Fashion brands still have the ‘nerve’ to set IP loose in the Metaverse: BNV CEO


Fashion houses may be clamoring to launch the Metaverse and Web 3 projects, but not all are enthusiastic about the cooperation that comes with the space.

According to BNV founder and CEO Richard Hobbs, brands are concerned about protecting their intellectual property (IP) in the digital world. Decrypt In an interview at this year’s NFC Lisbon, however, they must embrace co-creation with users.

“Co-creation is key because most brands care about that kind of thing,” says Hobbs, who helps fashion brands enter the virtual world.
BNV is a digital world that anyone can join, first appearing as a light gray avatar and then adding clothing from big brands to digitalize their exposure.

“We have to show how it can be really cool. You can still keep your brand DNA, your brand identity, your brand IP, but you can enable your community to be active around that,” he said.

In physical retail, he pointed out, a customer can buy and customize an item—like a Ralph Lauren shirt—from the brand before selling it to the new owner.

“I can rip off my arm, paint an anarchy symbol on my back, stick a badge on it, nobody can do anything, nobody can stop me,” said the BNV CEO.

Allowing the same thing to happen in the metaverse, he argued, could be an opportunity for both the original brand and the creator, giving designers the freedom to play with existing styles while brands receive royalties from the altered items.

The idea is scalable online, he said, in a way that it isn’t in the real world. “I don’t need to sell one, I can sell 50 or 100 or 1,000.”

Still, Hobbs said allowing such creative freedom with their products could be a “big step” for many fashion brands.

“What most people spend a lot of their personal time and thoughts on. [their brand] It is,” he said. “When you get used to designing a collection […] It will be very personal.

But he was confident that by seeing how co-creation works, he could convince many fashion businesses, including commercial entities, to join Web3.


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