With so many changes afoot in the world of web3, truly pioneering brands and projects are continuing to innovate and find ways to expand their universe and audience. Leading the charge is the creative-led studio RTFKT who alongside Takashi Murakami are the creators of the popular Clone X project, one of the most inventive, stable projects in the space. RTFKT itself was acquired early on by Nike, who is forging its own lane in the web3 space. Now, adding to their already impressive list of collaborators, RTFKT teamed up with Rimowa for the luxury luggage house’s first NFT and a new piece of luggage that will be released next year. While Rimowa is no stranger to collaborations—having worked with prestige labels like Dior, Off White, Fendi, Supreme and plenty of others—this represents their first foray into web3.
During their panel at their Design District store in Miami this past Miami Art Week, we spoke with Chris Le about what we can expect from RTFKT and Rimowa and what it was like taking one of the world’s heritage luggage brands into the new world.
When deciding on your first luxury collaboration, how did you land on Rimowa?
Rimowa made perfect sense for us at RTFKT. We felt that their iconic silhouette, shape and design fit the futuristic aesthetic of RTFKT. We always liked the aesthetics of Cyber/Solar punk, robotics and science fiction design—Syd Mead—and felt that combining Rimowa’s luggage design with the over-the-top video game aesthetics would be a match made in heaven.
A lot of collaborations usually feels restricted but with the Rimowa collaboration, they understood our desire to think outside of the box. When working with RTFKT, understand, we want to go hardcore with aesthetics! Mechs! Robots! Science fiction storytelling and everything in-between.
What was the process of onboarding Rimowa into web3?
It was an easy process as we have creative alignment with Rimowa. They were super-open to experiment and do something completely new with us. The integration of the live mint and quest to unlock our collaboration was really well-received.
You’ve already done a collaborative partnership with Nike, but what was it like getting into luggage design?
The whole design team did a phenomenal job and everyone on the team had a lot of input into the designs. The MECH was very fun to design—even though it wasn’t luggage, but utilized Rimowa’s design language. Rimowa made everything easy with providing the correct resources for the collaboration, going over luggage assets and figuring out a fine balance between Rimowa and RTFKT design choices.
Tell us about the actual NFTs—there are two, one being the luggage and the other being the robot—what was the decision for that and how do they differ?
The luggage itself had four tiers which were randomly assigned via the NFT metadata: Confidence, Exploration, Mimic and Vision. These luggage NFTs will be able to physically redeem luggage in 2023. We also had a digital only NFT of the RTFKT x Rimowa Worker Bot which can be virtually displayed with customizable emotes in our Space Pods.
How do you see the traditional luxury goods market getting further involved in web3?
NFTs allow for more creative forms of interaction, loyalty and digital/ physical provenance. As RTFKT we are excited to see the implementation of our World Merging Tag to combine both virtual and physical worlds and create new collector experiences.
Will you be expanding on the universe that you are creating with Rimowa?
Anything is possible in the future!
Images courtesy of Rimowa