The French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton is set to launch a limited series of NFTs, each priced at a staggering $41,712 (€39,000), which will unlock unique products and experiences for its high-level clientele. The series, dubbed “Treasure Trunks,” is inspired by Louis Vuitton’s iconic luggage trunks and comprises only a few hundred NFTs, as reported by Vogue Business. Interestingly, apart from the digital NFT, each “Treasure Trunk” also comes with a physical made-to-order Louis Vuitton trunk – an item that routinely sells for tens of thousands of dollars.
These NFTs will be “soulbound,” meaning they cannot be traded or transferred between individuals. As a result, exclusive customizable products, early access to new releases, and bespoke experiences can only be enjoyed by the original holder of a Louis Vuitton Treasure Trunk. Despite the hefty price tag, only residents of selected countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia are allowed to enter a waitlist starting June 8 to purchase these exclusive trunks.
The Treasure Trunk collection is reportedly the first project in Louis Vuitton’s ongoing series called “Via.” The program aims to provide exclusive access to the brand for high-spending, select clientele. In this regard, Louis Vuitton is merely following the footsteps of many other luxury brands embracing blockchain technology. The technology seems to assist in maintaining an ultra-elite membership club catering to a select few rather than an equalizing force capable of onboarding and connecting a larger audience.
Numerous luxury brands, Louis Vuitton included, have previously dabbled with NFT games, pop-ups, and programs to reach broader audiences. However, recent times have witnessed these brands pivoting towards limited, expensive NFT lines that satisfy high-impact customers. For instance, Balmain has been working on an exclusive, NFT-backed club for top-tier clients since last summer. Moreover, in April, Ralph Lauren started hosting select events for Web3-initiated patrons at a private waterfront estate in Miami.
Though embracing NFTs and blockchain technology can bring innovative ways of engaging with high-end customers, one cannot ignore the potentially exclusionary nature of these luxurious experiments. The trend toward rewarding only wealthy clients with exclusive NFTs raises the question of whether these luxury fashion houses are merely shying away from the true potential of blockchain – an inclusive and decentralizing technology. Only time will tell if this new avenue of customer engagement will fully embrace the inherent potential of blockchain or continue to cater solely to the elite few.