Nifty Newsletter #06
0x836e
March 18th, 2022

A big hello, howdy and a welcome to the sixth issue of the Nifty Newsletter, a community-run bulletin that highlights Blitmap-derivative projects and some of the recent happenings in the Blit universe. This edition features an NFT x IRL project called Blitwear by Core3D, a project that combines digital NFTs with physical fashion. The project was created by fashion industry vet Gwan Yip, and the collection is currently on auction on OpenSea through this Sunday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. EDT (UTC -05:00).

But before we take a deep dive into Blitwear, there is one development in the Blitverse that I need to cover: the hyperlink connection between the Blitmap and Corruption(*s) communities. If you are unaware, Corruption(*s) is part NFT, part performance art and part experiment in decentralized community building that was kicked off by Blitmap founder Dom Hofmann in November 2021. It’s a complex project, but the best way to get caught up to speed is to hop in their Discord and read the “getting up to speed” channel for the full background.

Recently, a portal known as “hyperlink” was opened between the two channels that allows Corruption(*s) holders to communicate directly with Blitmap holders. Hyperlink paved a potential path to connect communities that share an affinity without granting a specific “holders” role in each channel. This communication tool comes at an interesting time: the Corruption(*s) community will soon vote on whether to join Blitmap as part of the Sup ecosystem, an organization that Dom and Bigpapap formed to help nurture fictional web3 universes.

We’ll have to wait and see what the Corruption(*s) community decides! But for now, let’s turn our eyes to the incredible Blitwear project!

Disclosure: Since the end of 2021, I have been actively advising Core3D on how to tie a digital NFT to a physical asset, and have had a small role in helping the team craft website copy and communications.

Core3D: Providing Digital Tools for the High-Fashion World

While Blitwear may be the first NFT project of Core3D, the company has been in the digital space for a while now as an online 3D-design platform for the fashion industry. CEO and cofounder Gwan Yip notes that the Core3D platform helps brands increase their speed to market and reduce waste by eliminating their dependency on physical products.

“Typically the product development process takes between six to eight months, with a lot of back and forth,” he explains. “It works in this very linear order, where a spreadsheet of requests goes to the designers who sketch up the designs. They then create physical samples of the approved pieces, and those that make the cut move to the selling phase. This is where a store is ‘mocked up’ and the brand walks potential buyers through the physical space to see what the collection will look like on the rack. Buyers, such as department stores and retailers, can then decide whether to make the buy.”

An early prototype of Blitwear that Yip mocked up for Core3D's virtual holiday market.
An early prototype of Blitwear that Yip mocked up for Core3D's virtual holiday market.

This process, Yip says, has been around, unchanged, for the better part of 60 years. But not only does it introduce a huge delay for brands to create the hundreds of samples needed to stock the faux store, it also results in a huge amount of waste in terms of both labor and materials.

Core3D solves this problem by creating a virtual environment that allows buyers to visualize how the product would look on shelves. While a small subset of samples must be produced to ensure size and fit, brands no longer need hundreds of physical samples—many of which may never see the light of day—to stock a sample store.

After a chance encounter with some of the original Blitmap artists at a friend’s birthday party, Yip soon realized that his company’s ability to “digitize fashion” could open the door to creating a NFT x IRL fashion crossover. At the end of 2021, he began pouring his efforts into creating Blitwear.

Blitwear: NFT x IRL Fashion

Some say that luck equals preparation plus opportunity. I’d like to add a third ingredient to the mix: an open mind. When Yip had a happenstance reunion with old friends (and Blitmap composition artists) Varley, BRAINDRAIND and Bigpapap at that party, the stars seemed to align when Varley started talking about his work with NFTs.

“This was back in October 2021, and prior to catching up at the birthday party, I’d had a rudimentary understanding of what an NFT is but didn’t fully get it,” he recalls. “At the time, I’d asked myself if this was something that I should explore further, but the answer was ‘No.’ I just didn’t see the value in it.”

That changed after experiencing Varley’s enthusiasm about the space after what Yip calls “an hour-and-a-half masterclass on NFTs” with the Blitmap artist. He asked more pointed questions to BRAINDRAIND and Bigpapap and began to see what they were all so excited about.

