RTFKT’s CloneX Collection Ushers in Forging SZN

On August 20, about a month before the first day of autumn, forging season began, ushered into existence when RTFKT dropped its debut CloneX lookbook.

What’s forging, you ask? Although it sounds like the act of roaming around the metaverse on a quest for digital berries (that’s foraging, BTW), forging is the name for events that allow NFT owners to redeem digital and physical goods.

After doing a “test run” with its forgeable Nike AR Genesis hoodie earlier this year, RTFKT has unveiled a much larger collection for all the holders of its CloneX tokens to redeem, beginning August 31 on RTFKT’s website.

The debut CloneX collection features physical and digital goods — including bespoke Nike Air Force 1 sneakers — inspired by CloneX “DNA,” representative of different aesthetic series. These include Human, Robot, Demon, Angel, Reptile, Undead, and Alien DNAS, as well as two Takashi Murakami collaborations. Each CloneX holder can mint up to two items from their NFT’s respective DNA and receive an item from the GenesisX collection or a corresponding t-shirt for free.

With the exception of RTFKT’s Nike AF1s, all of the digital CloneX clothing — t-shirts, hoodies, pants, socks, and hats — can be forged into physical goods for its owner. Similar to what we saw with the Nike AR Genesis and gmoney 9dcc collections, all of the physical products, save for socks and hats, will be stitched with NFC (Near Field Communication) chips that can be scanned and linked with each NFT.

This not only keeps track of provenance but also can give the physical items an IRL story — Was this garment worn to the Super Bowl? Was it once owned by Drake? — which might reflect a change in value.

With Nike now unveiling more “phygital” (physical + digital) goods via RTFKT, it’s becoming more and more obvious to even those unfamiliar with web3 how NFTs can boost the value of physical goods. Plus, AR try-on of the CloneX collection through RTFKT’s Snapchat filters further melds real and digital realms.

As we recently saw, royalties from RTFKT NFTs mirrored direct sales and Nike is slowly unraveling what this technology can do at scale. For now, it’ll be interesting to see how the secondary market reacts to RTFKT’s latest drop, as it doubles down on its position as the most profitable major brand project in all of web3.

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