German sports company PUMA has unveiled a Web3 portal coinciding with the New York Fashion Week. This first-ever Metaverse website experience will be called Black Station.
PUMA, a German sports company, has launched its first-ever Metaverse website experience, the Black Station. The Web3 portal was unveiled as part of its “FUTROGRADE” show during the New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Incidentally, Black Station is the name of PUMA’s visual design think tank imagined 20 years ago.
The PUMA Black Station has been conceptualized as an immersive and interactive hub where users can experience the brand’s future. In the Black Station, there will be different features, such as exclusive NFTs with limited-edition redeemable physical sneakers.
A Closer Look at PUMA’s Black Station
The idea behind the Black Station is that it will be a blank and ever-evolving 3D canvas. It will serve as a dynamic destination that consumers can visit to connect with different Web3 activations over the next year and beyond.
“Twenty years ago, Black Station was PUMA’s home for our most innovative designs in fashion,” said Adam Petrick, PUMA’s Chief Brand Officer. “Given the boundaries we are pushing from a product design and digital standpoint, we found it fitting to bring Black Station back as a new portal for digital exploration across fashion, sport[s] performance, our heritage classics, and innovation.”
The Black Station will have different portals that visitors can enter through a hyper-realistic digital lobby. The first two portals, accessible on September 7, unveiled exclusive, never-before-seen Nirtro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid sneakers (pictured above) linked to PUMA’s recent NFT Nitropass mint.
Meanwhile, Black Station’s third portal will be the port of entry to the digital NYFW Metaverse fashion show. Visitors to the third portal will immerse themselves in an interactive space abstracted with point cloud-style effects. They will also journey through the show’s digital adaptation, which allows them to interact with pieces from the collection.
The Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid
Nitropass NFT minters will receive two NFTs—one tied to physical products and one for unlocking customized experiences linked to the shoe they have chosen. After the Futrograde show, minters can start claiming their in-real-life (IRL) sneakers by burning the product-claim NFT.
PUMA is stepping out of its comfort zone and into unchartered territory in the Web3 space with the Black Station. It is the first time a PUMA-owned NFT has integrated digital design with IRL physical products for consumers. The digital design is a labor of love from PUMA’s in-house designers, who were pushed to explore their creative boundaries to visualize what a 3D digital sneaker could look like.
“Our team of designers took a lot of liberties when envisioning these footwear styles. We told them the sky is the limit. As a result, we were able to harness their creativity without the typical confines and limitations of our shoe production process,” said Heiko Desens, Global Creative Director and Head of Innovation at PUMA. “What is just as impressive as the actual designs is the fact that we were actually able to work with [developers] to bring these stunning designs to life.”
The Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid re-imagine classic PUMA features through bold, innovative designs. For instance, the Fastroid brings a performance tech silhouette to the limits with exaggerated volumes of Nitro foam in gradient high-impact hues. On the other hand, the NFRNO uses the “sport is art” mantra as its guiding principle. Hence, it looks like a hybrid fusion of the past and future—obscure archive styles are used as inspiration for its multi-part molded construction.
The Black Station Metaverse
PUMA tapped creative ventures company FTR to develop the Black Station Metaverse and Unreal Engine 5 to produce its cutting-edge graphics.
“We’re dedicated to bringing great creative ideas to life through [an] immersive experience, technology, and community. This project, and our partner in PUMA, gave us agency and trust to push into the unknown and test how these creative components can be put together to innovate in the storytelling around product, fashion, and brand,” explained David Stamatis, Executive Creative Director and Partner at FTR. “Creating a truly phygital experience has opened our eyes to the immense opportunity for brands in the future.”
Incidentally, only a limited quantity of NFTs and exclusive sneakers exist.
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