UAE’s Chalhoub Unveils Web3-Native Sneaker Brand SOL3MATES
Chalhoub Group of the United Arab Emirates has launched SOL3MATES, a Web3-native footwear brand that will be manufactured in limited numbers. SOL3MATES, a sneaker brand that describes itself as “community-centric,” seeks to deliver an immersive and interactive experience by engaging its supporters in every aspect of the sneaker manufacturing, from recruiting new designers to co-creating impending sneaker releases.
To become a member of the community, consumers can purchase a non-fungible token (NFT) that grants access to advantages such as early involvement, preferential pricing, digital accessories, free goods, social gatherings, and monthly sneaker prizes. Michael Chalhoub, president of plans, expansion, creativity, investment, and collaborations at Chalhoub Group, stated, “We heed to our consumers, especially in the shoe industry, where we like to imagine ourselves as creativity catalysts, and find solutions to their needs.”
“SOL3MATES will be to the sneaker industry what the shoelace is to the shoe: the link that binds it all together, that brings both the tangible and the digital jointly, and that uniquely connects the sneaker community at large with the Web3 community,” he stated.
SOL3MATES is not Chalhoub Group’s initial Web3-related endeavor. Christofle hit the metaverse in 2013 with its initial NFT series, “925 Genesis MOOD,” which cleared out in five minutes. From then on, “we have begun to consider what initiatives could have an even greater impact” Nick Vinckier, chief of corporate innovation and founder of SOL3MATES, stated that the company intends to be the ” tiny snowball that sets off an avalanche of positive upheaval in the sneaker market, with the help of its supporters and the designers with whom we’ll be working with.”
All SOL3MATES sneaker designs will be created in partnership with emerging sneaker designers across the globe. Kacimi Latamene, a promising French designer who has collaborated with notable designers including Vitaly and Natasha Zinko, is responsible for the debut collection, which will be unveiled on April 12.
“The crucial element of the newly launched brand is that it makes it possible for me to communicate straightaway with the sneaker community,” claimed Latamene. The members of SOL3MATES will participate in every step of the trip. I will be able to establish a rapport and share the inspiration behind my creations.”
Sneakers by SOL3MATES will be offered on pre-order basis in limited numbers, and individuals who possess an NFT will have early access to the sneakers at a discounted price. subsequent to the community pre-order portal expiration, other individuals will be permitted to pre-order the item if any sneakers still exist. A month before the general public, the SOL3MATES shoes will be shipped for free to everyone in the community globally. In addition, they will feature NFC verification, AR enhancements, and a peripheral digital duplicate in Decentraland.
In 2022, Chalhoub Group published “GCC State of the Metaverse and its Potential for Luxury Retail,” a report that disclosed Gulf consumers’ perspectives on Web3 that encompasses the metaverse, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Seventy-seven percent of shoppers have knowledge of digital currencies, followed by non-fungible tokens (49%) and the metaverse (46%), primarily among younger, wealthy males residing in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.
89 percent of premium product consumers state they want the opportunity to review items in the metaverse, and 87% state they expect their preferred brands to have a presence in the metaverse. Vinckier opined that “we do not believe in an exclusively digital future.” He continued, “We do not sell opulence. Luxury is provided throughout the (purchase) voyage, and Web3 will provide the same thing.”