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Off-White, the contemporary luxury label founded by the late Virgil Abloh, is now accepting cryptocurrency payments in its London, Paris and Milan flagship stores.
Customers will be able to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Ripple (XRP), and stablecoins Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) for Off-White products, with no payment limit following fraud checks, the brand has announced. LVMH bought a majority stake in Off-White in 2021, while previous investor New Guards Group retains the licence.
“This is another important step in the growth of the brand, that looks towards the future including Web 3.0 technologies, understanding the needs and desires of its ever evolving customer base,” a statement from the brand reads.
Off-White is now run by Abloh’s team and aims to continue the founder’s legacy of youth culture and innovation. Off-White launched on TikTok to stream its Autumn/Winter 2022 show to TikTok’s majority Gen Z user base using TikTok’s new multi-view streaming technology. This latest move into crypto also takes aim at Gen Z consumers, many of whom see fashion, particularly sneakers, as an alternative asset class to invest in.
Luxury watch brand Hublot launched crypto payment in February of this year, while Italian luxury streetwear brand Philipp Plein, an early adopter, launched crypto in August 2021. Plein told Vogue Business his brand completes at least one crypto transaction per day and has already amassed 150 bitcoin (equal to approximately €6 million at the time of writing) in revenue.
For many crypto users, trading cryptocurrency for clothes could come at a risk. The resale returns of fashion couldn’t match up to the kind of returns on a cryptocurrency bull-run (a spike in value, as seen in 2017 and 2021), for example. However, with cryptocurrency values currently tanking, some cautious shoppers may rather invest in fashion instead.
Cryptocurrency transactions can be dangerous for brands if exchange rates are not constantly monitored. If a brand prices a garment at a certain amount of a particular crypto coin, and the value tanks, it’s exposed to losses. To avoid this, Off-White is using a special LUNU POS terminal, which finds the best currency-to-crypto exchange rate at the time of transaction, and is compatible with multiple crypto wallets that can scan a revealed QR code to settle payment. Refunds for any items purchased with cryptocurrency will be issued exclusively via store credit, in the local currency, Off-White says.
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