SYKY the luxury incubator founded by Ralph Lauren and Burberry alum Alice Delahunt has unveiled its new fashion platform and revealed the first wave of its SYKY Collective of digital talent.
The platform aims to spotlight emerging global digital designers, offering them the ability to showcase their work while enabling users to discover, curate, trade, and share their digital collectibles.
It will feature exclusive drops, from its roster of digital designers and also from established fashion houses. Drops will include both digital-only items and physical one-of-ones. It will additionally host a secondary marketplace for the trade of digital assets.
“Consumers already live in both physical and digital worlds, and the SYKY platform is both a testament to that fact as well as a call to action for the entire fashion industry,” said Delahunt in a statement
“We’re focused on building a world with blended realities, built on-chain, that gives consumers new ways to express themselves through fashion while championing the global talent we believe will lead the luxury fashion houses of the future.”
On Friday, to celebrate the launch, SYKY partnered with the British Fashion Council for a showcase event during London Fashion Week. During an introductory speech Delhunt cited established physical fashion designer Mary Katrantzou as a precedent.
She said that, at the start of her career, Katrantzou, who is known for her digitally created prints, had taught herself Photoshop, using her mouse as a paintbrush.
“It’s not some dark dystopian vision of the future,” she said of digital fashion, “it’s democratizing access to this industry.”
She added that the SYKY collective designers lie “at the vanguard of digital design” harnessing “skills from VR sculpting to AR garment visualization to create footwear accessories and apparel.”
In incubating and promoting its designers, Delahunt hopes they can transition to become leading luxury fashion houses of the future. SYKY closed a $10.5M Series A in January.
First SYKY Collective member to drop on the platform is Sunw, a London-based label from Chinese designer Fanrui Sun who sets out to push the boundaries of textiles and fabrics in spatial environments.
Her collection features two components, two digital pieces in runs of 20 apiece and a 1:1 physical handbag that comes with a digital collectible. Delahunt notes that Sun’s 3D printed bag made of electroplated resin “perfectly encapsulates her fluid understanding of our hybrid world” and anticipates that its will “set a precedent for bridging physical and digital fashion.”
Other SYKY Collective members attending the launch and whose collections are incoming include Felipe Fiallo who showcased a 3D printed rainboot.
“It works with gravity and your weight,” he told Forbes. “I created a lattice inside that works as a molecular structure based on nature and created a system with polygons that create a cushion, closing the molecules around the foot for a perfect fit.”
Unlike a sneaker, it’s not a system of air, he said, “it’s a system of cells with microscopic holes through which the air passes via the outsole. “
Other initiatives in the space include the The LVMH Innovation Award, which acts acts as a conduit for creating and accelerating collaborations between LVMH Maisons and promising startups and Web3 fashion accelerator program, the Farfetch X Outlier Ventures Dream Assembly Base Camp which launched last year and is already in its second cohort.