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  • Future+ Fridays: A bag made out of air, Paris Hilton on Roblox, Coachella NFTs, Luxury x AI in Paris Fashion week, and more.

Future+ Fridays: A bag made out of air, Paris Hilton on Roblox, Coachella NFTs, Luxury x AI in Paris Fashion week, and more.

Hi, it's Ashumi, the founder of Future+. We will be sharing the 5 things that were on our radar every Friday at the intersection of creative, culture and technology. This week, coming out of Paris Fashion Week, a lot has happened at the intersection of luxury, fashion and technology (which is no surprise).

In this week’s issue- 

  1. Coperni Unveils the Air Swipe Bag, made out of 99% air

  2. Maison Margiela x The Fabricant MetaTABI NFT launch

  3. Coachella x OpenSea NFT launch

  4. Balenciaga uses AI during Paris Fashion Week

  5. A Deep Dive into Paris Hilton’s “Slivingland” on Roblox

Deeper insights:

  1. The Air Swipe: Coperni Unveils A Bag Made of Air

Known for their stand out launches that ignite conversation through the luxury world and beyond, Coperni debuted the Air Swipe bag at Paris Fashion Week F/W 24 made out of 99% air and 1% glass. Sébastian Meyer, Arnaud Vaillant, and researcher Ioannis Michaloudis–a leader in the art and science field–designed the bag out of silica aerogel, the lightest solid on earth. Aerogel can withstand extreme heat, and was previously used by NASA to collect cosmic dust. This reflects the durability of the material, which the Coperni team described as “delicate (and non-fragile).” Each bag is crafted by professional glass blowers with over 15 years of expertise. 

The Air Swipe Bag. Photo courtesy Instagram @coperni

This is not the first time Coperni has made a vast statement in the luxury field, sparking conversation over the internet. During Coperni’s Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris, a dress was spray painted onto supermodel Bella Hadid live on the runway, going viral instantaneously.

Photo Courtesy Vogue.

Pushing the boundaries of fashion, specifically by using technology, is something that has become part of the Coperni brand. The Air Swipe bag represents an innovation in luxury and technology, not to mention sustainability. Finding new and innovative ways to use technology in the luxury field represents a step big brands are taking to adapt to the overlap of fashion and technology. Check out Coperni’s new glass bag here. 

Why it matters: The bag redefines what accessories can represent in the digital era. This piece isn’t just a statement on style; it represents a leap towards integrating technological utility and fashion aesthetics. The swipe bag underscores the potential for accessories to go beyond their traditional roles, suggesting a future where fashion items harness technology to enhance consumer interaction and experience, positioning brands at the forefront of a new wave of fashion-tech convergence. 

  1. Maison Margiela x The Fabricant: Embracing digital identity and ownership 

Maison Margiela is joining the web3 universe, launching a limited-edition NFT–the MetaTABI–of their iconic Tabi shoe in collaboration with the Fabricant. The launch includes two editions: one ultra-exclusive white MetaTABI which includes 15 units, and a black MetaTABI that includes 1500 units. Launch pre-sale (invite only) will take place on March 26th. Public sale will take place on March 27th.

The MetaTABI boot. Photo Courtesy The Fabricant.

The Maison Margiela and Fabricant collaboration isn’t just a digital-first move; it redefines the essence of luxury in the digital age, challenging traditional notions of ownership and exclusivity by suggesting a future where digital identity and expression hold as much value as physical possession. This partnership is the epitome of a bold step into the web3 space, leveraging NFTs to bridge virtual and physical worlds, offering an immersive brand experience that could set a new standard for luxury fashion. 

Why it matters: For brands, this signals a shift towards a digital-first strategy in product offerings, potentially reshaping luxury consumer behaviour and expectations. For C-suite executives and innovators, understanding the strategic depth of this collaboration offers insights into leveraging digital technology to create new value propositions. It emphasises the importance of digital innovation in maintaining brand relevance and leadership in a rapidly evolving fashion landscape. Brands that can successfully integrate digital and physical offerings may capture a significant competitive advantage, appealing to a new generation of consumers for whom the digital identity is an integral part of their lifestyle. 

Engaging with digital-first strategies like the Fabricant x Margiela partnership provides actionable insights into how brands can navigate the intersection of fashion, technology, and consumer engagement. It serves as a case study in innovation, offering lessons on the potential of digital assets to refine luxury, enhance brand prestige and create novel consumer experiences. Check out more information on the “immortalised” shoes here.

“One style, in white, will be limited to 15 units and will come with a physical replica; another digital boot, in black, will be available in 1,500 units and come with a physical custom-made leather wallet.” - Vogue Business 

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  1. Coachella x OpenSea: A Music Festival Dives into the NFT Space (for the second time)

Coachella announced that they will be partnering with OpenSea to release three NFT collections for this year's music festival. The NFT collection will provide virtual and tangible VIP experiences and merchandise to purchasers, with the first tier NFT including VIP and lounge access. The following two tiers are set to be released in April, with the festival taking place April 12-21. According to CryptoSlam Data, the collection will be powered by Avalanche–the eighth largest blockchain technology. OpenSea is a leader in the NFT field, currently withholding over 2 million collections and 80+ million NFTs on its marketplace.

Coachella’s collaboration with OpenSea is not the first time Coachella has attempted to take advantage of the NFT space. In 2022, Coachella partnered with FTX–Sam Bankman-Fried’s company–to sell NFTs that guaranteed lifetime passes to Coachella. The NFTs sold for a collective $1.4 million. However, when FTX went bankrupt, the NFTs began to display blank images.

