If you’re hiding inside a heat wave this weekend, you might find yourself shopping on the internet. And the warm air outside may remind you to put on some cheap beach sandals, or finally acquire a pair of unfaded bathing suits. Such objectives may lead you to Old Navy, in which case you may encounter a simple unisex gray t-shirt with a screen print of the zombie-eyed bored monkey #7285, making you wonder which parallel plane you traveled on.
Last week, Old Navy released the Bored Ape Yacht Club t-shirt as the first in an upcoming line that will feature character likenesses from several popular non-fungible token collections, making it one of the latest retailers to enter into an official relationship with the successful NFT project. . The t-shirt, listed on Gap’s online store as “BAYC™ #7285 Gender Neutral T-Shirt for Adults,” is currently priced at $18.99.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and NFT enthusiast tweeted about the shirt shortly after, complete with a 👀 eyes emoji. 👀, indeed!
While the right to use or replicate an NFT’s likeness is usually reserved to its blockchain owner, Old Navy has licensed this particular Bored Ape in order to mass-produce it on clothing. (According to industry blog The Bored Ape Gazette, Bored Ape #7285 is the 3448th rarest primate according to the NFT Rarity Tools metric, although its original owner is unconfirmed.) The retailer, reports Hypebeast, reportedly plans to produce more pieces featuring six different Bored Apes. , 11 Mutant Apes, a CryptoPunk and, later this season, six CloneX NFTs from a collaboration with virtual sneaker maker RTFKT, which Nike acquired in December.
(Old Navy, which is owned by Gap Inc., also licenses a host of other popular IP images for graphic t-shirts listed in its “Character License Store,” including Sponge Bob SquarePants, The simpsonsand sonic the hedgehog.)
Many other brands and retailers have jumped into the NFT game, both in the luxury and mass spaces. Last year, Bored Ape Yacht Club also teamed up with sportswear giant Adidas, popular fast fashion retailers Fashion Nova and PrettyLittleThing, and streetwear veteran Bobby Hundreds’ brand The Hundreds. purely on the fashion front. Its founders also have their sights set on Hollywood.
In 2015, Claire Newman, then vice president of menswear design at Old Navy, said QG that the brand was changing its design strategy to focus “much more on researching global trends. We look at the catwalks. We watch street trends. We look at blogs. We just kind of come up with what we think is all-American, laid-back, upbeat, easy-going, and authentic… We literally analyze everything to find what’s best for our business. Sure, a lot has changed since 2015, both for the company and the world, but the rampant influence the internet and pop culture have on consumer tastes has only accelerated.
Just yesterday, Old Navy parent company Gap Inc. launched an in-person retail experience in Times Square for its Yeezy Gap collaboration with Ye and French luxury house Balenciaga, which is not was previously only available online. At the front of the pop-up store is a pair of iPads connected to play a virtual Yeezy Gap game, inviting customers to create their own avatars wearing Yeezy Gap before purchasing the clothes in real life. The fine line between our world and the metaverse continues to dissipate.