19 January 2022
The Weekly
England
Selfridges's Steps into Metaverse

Selfridges is starting 2022 on a high with a project that looks into the future, bringing fashion, art, retail, theatre and NFTs (Non-Fungible-Token) all under one roof. Selfridges is joining with Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely - which represents the works of French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely - to create one-of-a-kind shop windows, pop-ups, in-store art exhibitions and NFTs.

Building on Paco Rabanne creative director Julien Dossena’s spring 2022 range, where Vasarely’s abstract art featured throughout his collection, Selfridges decided to take things up a notch and bring Vasarely’s entire universe alive. The artist is known for his bold use of colour, geometric designs and flair for optical illusions. The idea was to translate “Universe” across every possible touch point — “from archive to metaverse” — hence the archival Paco Rabanne pieces set to drop tomorrow at Selfridges, alongside 12 Paco Rabanne “unwearable” NFTs. Vasarely art will also be exhibited throughout the store: the windows will be wrapped in the artist’s geometric designs, while both original and NFT art will be available for sale.

This marks Selfridges’ first foray into the metaverse and it plans to simplify access for its customers, too, by making it possible to buy NFTs with a regular bank card over the counter — no need for crypto currency here. Prices for the NFTs will range from £2,000 to £100,000. The department store’s ever-changing Corner Shop is also getting the Vasarely and Paco Rabanne treatment. As part of the “Universe” project, the space will be wrapped in aluminium scaffolding and stock a series of product, including hand-painted Bamford watches, skateboards, Globe Trotter luggage and “gift shop” items such as candles and cushions — all featuring Vasarely graphic artworks. Paco Rabanne’s spring 2022 range will be dropping in store throughout the season and be available to both rent and buy — in line with the retailer’s sustainability commitments to embrace more circular models. The buying team has also curated a mix of other fashion products, both pre-loved and new, featuring the hexagonal Op Art patterns Vasarely is known for. As part of the initiative, the retailer plans to raise funds to restore artworks at the Vasarely Foundation’s museum in Aix-en-Provence, France.

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