Why it matters: Beyond offering a modern integration of web3 services, this partnership showcases the potential of NFTs to transform event engagement, creating a model for future festivals and brands looking to deepen customer relationships. Coachella and OpenSea’s collaboration is a step towards making NFTs more widely accepted from an “outsider view.” According to Devin Finzer, CEO and Co-Founder of OpenSea, NFT ticketed collections in the music industry are one of the “best ways'' for cryptocurrency to enter the mainstream market. It highlights the importance of digital engagement strategies in enhancing brand loyalty and opens up discussions on the sustainability of physical versus digital exclusives.

However at the time of writing this there were 29 NFTs sold from the total of 1024. Perhaps because they were originally tainted by FTX scandal, the price point is too high or because their target audience doesn’t really care to be at Coachella. Too early to tell, we will be watching this one. 

  1. Balenciaga Uses AI on the Runway

The Balenciaga show during Paris Fashion Week F/W 2024 included an AI enhanced presentation. As the models strutted in Balenciaga’s new collection–which consisted of long dresses, eye-catching fur coats, and more–the backdrop to the runway consisted of visuals of beaches, snow-covered mountains, and the streets of Paris, all of which were produced by AI. Demna, Creative Director of Balenciaga, recently celebrated ten years with the brand. This collection and runway show represents Demna’s push of boundaries between old and future fashion brands, especially in terms of integrating technology into new collections. This isn’t the first time that Balenciaga used AI; previously, the brand has used AI to create unique designs in a process that analyses thousands of images to identify certain patterns and images. 

Other luxury brands have also implemented AI into their collections. At the Miu Miu Show during Paris Fashion Week F/W 2024, an AI-generated video was displayed as the backdrop to the runway show. The video, titled Reception!, was created by artist Cécile B. Evans to reflect a unique blend of fashion, art, and technology. Additionally, during Milan Fashion Week in February, Andreādamo released an AI-generated, fall 2024 collection, with no models. The campaign produced AI-blended images, fusing clothing with the body’s form.

Andreādamo AI collection. Photo Courtesy Andreādamo.

Why it matters: The cross of AI and luxury fashion reflects the impact and trend of the utilisation of generative AI in the creative field. According to the Future+ 2023 Insights Report, Gen AI has the ability to amplify and elevate human creativity at a fast pace. Gen AI can also produce real-time product customization, enhancing personalization. Gen AI is presenting businesses with a new opportunity–especially luxury brands–to combine their unique ideas with a technology that puts personalization at the forefront of production.

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  1. Paris Hilton on Roblox

Earlier this week, I joined a webinar hosted by Maghan Mcdowell with Charles Hambro, Geeiq and Cynthia Miller, 11:11 Media, talking about Revolutionising Brand Engagement in Virtual Worlds. The webinar was followed by a deep dive insights report going into detail about Paris Hilton’s ventures into Roblox, through Paris World and Slivingland, marking a pioneering move into virtual worlds for brand engagement. Hilton’s approach demonstrates the metaverse’s potential as a multifaceted platform for immersive marketing, bridging entertainment, fashion, and community engagement. This initiative underscores the importance of virtual worlds in developing brand narratives that resonate deeply with a digital-native audience.

Why it matters: Hilton’s Roblox activations set a precedent for how luxury and lifestyle brands can leverage virtual spaces to expand their reach. Collaborating with brands like Levi’s and Urban Decay through Paris World introduces a blueprint for integrating physical brand elements into virtual experiences, enhancing brand visibility and consumer engagement in unprecedented ways. The integration of Hilton Honors into Slivingland showcases an innovative approach  to loyalty programs, rewarding engagement within a virtual content. This strategy reflects a broader shift towards valuing digital experiences and interactions as key components of customer loyalty and brand affinity, especially among Gen Z consumers. 


#Slivingland is launching today! 🥳✨🎧I’m so excited to sliv with everyone in my new @Roblox game!💓 It has all my favorite things: Y2K fashi... See more

Hilton’s success on Roblox provides key lessons in leveraging virtual platforms for brand management. It highlights the growing importance of the metaverse in the marketing mix, urging brands to explore new frontiers in digital interaction and community building. Understanding Hilton’s approach offers strategic insights into creating compelling virtual experiences that can attract and retain a new generation of consumers. Engaging with platforms like Roblox allows brands to tap into the vast potential of virtual worlds for creating meaningful connections with consumers. Hilton’s ventures serve as a case study in innovative marketing, demonstrating how brands can harness the power of virtual experiences to enhance brand loyalty and engage with digital native audiences.

“Put Simply, any brand that wants to future-proof its customer base, build cultural relevance, and find new ways to engage fans, consumers and audiences...needs to take Roblox seriously.” 

Bonus content for the weekend:

📚 To read - Aleksija Vujicic’s newsletter is my new favourite long form content to read. Insightful yet tongue in cheek, everything web3 social, digital fashion, cultural trends and tech advancements. Highly recommend adding to your weekend reading list

👀 To watch - Culture, Commerce and Code with LVMH's Nelly Mensah, Sam Ewen ( CoinDesk) and Avery Akkineni (VaynerX)

🗣 To listen -  Nadine Choe from The Stanza in conversation with Annabel Schwartz, founder of hospitality consultancy House of Talana on exclusivity and building an effective membership program.

That's all for this week, don’t forget to subscribe for more weekly recaps, case studies and deep dives on everything happening across creative, culture and technology.

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