LONDON — Pronovias is saying “I do” to the metaverse with the launch of three NFT wedding dresses based on new designs set to appear during the brand’s runway show during Barcelona Fashion Week on Friday.
The limited-edition NFT artworks are inspired by three of the designs from the 2023 “Versailles” collection, which will land in stores in September. The NFTs have been designed by Pronovias’ artistic director Alessandra Rinaudo, and mimic the patterns, textures, beading and ability to reflect light of the original gowns.
A very small number of NFTs will be sold via an auction that will begin next week. However, they will only be activated in September as part of a 360-degree reveal of the 2023 collection. The NFTs will be uploaded to the OpenSea platform, and can be viewed on the Pronovias website. The reserve price has yet to be set.
The initiative is a first for the bridal industry and the latest step in the company’s commitment to digital transformation. It is also part of chief executive officer Amandine Ohayon’s commitment to innovate across product, sustainable design, technology and customer service.
In a telephone interview Ohayon said Pronovias launched the NFTs because “we have always made innovation a top priority. We’re thinking of our customers who are 20 to 30 years old, they’re in the metaverse, and they have an amazing connection with this world. As a brand, we want to inspire them, and speak to them where they are.”
One of the Pronovias’ NFTs.
She added that Pronovias also likes to be first with everything it does, so it was natural to want to break ground in the metaverse. She argued that NFTs are a natural fit for the bridal world.
“A wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. You own it and cherish it for life. These NFTs are unique digital artworks that you can also cherish for life. And they take up less space in your wardrobe, too,” she said, adding that only a “very, very small” number will be auctioned. “We want to keep it exclusive.”
The three NFT dresses follow the trends of the Versailles collections with long trains, golden tones, lace, beading and embellishment that interprets the fleur-de-lis design.
The Cadenet dress has a semitransparent strapless corset with dotted tulle, and a skirt with a 215-cm long train with an exclusive, belted fleur-de-lis lace design. It has a high neckline and long, puffed lace sleeves ending in delicate ruffles at the cuffs.
The Charlotte is a soft mermaid design with floral ivory and gold embroidery mixed with silver thread. It has a glittery tulle under layer, a high-V neckline, low back and a 215-cm train.
The third dress is called the Pompadour, and is made from gold lamé taffeta with a V-neck and pleated sash belt with an oversize bow. It features large puffed sleeves with jewel buttons and has a 135-cm train.
The brand is preparing for a busy spring, with a new store opening in London’s Mayfair next month that will house the Vera Wang Bride collection, part of a 10-year licensing deal.
As reported, Pronovias plans to move from its spot at 94 New Bond Street to 70-71 New Bond Street, a property owned by GPE, formerly known as Great Portland Estates. The new store will have one entrance, with a dedicated Vera Wang Bride space on one side, and Pronovias on the other. Each side will have its own facade and windows facing the street.
The Vera Wang Bride dresses will be made to order, and the new and bigger space will mean that brides will have room to try on the samples and have the fittings done. London is one of a few cities, including Madrid, New York, Paris and Milan, where the collection will be available.
One of the Pronovias’ NFTs
During the interview, Ohayon said the brand is keen to invest in physical spaces “as Pronovias is primarily a brick-and-mortar business.” She added that Vera Wang is happy to be back in London with its own facade on Bond Street.
Ohayon arrived at Pronovias in 2018 with the goal of positioning the brand as an industry pioneer.
Sustainability has been at the top of her agenda. Earlier this year, the company released Second Life, an initiative that sees Pronovias release dresses designed specifically to be altered, free of charge, and worn again after the wedding.
The first launch consists of more than 50 bridal gowns that can be converted by altering the length, eliminating sleeves and by adding belts, straps, sashes and other details to create a new look. The number of dresses in the collection will increase with each new season.
In 2021, the company launched a sustainable initiative called We Do Eco. The dresses are made from luxury eco fabrics and trims. As reported, the brand also works with Brides Do Good, the e-commerce platform that sells brides’ pre-loved wedding dresses and out-of-season stock and samples from brands.
About 80 percent of Brides Do Good inventory is supplied by the brands themselves and the site’s founder, Chantal Khoueiry, said Pronovias is among its top supplier-partners.