The Cool Cat hoodie in the Blitwear collection by Core3D
The Cool Cat hoodie in the Blitwear collection by Core3D

“After the party, I took a step back and mulled over this new information from three creators for whom I have a huge respect,” Yip says. “At that point I realized that there was definitely something there with NFTs, which prompted me to do my own research. This ultimately kickstarted another conversation with Varley where I got to learn more about Blitmap and its community.”

Around this same time, Yip and Core3D were accepted into the San Francisco-based ODX accelerator program and began working on a virtual holiday marketplace to showcase pieces from independent designers in a virtual space. As part of the marketplace, Yip thought it would be interesting to riff on the Blitmap designs that he had been exposed to and create some custom designs on his own to be featured in the marketplace.

"Having worked with some of the leading brands in the industry, it was not difficult to recognize the appeal of the Blitmap artwork," Yip says. "This was not purely from a color palette perspective, but also from a design perspective—the Blitmap pieces easily translate into print patterns and logos that pop with color.”

After creating a virtual storefront for his Blitmap-inspired pieces, Yip sent some screenshots to Varley, who began buzzing with energy. It was at this juncture that I became involved with the project when Varley connected me with Yip based on our mutual interest in NFT x IRL crossovers. My draw to the web3 world was attempting to connect digital assets with physical goods (particularly with enamel pins). When I first saw Yip’s mockups, I was instantly excited and told Yip that he had to transcend digital by also creating high-end physical pieces to accompany them.

The Processing long sleeve t-shirt in the Blitwear collection by Core3D.
The Processing long sleeve t-shirt in the Blitwear collection by Core3D.

“Making a physical product was never my intention. I mean, none of this was really planned out. It just evolved naturally through conversations and support from people in the Blitmap community,” Yip says.

Newly inspired to make a physical product, Yip got to work. He took his preliminary designs and began to refine them for clothing. At the same time, he worked with different print makers to see if they could produce a fabric to match the vibrant colors so often associated with the Blitmap palette. Yip ended up creating a collection of 25 pieces that include an assortment of t-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants based on popular Blitmap designs.

Like an ERC-721 token, the garments in the Blitwear collection are one-of-one pieces. When an individual wins a Blitwear NFT from the auction, they also can claim a physical garment that is truly unique. Apart from a dress or formal wear custom made for the stars to walk the red carpet, you’d be hard pressed to find similar, truly one-off fashion pieces like Blitwear.

The Rose varsity jacket in the Blitwear collection, as seen in the real world.
The Rose varsity jacket in the Blitwear collection, as seen in the real world.

The showcase piece of the collection is the varsity jacket, an item tailor made for the individual who wins one of these NFTs. Paying homage to the community-crafted Blitmap minting process, the winner will not only be able to select the Blitmap they want as an embroidered patch on the jacket, but they will also have the ability to fully customize the color palette for the fabric and different accents. Check out this video by Core3D to see all the different things you can customize the Blitwear varsity jacket!

CC0 License Empowered Core3D to Think Big

Blitmap’s choice to put the assets in the public domain with the CC0 license was the catalyst for Blitwear coming to life—not just because the IP was available for Core3D to use, but also because this CC0 concept is what made web3 and NFTs click for Yip.

When BRAINDRAIND took Yip aside at that birthday party and began to show him derivatives people had made based on his original art, it marked a pivotal moment in the designer’s NFT journey. He saw embroidered, graffiti and 3D renderings all based on the original artwork that was in the public domain—not only could these creators make fan art, they could also sell it. Yip realized that there was not only an explosion of creativity around BRAINDRAIND’s original works, but that CC0 projects naturally tended to develop a passionate community of creators.

“I started to understand that with CC0 it's more about expanding the IP through community creativity where everybody wins. This revelation helped me see the potential of what NFT communities like Blitmap are doing. And I have been fortunate to interact with super talented people who have contributed to this Blitwear project because of the energy Blitmap has—without CC0, this never would have happened.”

Preview from the Blitwear hype video that can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/672109798/f34a79787b
Preview from the Blitwear hype video that can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/672109798/f34a79787b

As a veteran of the fashion industry, Yip knows that if a brand wants to collaborate with a pop culture phenomenon there’s often a large degree of legal wrangling and licensing agreements that can bog down the process. In contrast, when developing Blitwear, he took advantage of the fact that the Blitmap intellectual property was placed in the public domain with the CC0 license. This freed Core3D up to focus on the design prototypes rather than on securing permission to use the Blitmap images.

