Streetwear pioneer Jeff Staple and pseudonymous NFT entrepreneur gmoney hosted an event at a pop-up restaurant during Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, showcasing a collaboration between their respective Web3 projects—gmoney’s crypto-native luxury house 9dcc and Staple’s token-gated collab lab Stapleverse.
Just 12 hours before opening the doors to the event, the duo said they conceived of their unique new feature: NFT-based autographs for what Jeff refers to as the “pigeon shit baseball cap”—a nod to his Staple Pigeon menswear line.
The limited edition 9dcc x Stapleverse collaboration spans 270 total baseball caps, with 200 put up for sale today. Each sells for $295 and is represented by an Ethereum NFT, which can be redeemed at any time to claim the physical hat. And it can be digitally signed by gmoney or Staples if you happen to catch them in person.
“This is insane,” gmoney told Decrypt. “Jeff and I can scan any product. We tap your hat, sign our phone, and you get an autograph NFT that you attach to your hat.”
Gmoney likened it to a POAP, or Proof of Attendance Protocol, which is a type of NFT that’s often given out as a keepsake or “ticket stub” for online and real-world events alike.
“The signature shows that you met one of us,” he explained. “It’s an advanced POAP, and you can collect our signatures. It’s like a scavenger hunt.”
The duo said that they had implemented the technology just minutes before the interview.
“That’s the amazing thing about Web3—it’s lightning fast compared to my world,” Staple told Decrypt, referring to the fashion industry’s notoriously slow-moving nature.
“Right now, for example, I’m developing the holiday 2024 line and it’s locked. You can’t change it,” he continued. “But the NFT culture is changing on a daily basis. You can iterate. We iterated just an hour ago.”
Staple, who started his eponymous company Staple in 1997, is excited for the future of Web3 technology and fashion. The way things are now, he said, “if some store you never heard of places an order, you need to be able to check if they’re legit or not.”
“Check their credit score with Wells Fargo, see what their Dun & Bradstreet rating is, all this financial shit—or else you’re shipping an order without knowing whether you’re going to get paid or not,” Staple continued. “That takes a month, whereas crypto would streamline it. You have a wallet, you send me crypto, and I send you the order.”
Staple believes this evolution is not happening fast enough in the traditional fashion industry. “This is a Titanic of an industry,” he joked. “If I said, ‘Staple is only accepting ETH,’ we’d have like one account left.”
Jeff Staple (left) and gmoney at the Paris Fashion Week event. Image: Decrypt
Asked how long it would take for the fashion world to catch up crypto-wise, gmoney said, “The regulatory politics make me say 10 years.” Recent events have fueled his pessimism about the current financial system.
“Right after the SEC sued pretty much every crypto company out there, now suddenly all the major players like BlackRock, Deutsche Bank—all of them are filing to come into the space,” he said. “How could you not be like, ‘This seems very coordinated’?”
Staple leaned in and shared his cynicism about the powers blocking mainstream crypto adoption.
“I opened my bank account at First Republic Bank because they were crypto-friendly. They collapsed. And then suddenly the next day, JPMorgan Chase, one of the oldest financial institutions in the world, sends me an email saying, ‘Thanks for banking with us. We’re now your bank.’ Wow. Illuminati literally just went in and quashed this. How convenient, JPMorgan.”
Nonetheless, said Staples, he’s in the Web3 and crypto space to stay.
“I’d honestly do it even if ETH collapsed,” he said. “It’s about community engagement. I’m going to continue to create digital versions of what I’m making in the physical world.”
This Paris Fashion Week, more than any other in history, has been abuzz with the two letters that have every industry quaking in its boots: AI. But Staple and gmoney are placid on this front.
“The biggest myth about AI is that it’s going to take everyone’s jobs,” said gmoney. “It’s not, as long as you know how to use it.”
Staple was similarly unperturbed by the purported AI menace: it’s nothing he hasn’t seen before. “I’m a rag salesman. I’m Al Bundy selling shoes. For me, this is just a new medium,” he said.
“I do think AI can do about 80% of the work. But that last 20% is everything,” Staples added. “It’s like if a Michelin-starred chef gives you the exact ingredients, measurements, everything you need to make a dish—you still need magic in your fingers to put it together. You need that je ne sais quoi, since we’re in Paris.”