Digital fashion drama as Digitalax is accusing RTFKT Studios of rug pulling on collectors who’ve bought a fashion NFT together with some extras. In an elaborate blog post Digitalax accused RTFKT of creating hype, getting clout and failing to deliver off-chain goods. Four jackets were sold through the Digitalax markeplace in February, and never delivered to the buyers.
The post continues highlighting a lack of communication by RTFKT Studios. Digitalax claims to have reached out by email multiple times, but without proper response. Now they are calling it ‘a rug pull of additional off-chain goods’.
After this public post, RTFKT responded in the comments of the Medium article. They apologized to the collectors, and explained that they are waiting for Decentraland to implement a layer-2 solution for the airdrop of the NFT wearables. However, all this digital fashion drama turned into a passive aggressive b*tch fight that would feel right at home in a movie like Zoolander.
First RTFKT called the post by Digitalax a ‘smear campaign’, because the post happened mere days before RTFKT’s drop with digital fashion house The Fabricant. Interestingly Digitalax also announced their own marketplace for digital-physical fashion on the same day.
Then Digitalax replied again, stating that RTFKT should’ve communicated about delays. However, it’s the closing words of the reply to RTFKT’s reply that… well. Just read. I guess we can all agree that these types of public conversations don’t do well for the image of an industry in its infancy.
“Additionally, it might be a good idea to look up projection, passive aggressiveness, gaslighting and presenting a radically different demeanor in public than you do in private, when it is incredibly easy to screenshot conversations had over the internet. Please DM us respectfully moving forward and stop misleading the public.”
Digital fashion new to the scene
The journey for the NFT space has been a long one, since the release of CryptoPunks in June 2017. It took the technology 3.5 years to get mainstream attention and lots of people have been building, creating and investing. Since approximately one year, we’re seeing more activity around digital fashion in the blockchain space.
Obviously digital fashion has been around for some time. Fashion companies use the technology to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint. In addition gaming and animation companies use it to for example dress characters. However, with the rise of non-fungible tokens digital fashion also gets its moment in the spotlight, and allows creators to make money.
Digitalax works on creating an open-standard and recently announced an integration with Polygon blockchain. At the same time RTFKT combines digital fashion often with physical ones. They for example did the shoes with Fewocious.
These two companies aren’t alone. The Fabricant is a digital-only fashion house, and they recently worked with Atari. Even Gucci keeps its eyes on digital fashion, while Adidas also experimented a bit. Today they also dropped some NFTs together with RTFKT on Dematerialised earlier today, selling everything in 11 minutes.
Some closing words
Personally, I find it a bit saddening to see this type of passive-aggressive communication in public. I’d much rather see them working on great designs, creating an open-standard for digital fashion and clothes for our digital identities inside the metaverse. To be fair, I wasn’t even sure whether I should write this. However, sometimes it’s also good to remind that not everything can be sunshine and rainbows. People struggle, people hustle, people work hard to push this space forward. This is sometimes an uphill battle, and sometimes there will be disagreements. That’s fine.
Let’s just hope that RTFKT and Digitalax shake hands and solve their problems. Digital fashion is still in its infancy. With the development of the metaverse and digital identities, digital fashion should not be left behind thanks to old-fashioned squabbling. Just solve the problems, give a virtual hug and work together on making this space as exciting as possible.