“The CC0 license was so important in creating the Blitwear collection,” Yip says, “because we were able to move quickly without having to cut through red tape to secure a licensing deal. This enabled us to express our creative vision using the Blitmaps as a base that we could expand.”

And boy did he and the Core3D team express a creative vision! With the help of many in the Blitmap community, the Blitwear launch party saw one of the largest events ever to be held in the Cryptovoxels universe. Tons of people attended the party the other night in spaces that spanned several plots on Scarcity Island, including Varley’s Highley Varlet Studios and nic’s Scarcity Stadium. MasK constructed the plots with voxel art specific for the launch party, and attendees could don Blitmap- and Blitwear-themed wearables by nic while enjoying a DJ set by SaintStereo. Two high-quality hype videos by the Core3D team fired up the crowd before the auction opened for the 25 custom Blitwear items.

The Cryptovoxels space for the Blitwear launch party, screen grab by Blitamp artist Varley.
The Cryptovoxels space for the Blitwear launch party, screen grab by Blitamp artist Varley.

As of publication date, all items are up for auction through Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. EDT (UTC -05:00) with 5 of them already receiving bids! The winners of the Blitwear NFTs can claim their physical items by reaching out to the Core3D team via Discord or Twitter and authenticating their ownership of the items. While this is a manual process, Blitwear is largely an experiment by the Core3D team. If it proves to be a success, the team will look to implement a more robust web3 experience to facilitate a more automated claiming process for future drops.

“Blitwear has been an incredible project supported by a number of people in the Blitmap community,” says Yip. “I have been super focused on creating an event that was executed at the highest level and following through with high-quality, real-life products. I haven’t allowed myself to spend a lot of time thinking about what comes next, but I’m excited to see where this goes!”

Nifty’s Nook

Wow! What a story and what a fantastic party in the Cryptovoxels space last night! After working with Yip for the past several months, it was incredible to see all this hard work and effort come to fruition. There are three major takeaways I have from this project—two are directly related to the notion of NFT x IRL crossovers and the other concerns how web3 anon/pseudo-anon personas help create new opportunities.

First, I have had a huge interest in NFT x IRL for over a year now—in fact, it is what brought me to this space. While there are many facets that are interesting to me, one that Blitwear makes clear is that NFTs can serve as authentication for high-end products. When an individual owns both a Blitwear NFT and the physical garment and decides to sell it on the secondary market, a buyer can rest assured that they are getting the genuine article if the seller can transfer both items to them. In a way, the NFT is akin to a title for a car—having it accompany the physical item means that it is legit.

It’s not too far-fetched to envision a future where Nike sends an NFT with every pair of Air Jordans, or Louis Vuitton has a token for every purse sold. This combination should not only curtail the creation of fraudulent pieces, but also eliminate the need for authentication services.

Second, as we move more of our lives to the metaverse, there will be a desire to bring things that express who we are as a person. Fashion is clearly the way most people express themselves in the physical world, and as digital tokens begin to accompany physical pieces, we will be able to “wear” items that exist in our Ethereum wallets in digital spaces. Look to more mainstream fashion brands jumping into web3.

Finally, the anon/pseudo-anon aspect of web3 has afforded me opportunities that, quite frankly, would have been near impossible in the physical world. Even though I have the fashion sense of a loaf of bread (I rock New Balance and the Old Navy collection from 2014), I do have an interest in developing products and seeing NFT x IRL crossovers happen. This natural curiosity is what led me to Yip’s project and afforded me the opportunity to contribute in a small way to work with a high-fashion industry vet who has partnered with some of the industry’s top brands. Outside of web3, I don’t know how our paths would ever have crossed, much less how we would have collaborated. We are indeed early—now is the time to build relationships and create new ways of doing things. And the crazy part is that all skills are needed!

NiftyPins is a member of the Blitmap community—you can find him frequently hanging out in the Blitmap Discord or on Twitter at @niftypins.

Arweave TX
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Ethereum Address
0x836eF81A58e5565b8d1d555EC8E9a5c2792511c6
Content Digest
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