Puma sells NFT shoes – Can it compete with Nike and Dolce and Gabbana in the metaverse?

  • PUMA’s Black Station Metaverse will feature exclusive NFTs redeemable against limited edition physical sneakers.
  • PUMA designers are working without limitations and creating original designs that are as impressive as the actual products.

On Wednesday, September 7, sports and footwear giant PUMA unveiled Black Station, its first-ever Metaverse website experience, during the New York Fashion Week.

The company said that Black Station will be a dynamic destination for users to visit wherein they can connect in the Metaverse in an immersive and interactive way and enjoy PUMA branded NFTs majorly linked to sporting goods.

The Black Station Metaverse will also feature exclusive NFTs redeemable against limited edition physical sneakers. In order to cater to its Metaverse commitment, PUMA has completely revived its website experience.

Upon entering the website, users get to choose a hyper-realistic digital lobby with three distinct portals. Here they get to experience never-seen-before Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid sneakers. To receive PUMA-branded NFTs linked to physical sneakers, users can also mint NitroPass passes. They can later claim it after the Futrograde fair in New York.

With bold and innovative designs, these sneakers will recontextualize iconic PUMA features. The NFRNO seems to be a hybrid collision of the past and the future. Speaking on the development, PUMA’s chief brand officer Adam Petrick said:

Twenty years ago, Black Station was PUMA’s home for our most innovative designs in fashion. Given the boundaries we are pushing from a product design and digital standpoint, we found it fitting to bring Black Station back as a new portal for digital exploration across fashion, sport performance, our heritage classics, and innovation.

Competing with Nike and other fashion brands

Blockchain-based Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are getting extremely popular in the fashion industry. NFTs‘ immutable nature helps to preserve the brand sanctity and prevent any duplicity of products in the market. Some of the major brands exploring the NFT functionality are Nike and Dolce and Gabbana.

PUMA is not the first brand to leverage the power of NFTs. Competitor Nike has been working in a similar direction and building its own Metaverse wherein it will be selling Nike-branded NFTs. It seems that the next big battle of footwear and apparel giants will be in the Metaverse.

Heiko Desens, Puma’s Global Creative Director and Head of Innovation, spoke about the advantages of the Metaverse. He said that the team of designers at PUMA will work without limitations and create original designs that are as impressive as the actual products. Desens further added:

Our team of designers took a lot of liberties when envisioning these footwear styles. We told them the sky is the limit. As a result, we were able to harness their creativity without the typical confines and limitations of our shoe production process.

PUMA is working on this new Metaverse project in collaboration with creative company FTR.

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