of the burgeoning virtual fashion industry.
The company recently partnered with world-renowned artist Takashi Murakami on a collection of 20,000 avatar-based NFTs. Last year they designed virtual sneakers for Apex Legends, a popular online video game.
Benoit Pagotto, RTFKT co-founder, said: “This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love.
“Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”
Terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
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