Gucci owner Kering says crypto “no longer niche,” wants to be Web3 “pioneers”

NFT drops have also come fast and furiously over the past year. “What makes an NFT successful is a very strong creativity, rarity and sense of community; these values are very close to the values of luxury,” Boutté says. In this area, Gucci is very much ahead, he points out, citing the Supergucci NFT collection and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s collaboration with fictitious digital craftsman Wagmi-san available on online shop 10KTF.

Already, Kering has learned some key lessons about the NFT space. “Logistics, how to integrate the NFT in our systems, and a part animation of the community on Discord. Discord is complicated.” Plenty of testing and learning is underway, he says, including around how to prevent bots from buying up NFTs first.

Part of Boutté‘s mission is to educate Kering’s 42,000 staff members. A recent initiative took the form of an internal video game called the NFT Serious Game, designed to familiarise employees outside of the technology team with the metaverse. Around 2,000 Kering staff members signed up to participate in the game, which spanned 13 levels, including one that asked players to download and create an account on Discord.

A Snowy Owl NFT, one of the owls created as part of the Serious game launched by Kering on Discord. It references the company’s logo.

Photo: Al Dente

Beyond Kering, Boutté is confident that the combination of the huge investments that are taking place in the field and the level of talent coming in, will make Web3 more intuitive and user-friendly in the coming years. Kering intends to “be ready when Web3 reaches a wider audience”, he says.

“It has far-reaching implications on our business. When we sell an NFT, with the smart contract, we take commissions on each transaction, the second, third… There is a real change which is exciting but which we must understand, that’s why we take this test-and-learn approach.”

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