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NFSHE: NFT Technology in Fashion & the Future of Authentication in the Luxury Market


Photo by: Matt Weinberger

Eliza Lesser, Founder & CEO of NFSHE, talks with HAZZE MEDIA about how her company merges NFT technology with the luxury fashion industry. Read her story and goals below.



 


Q: Tell us about NFSHE and what you do!


NFSHE creates products that integrate NFT technology, combining fashion and the blockchain, while helping expose customers to the web3 industry.


Q: What is the backstory behind creating NFSHE?


NFSHE is rooted in my passion for fashion, technology, and the web3 industry. I grew up in New York City and attended Cornell where I focussed on my passion for design in a more academic setting. During my summers and after graduation, I worked in the fashion industry on the design & development side and then in the buying division at a luxury retail store in NYC. While I loved my time in the traditional fashion world, as I started to learn more about NFTs I uncovered an incredible network of builders and artists that I knew I wanted to be a part of. Over time I started to realize the potential applications NFTs had in the fashion space, and that’s when I got serious about NFSHE as a brand. I recognized that the fashion space, and specifically authentication, was ripe for disruption, and given my background in fashion I felt I was the right person to start trying to disrupt it. Ultimately, my goal was, and continues to be, to tie my fashion background in with this growing digital space, while also educating others in the process- after all, what better way to learn than through shopping?



Q: How has the experience been being a business within the crypto community?


My experience building a business within the crypto community has been unique and exciting. The crypto community is filled with forward-thinking individuals who are open to new ideas and technologies. A huge focus of my work has been connecting and building relationships with other entrepreneurs and artists in the space. Although crypto is known for its volatility and unpredictability, I have found these forces encourage creative problem-solving and deep critical thinking when it comes to establishing a business strategy. I am very excited about blockchain technology’s integration into business, particularly in luxury markets, and I think it will transform the way we think about products, ownership, and authenticity- pillars of luxury goods.



Q: Let's talk about projects. What's the backstory behind the two pieces released: 'ELAINE bag' & ‘CRYPTO NEVER SLEEPS... BUT I SHOULD...’


NFSHE has released 2 projects, to date. The ‘CRYPTO NEVER SLEEPS… BUT I SHOULD…’ NFT + sleep mask and the ‘ELAINE BAG’ NFT + tote bag.

Photo by: Emma Skakel at Wilhelmina Studio

The ‘CRYPTO NEVER SLEEPS… BUT I SHOULD…’ sleep mask collection was inspired by the fast-paced and

always-on nature of the crypto community. This piece is a reminder that while ‘crypto never sleeps…’ it is important to find personal balance. The collection was meant to be thought-provoking and a friendly reminder to encourage people to maintain balanced lifestyles.


Photo by: Ricardo Andre

The ‘ELAINE BAG’ was designed to focus on clean lines, high-quality materials, and a minimalist aesthetic to create a stylish yet functional item- a staple for anyone’s closet. This collection was named after my grandmother Elaine who has been a constant inspiration throughout my fashion journey. Both collections are not just NFTs… Each of the NFTs in these collections comes with a corresponding physical item. The physical collectible items are all authenticated by having the digital twin NFT.



Q: How would you describe NFTs to someone who is not active on social media?


NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital assets that exist on a broader ledger known as the blockchain. They each possess unique properties that make them “non-fungible” meaning they cannot be exchanged 1 for 1 like traditional currency. There are many ways to utilize the technology- however, in the case of NFSHE, we apply the concept to our physical products. Traditionally, when you buy a designer bag, the bag comes with a piece of paper that establishes the item to be ‘authentic’. That piece of paper can be easily lost, damaged, or unfortunately… copied. As a result, counterfeiters can create products that can be easily mistaken for the real thing. Moreover, even if someone has a real designer piece, they may struggle to sell that item for a deserving price if the certificate of authenticity is missing. In my view, this is where NFTs should come into play. NFTs can act as digital certificates of authentication. Under the NFT model, the problems of counterfeiting and/or losing one’s certificate of authentication disappear. NFTs exist on the blockchain, which means owners and consignors can easily see ownership and transaction history. In other words, it will be abundantly clear if the piece is an original or a fake.


NFSHE is using NFT technology to renovate the authentication process and bake this new technology into the foundation of the products. Each physical bag has a corresponding NFT and vice versa. This is something that sets us apart in the industry.



Q: Within the crypto community, what would you say was the most challenging obstacle as a brand?


The crypto market is still a relatively niche market and it can be challenging to reach new customers who are not actively participating in the world of NFTs. To help overcome this challenge, we have focused on reducing barriers to entry and educating our audience. For instance, NFSHE recently partnered with Paper.xyz to allow customers to pay with a credit card for their NFSHE products, and a crypto wallet is automatically set up for them through their email. This enables the shopping experience to be as familiar as possible, while still allowing the customer to get crypto exposure.


Q: What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned?


As the founder of NFSHE, the most valuable lesson I have learned is the importance of networking. The crypto industry has a strong focus on developing community, and building relationships with other entrepreneurs, artists, and enthusiasts have been invaluable in terms of learning new things and getting feedback.


Q: Let's talk NFSHEvents. NFSHE hosted a networking event during NYFW, what was that like? Especially as it was one of the first events NFSHE has hosted.


Hosting a networking event during NYFW was a great opportunity for NFSHE to connect with other industry professionals, especially during a time when there were a lot of people in New York City for other fashion-related events. The event continued to position NFSHE within the fashion and innovation space while networking and encouraging conversation between individuals in the NFSHE community. The goal was to create a space for everyone to expand their careers and meet new ambitious people.



Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in 2022? What are you most looking forward to in this new year, any new projects?


My biggest accomplishment in 2022, aside from just launching the brand in general, was the NFT NYC NFSHEvent hosted in June. The first ever NFSHEvent had 14 speakers broken out into 3 panels discussing Web3 Fashion, Women in Web3, and Web3 Marketing and Content Creation. The event was sold out and brought together people from all over the country, making it a huge success. The event was a great opportunity to connect in person with industry builders and enthusiasts. As we look to 2023, we are excited to continue growing the brand, building the NFSHE community, and releasing new products!



Q: Where can people find more information about NFSHE?


For more information and to shop our collections, visit NFSHE.IO. The website provides information on the brand, our vision, and our products, and also lists our past/upcoming events. Also, to stay connected with the brand and hear the latest NFSHE news, follow NFSHE on social media!


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