COMBATING COUNTERFEIT CULTURE WITH BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
A graduate in BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion, aspiring to a Marketing and PR career within the streetwear industry. This aspiration originates from a personal passion for streetwear and the culture that surrounds it. My enthusiasm for this industry has intensified throughout my studies at university, where I have gained valuable communication and research skills through a range of projects, as well as obtaining retail and visual merchandising experience through part-time jobs alongside my studies.
The dissertation titled, “Drop, Cop, Flip: The Reselling Phenomenon”, investigated the question: “To what extent has the streetwear resale market evolved and how will this effect it’s future?” This dissertation required in-depth research into the streetwear resale market, using both primary and secondary sources. Primary research methods included: Interviews with industry experts, a focus group, a questionnaire/survey, and attending events such as Sneaker Con and Crepe City.
It was found that streetwear reselling has become a highly-evolved market with social, financial, and technological advancements, and will become more regulated as the market continues to grow.
FINAL MAJOR PROJECT: NIKE x VeChain
Following on from the dissertation research, counterfeit culture and it’s impacts on the streetwear industry was explored, including the rise of sneaker authentication services. This exploration led to blockchain technology, where an investigation began to understand what blockchain is, how it works, and how it could be utilised practically in the present-day. This research aided in creating an innovative concept for Nike. The concept proposed was a partnership between Nike and blockchain company, VeChain.
The idea: Nike create a range of highly-limited sneakers, in partnership with VeChain, all of which will be implanted with NFC (Near-Field Communication) chips. These chips link to the Nike x VeChain application, accessible by smartphone, where consumers can view: A certificate of authenticity, detailed product information, the journey of the sneakers, and exclusive Nike content, all stored on the VeChain blockchain. The debut sneaker was to be made in collaboration with rapper, Travis Scott.
Due to the nature of blockchain technology, the information stored on the blockchain cannot be hacked or replicated. This protects Nike, and their consumers, from counterfeit culture.
A business plan, marketing visuals document, app, and a working prototype of the sneakers were made with assistance from collaborators.