Miami, May 31 (EFE).- Miami Fashion Week (MFW), the South Florida metropolis’s longest-running fashion show, launched its 22nd edition on Tuesday, the first in two years and the most innovative yet, marking its entry into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.
“It’s something very innovative,” Spain’s Secundino Velasco, the MFW president, told EFE after the presentation of this year’s program, which also includes – of course – in-person fashion parades starting with Italy’s Missoni brand, which will take place on Wednesday at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Running through June 5, MFW will feature “resort” collections by iconic designers such as Benito Santos, Angel Sanchez, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Rene by RR and Naeem Khan at Vizcaya – an eclectic palace built in 1916 that was the residence of magnate James Deering – and also at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and the Gary Nader Art Museum of Latin America.
The surprise this year at the official inauguration of MFW was the presentation of L’Atelier, the first NFT (non-fungible token) club for “members only” and devoted to the fashion industry.
In L’Atelier, which will open its doors on June 3, designers, models, stylists, photographers and fashion lovers will have access to a space where they can create, innovate and build a community.
A space is under construction in the metaverse site known as “Decentraland” where people can socially and economically interact with avatars – or online personalities – via a logistical support network in cyberspace.
In colloquial use, a metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection and Decentraland is an online virtual reality platform that consists of 90,601 parcels of “territory.” The virtual property in this online zone are NFTs, which can be purchased using the Mana cryptocurrency, based on the Ethereum blockchain and one of the world’s most important cryptocurrencies along with Bitcoin.
Some of the MFW activities will take place in L’Atelier, including a panel discussion on fashion and sustainability on Sunday, but the space is still under construction and will be gradually filled with additional content, Velasco told EFE.
Attending the MFW presentation were Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and some of the designers who will be presenting their latest collections including Spain’s Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Venezuela’s Angel Sanchez.
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, the honorary president of MFW, where he presented his first men’s fashion collection in 2016, apologized that he will not be able to attend this year’s event due to pre-existing professional commitments.
From Milan, Italy, Sergio Salerni, one of the world’s most prestigious fashion show directors and the head of Urban Productions, sent a video in which he hailed MFW for its 22 years of history and its return after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another attendee was film and television director and producer Mark Steilen, who announced the Autumn 2023 launch of a global over-the-top (OTT) media platform called “Fashiongate.”
An over-the-top (OTT) media service offers content directly to viewers via the Internet, bypassing cable, broadcast and satellite television platforms.
According to what he said during the presentation, Steilan aspires for Fashiongate to be for fashion what ESPN is for sports and it will not only feature fashion shows and programs but also access to creators ranging from haute couture to homemade clothing and allow interested buyers to purchase their creations.
Meanwhile, Mayor Suarez emphasized that the city wants to be “a global player” in the world of fashion, as it already is in art thanks to Art Basel and museums like the Nader Latin American Art Museum, which houses an impressive regional collection, in particular many sculptures by Colombian master Fernando Botero.
The Gary Nader Art Center, located in the Miami metro neighborhood of Wynwood, which is known for its art galleries and an open air museum of works by early figures in urban art, will be where Ruiz de la Prada shows her collection.
Also scheduled to show their collections there will be Mexico’s Benito Santos, Venezuela’s Angel Sanchez and Miami-based Cuban designer Rene Ruiz (RR).
The final show, by Indian-American Naeem Khan, will take place on June 4 at the Frost Science Museum.
The MFW events combine elements of fashion, culture, art and sustainability.
Mayors Levine Cava and Suarez said that they wanted Miami to be an example of resilience in the face of climate change and sea level rise.