A sportswear startup’s line of luxury jacket NFTs sold out in minutes. Now the CEO is scouting out land in the metaverse for a virtual store.

ASRV Winter Release 2022
ASRV’s 2022 winter clothing line Derek Reynolds/ASRV
  • ASRV released 60 NFTs of a luxury jacket as part of its winter clothing release. They sold out in less than 30 minutes. 
  • The company joins the likes of Nike and Adidas in betting on the metaverse as the future of retail. 
  • CEO Jay Barton said brands can leverage NFTs as a way to crowdsource success.
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Sportswear company ASRV launched its first-ever non-fungible token collection this week as part of its new winter clothing line. 

The apparel startup released 60 unique NFTs on OpenSea and gifted them to the first 60 customers who bought its special edition winter jacket, which sold for $348. The items sold out in minutes, according to the company.

CEO Jay Barton, who was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in 2020, founded the company in 2014. He views NFTs as a tool to help cultivate a more involved customer base, as well as a way for the company to participate in the Web3 evolution. 

“NFTs allow your fans or customers to basically share the success of a company,” Barton told Insider. “Their purchases of products and enthusiasm now have a legitimate financial upside that can be tracked on the blockchain, and they help crowdsource a brand’s success.”

To date, ASRV has been exclusively an online retailer. In February, however, Barton said ASRV will open its first brick-and-mortar retail store in Beverly Hills, California. The company has also begun scouting out plots of virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse.

The digital tokens sold this week are three-dimensional renders of ASRV’s same physical jacket, each with different colors and properties. Some of the more exotic styles include dragon scales, lightning rods, and even one designed like a NASA spacesuit.

According to ASRV, holders of the NFTs could be granted a future utility with things like “discounts, gift cards, excursions, and retail store benefits” — features meant to encourage customer engagement and a sense of community. 

To Barton, NFTs allow customers to “have a vested interest in promoting a brand or products they already love.” 

“There’s a massive value for the customer,” Barton said. “They can feel more included, and the more the company becomes successful, the more value the customer can get.”

With over 1.3 million followers on Instagram and a cult following on online forums, ASRV has seen rapid growth since the start of the pandemic, Insider reported previously. Its donations of anti-bacterial masks at the start of the pandemic helped attract broader attention.  

ASRV is one of many fashion brands to enter the nascent Web3 space. This week, iconic American retailer The Gap similarly announced an NFT collection, and global giants Nike and Adidas have both made plays in the metaverse. 

Decentraland recently announced it will host its first virtual fashion week this coming March with high-profile designer brands. According to crypto giant Grayscale, the metaverse has the potential to become a $1 trillion annual revenue opportunity.