Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
Digital fashion brand MNTGE is back with its latest drop today called Patchwork, a limited edition collection of 7,500 Ethereum NFT patches that can be redeemed for physical versions that come equipped with NFC chips.
Each patch from the vintage-centric, Web3-native brand has been custom-designed by one of 11 contemporary artists, whose work spans diverse media from digital art to more traditional forms like embroidery, illustration, and tattooing.
PATCHWORK MINT DAY!!
Minting will be live at 10am PT
for MNTGE Pass Holders & our collaborative community Allowlist.
Public Sale goes live at 11am PT
Reveal date: Aug 2nd
— MNTGE (@mntge_io) July 27, 2023
“What we pride ourselves on is craftsmanship and working with best-in-class artists,” MNTGE co-founder Nick Adler told Decrypt. “That’s the way we think about how to bridge Web2 and Web3—celebrating the art and the artists.”
Seneca, whose patch design showcases a new character she’s developing called Shermie, told Decrypt that her creative approach is the same “regardless of medium, because an art canvas should be many things.”
Another notable creator in the MNTGE Patchwork lineup is Jen Stark, who’s known for her optical illusion-inspired art. Stark’s work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum and, she is the first female artist to feature on Foundation’s list of the top 10 highest-selling NFT creatives.
Meanwhile, tattoo artist Scott Campbell—who has inked numerous celebrities—told Decrypt that “the vocabulary and language of patches definitely runs parallel to tattooing.” He has previously played with the idea of minting tattoo designs prior to the actual inking.
However, the roster of artists also includes some who are completely new to the NFT world, like chainstitch artist StayChillBill (a.k.a. Bill Farrelly).
“The mix was the most exciting part for us,” Adler said of the lineup. “Bill does embroidery for a bunch of rockstars and country stars. He’s truly authentic to his brand. He lives in a Quentin Tarantino movie and keeps a pink Harley at his studio.”
The MNTGE Patchwork sale will be hosted on the OpenSea marketplace, with the public sale beginning at 2pm ET today. Each Ethereum NFT is priced at 0.07 ETH, or about $130 as of this writing.
MNTGE is also leveraging Ethereum's ERC-6551 technology that allows NFTs to “hold” other NFTs, unlocking new features and use cases.
The patches can be digitally signed by the respective creators after swiping their integrated near field communication (NFC) chip via smartphone. That signature is permanently saved on their digital record. MNTGE co-founder Brennan Russo compared this digital autograph feature to having an artist—like Adler’s business partner Snoop Dogg—sign a garment in real life.
Pseudonymous NFT entrepreneur Gmoney and streetwear artist Jeff Staple used ERC-6551 technology in June for their 9dcc X Stapleverse baseball cap collaboration, enabling the same type of digital signature functionality.
Following the Patchwork drop, MNTGE will sell vintage denim jackets that come with NFC chips embedded in the sleeve. Physical versions can be customized by stitching on the physical patches, while digital patches can be added to the jackets’ digital twins via aforementioned ERC-6551 tech.
“Customization is fundamental to fashion,” Adler said, “and we think about it in everything we do at MNTGE.”
The team also created 100 custom physical-meets-digital jackets for guests attending a dinner that MNTGE hosted at the recent Christie’s Art + Tech Summit in New York.
“The (digital version of the) jacket will act like a wallet,” Russo added, noting that MNTGE plans to gamify the idea further down the road with different levels according to the number of patches that someone holds.
Adler cited further potential use cases for storytelling around major sports and music events, where your ticket can be embedded into a garment to unlock potential perks and features at the event. The founders are banking on MNTGE’s combination of culture with technology, spearheaded by compelling products.
“Trends start in niche communities before they get adopted by a wider audience, and vintage is the epicenter” said Russo. “If you can identify those trends before they hit the masses, you can really catch lightning in a bottle.”