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Gucci Teams Up With Company Behind Bored Ape Yacht Club

The luxury house and Yuga Labs aim to explore the intersection of fashion and entertainment.

Gucci is strengthening its ties to web3.

On Monday, the luxury brand announced a multi-year partnership with Yuga Labs, the web3 company behind several well-known NFT collections including Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits and the narrative NFT project 10KTF. It also runs Otherside, a Bored Ape-themed virtual world and game.

The deal is meant to extend engagement between each company’s communities “by exploring the intersection between fashion and entertainment in the Metaverse,” they said in a release.

“We are excited to unveil this multifaceted partnership with Yuga Labs, a leader and creative pioneer in web3,” Robert Triefus, Gucci’s senior executive vice president, corporate and brand strategy, and chief executive of Gucci Vault & Metaverse Ventures, said in a statement. “This will give us an active role in Otherside and 10KTF’s continuing narrative, unfolding in multiple forms.”

Gucci collaborated with 10KTF last year for its Gucci Grail project, which entailed 10KTF’s “digital artisan,” Wagmi-san, crafting clothing and accessories used to personalise NFTs with the designs of Gucci’s then-creative director, Alessandro Michele.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing how that partnership extends to endless opportunities in Otherside,” Michael Figge, Yuga Labs’ chief creative officer, said in a release.

Gucci’s participation in Otherside is set to begin this week.

Triefus hinted at the news on stage last week speaking at the BoF Professional Summit: An Inflection Point in Fashion Tech. Gucci, he indicated, still sees a long-term opportunity in web3 for building community, encouraging customer loyalty and ultimately generating revenue. He described the early frenzy around NFTs as a “wild west” period and views the market’s downturn from its highs in late 2021 as a “correction.” Now it’s in a more sensible place, he added, and Gucci would capitalise on the expertise of creatives through strategic partnerships.

Yuga Labs was founded in 2021 and created Bored Ape Yacht Club, which grew into one of the most successful NFT projects. It later acquired the rights to CryptoPunks, Meebits and 10KTF. Last March it raised $450 million at a valuation of $4 billion.

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