At Art Basel, fashion and innovation get back to business

Web3 tech, like sustainability, doesn’t exist in siloes and developers are holding out for a future reality in which cool projects and artists aren’t burdened by the explanation of “NFTs”. “I hate that word,” said Andreesen Horowitz’s Chris Lyons, who is the president of Web3 media at the storied investment firm (and was wearing a pair of NFT-connected Dior sneakers). Lyons spoke on a panel hosted at the LVMH Culture House, which displayed curated works by artists of colour, women and those with disabilities. The discussion was hosted by LVMH’s Corey Smith, head of diversity and inclusion, North America, with speakers Nelly Mensah, LVHM’s head of Web3 and metaverse, artist Latashá Alcindor and People of Crypto co-founder Simone Berry. Smith revealed that in the last year, LVMH had generated 1,000 tech jobs that didn’t previously exist. Mensah said that art-led projects are a way for LVMH brands to experiment with new technology in a way that is brand safe — while the tech is invisible.

Innovations in tech, inclusivity and sustainability all share the need to ultimately be commonplace, as well as in the background. LVMH’s Melwani told Vogue Business that is why the LVMH brands participating in the new Miami Design District sustainability programme wouldn’t be broadcasting it to their consumers.

“The core of luxury is to build desirability. When you’re talking about stuff like this, it’s not dissimilar to the art we have in our stores,” he says. “We have beautiful art — but do we advertise that? No. But if somebody comes in and goes, ‘Oh, wow, I love that bench’, does your sales associate know that it’s a [Claude] Lalanne bench? Of course they do. So the way to think about this is, this is what we do. It’s intrinsic to the business. If the customer has that curiosity, we’re there to tell that story. Sometimes the customer wants to geek out on stuff… and sometimes the customer wants to have a glass of champagne and have a great time and go on about her way.”

Ledger and Rtfkt unveiled two new hardware wallet designs: a black Ledger Nano X encases in a vial case designed by Rtfkt, which is a nod to the brand’s digital ecosystem iconography, and an Rtfkt x Ledger Collector Edition including a white Ledger Nano X Chalk Blade.

Photo: Glen Jamn

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