Italian fashion brand Gucci has created their first NFT as part of a special drop through Christie’s auction house. The piece, entitled Aria, is part of a collection called “Proof of Sovereignty“. It is a 4-minute looped video with an opening bid of $20,000USD. The auction is due to close on June 3.
The collection was curated by Lady PheOnix, a popular figure in the digital art world. Gucci’s piece is a short video by creative director Alessandro Michele and award-winning photographer Floria Sigismondi. It shows a model opening a pair of doors, intercut with horses running through a field.
Gucci’s NFT part of an impressive collection
Other artists in the Christie’s drop include Nam June Paik, Coin Artist and Joshua Davis. Claudia Hart, Lethabo Huma, Kesk, Tamiko Thiel and Jenny Holzer also feature. It marks the latest NFT auction by Christie’s. They have been busily blending the crypto world with the mainstream for months. Their auction of Beeple’s famous artwork earlier this year fetched over $69M.
Aria’s message is, according to the listing, an “overarching message of yearning to bloom and flourish after the shadow of winter has passed”. The video is well-produced, with a magical quality. It features no music, but a very powerful audio track ties the work together.
Proceeds for a good cause
Gucci is donating proceeds from the sale to UNICEF USA. UNICEF is working to support the global COVAX program, to combat covid-19. The group’s goal is to provide easy access to vaccines worldwide. With a $20,000 starting bid, the NFT should be a good addition to the fight against the pandemic.
Other recent NFT drops have been made in support of charity. While many focus on eco-friendly causes, Gucci’s focus on COVAX is commendable.
Christie’s special NFT claims
According to Christie’s, the Proof of Sovereignty collection is a technological revolution. It employs “metadata, storage and legal standards that have been virtually absent” from the existing NFT world. It’s not entirely clear what that means, or how Christie’s is improving upon IPFS technology.
IPFS keeps data and metadata safe by distributing it across thousands of computers around the world. It’s already extremely secure and effective, especially when compared to centrally managed storage options. Any new decentralized storage system would be a boon to the broader industry, if it existed.
What is certain is that Christie’s is helping to introduce the mainstream world to the idea of NFTs. With projects such as these — dubious claims of technical superiority notwithstanding — NFTs are gaining ground. The average person might learn enough about NFTs to try for themselves.
Gucci adds speed to NFT movement
With the addition of Gucci to a collection already stacked with big-name digital artists, Christie’s is helping to push the crypto world forward. Many outside the NFT scene still view crypto with suspicion. Gucci’s involvement changes the conversation from “should I?” to “when should I?”
The Gucci NFT auction closes June 3, 2021. You can view it by visiting the Christie’s website here.
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