Puma’s first metaverse website experience, called Black Station, featuring exclusive NFTs with limited edition redeemable physical sneakers as part of its ‘Futrograde’ will debut during New York Fashion Week.
Puma Black Station is reimagined as an immersive and interactive place to experience the future of the brand. A blank and evolving 3D canvas, Black Station, becomes a “dynamic destination” connecting consumers with various web3 activations emerging over the next year.
“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 performance, our heritage classics, and innovation.”
The experience begins with consumers entering a hyper-realistic digital lobby space with three portals. The first two, accessible beginning September 7, show never-before-seen Nitro Nfrno and Nitro Fastroid sneakers linked to Puma’s recent NFT Nitropass mint. Those who minted a Nitropass receive two NFTs, one tied to physical products and one that unlocks a customized experience linked to their chosen shoe.
Following the Futrograde show, minters can claim their physical sneakers by burning their product-claimed NFT, marking unchartered territory for the brand in the web3 space and establishing its first Puma-owned NFT that links digital design with real-life physical products.
For digital product design, Puma asked its in-house designers to push their creativity to envision 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. “What is just as impressive as the actual designs is the fact that we were actually able to work with development to bring these stunning designs to life.”
The sneakers reimagine iconic Puma features through design. Fastroid takes a performance tech silhouette to the extreme with exaggerated volumes of Nitro foam in gradient high-impact hues. With “sport is art”, Nfrno is a hybrid of the past and future, drawing inspiration from obscure archive styles to arrive at a multi-part molded construction.
The third portal of Black Station is the entry to the digital NYFW metaverse fashion show. Consumers will be immersed in an interactive space abstracted with point cloud-style effects and go through a digital adaptation of the show, where they interact with the collection’s pieces. The Black Station metaverse, developed by creative ventures company FTR, has been built with Unreal Engine 5 to produce cutting-edge graphics.
David Stamatis, executive creative director and partner at FTR explained, “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. Creating a truly phygital experience has opened our eyes to the immense opportunity for brands in the future.”
Photo courtesy Puma