EBIT Launches NFT Shoes for Mental Health Awareness Month – Footwear News
Fashion and digital art collective EBIT (Enjoy Being in Transition) has launched its first virtual-only shoe collection in the metaverse.
Co-founded by Simon Whitehouse, the former CEO of JW Anderson, EBIT aims to shine a light on the promotion of mental health through art, fashion and music. And since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this launch is set to do just that.
Launched today, EBIT unveiled the “Spectrum of Footwear [E010]” collection – an early range of 10 metaverse-ready digital shoes and sneakers that draw inspiration from the spectrum of mental health issues. According to Whitehouse, the elements of each style morph and overlap sequentially, subliminally reminiscent of how medical professionals diagnose mental illness.
“I remember selling shoes 25 years ago, and the classifications were very simple,” Whitehouse told FN in a call Wednesday. “There was a shoe, a sneaker, a boot, etc. Now, there are so many crossover and hybrid models that have evolved over the years. This evolution of footwear parallels the way science and doctors diagnose mental health patents. Individuals are no longer labeled with a diagnosis like depression and ADHD, they are now treated across a spectrum. That’s why we called this collection a “Spectrum of Footwear”.
An example of how NFT morphs include a token that starts out as an 1980s-inspired slingback mule that morphs into a flat-grain leather low-top, then into a classic basketball high-top sneaker, before transform into Chelsea boots, a clog, and back to the mule. According to Whitehouse, each style is equipped with a signature 69cm EBIT tag that contains subtle references to morality, mental health and youth culture.
Designed by Dominic Laurelli, the line of ten 3D-designed, virtual-only, game-ready shoes can be worn by a user’s avatar in the Metaverse. According to Whitehouse, the render and NFT assets were created by Amsterdam-based CGI fashion specialist INDG in partnership with Bastiaan Geluk, Markus Bauer, Nick Hussain and Ben Mahon. Digital product development was led by Jaime Galipienso, along with Didac Albors and Joseto Garcia.
Styles will be available for purchase as NFT through a special collaboration with The dematerialized marketplace on the Lukso blockchain. An auction of a 1 of 1 NFT will take place today, while the other 9 styles will be produced in varying quantities up to 50 units. Each NFT will be priced based on rarity. No physical product will be available for purchase, but sales of EBIT’s Spectrum of Footwear NFT collection will go to the National Autistic Society, Whitehouse added.
The project follows EBIT’s 2021 collaborations with artists including Glen Luchford, Michel Gaubert and Soo Joo Park.