It’s been a year of great change at Salvatore Ferragamo. The luxury brand appointed Marco Gobbetti CEO last December, and in March, 26-year-old Maximilian Davis was named creative director. His debut collection will be unveiled in September. But the Italian heritage house, famed for its shoes and leather goods, is already leaning into its bright new future. Their increasingly contemporary fashion aesthetic is furthered with the opening, last Friday, of the Ferragamo Soho Concept Store in New York.

The brand bills the 2,600-square-foot space as a “collaborative hub” and “a state-of-the-art immersive shopping experience.” The sleek décor is heavy on mirrors and periwinkle—carpets, columns, and bricks. A customizable unisex sneaker, the 6R3ENE, is exclusive to the shop. Customers can personalize the $1,150 shoes with the help of a projected hologram of their work in progress. But the marquee art attraction is the NFT collaboration with Shxpir (whose name is pronounced like the bard’s).

Immerse yourself in an NFT of your own design. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

Immerse yourself in an NFT of your own design. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

“I tell people I make fake art because I don’t want to be identified as an artist,” Shxpir said in an interview. “I don’t feel associated with contemporary art. Digital artists spend years or months of time on the computer making something, and the art world doesn’t think that that has any value. You can call me a creator.”

For the store launch, the Chinese-born, New York-based creator designed NFTs that users can adapt into their own individual artwork (there are 256 iterations, and Ferragamo is footing the minting fees). For the retro vibe of the backgrounds, Shxpir was inspired by Y2K-era graphics and music videos. Visitors step into a De-yan-designed, sci-fi-chic mirrored kiosk to customize the NFT, which is then issued by OpenSea on the Ethereum blockchain. Users can also be filmed posing in front of a large digital display and be documented immersed in their NFT’s world (the souvenir video and NFT are both emailed immediately).

The creator Shxspir. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

The creator Shxpir. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

Shxpir was impressed on a recent store visit and quite taken with the metallic bags. “They’re very metaverse,” he said. “The material is super reflective and the color is chrome, which is very 3D art. I don’t know how they make that material.”

He bought one, along with a T-shirt and sweatshirt from the limited-edition capsule collection he designed that feature his avatar, Phakie. All proceeds benefit LGBTQ organization The Center. “I’m going to wear the T-shirt,” he said, “but I’m going to frame the hoodie.”

Ferragamo Concept Store Soho is located at 63 Greene Street, New York, NY 10012. 

Ferragamo's modern vision. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

Ferragamo’s modern vision. Courtesy of Ferragamo.

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