Future+ Fridays | Issue7

Beauty brand raises investment, AI artist makes waves with new collaboration, Web3 luxury fashion brand launches reward token and much more.

Hi, it's Ashumi, the founder of Future+. Back to London from a whirlwind trip to Japan and straight into planning upcoming events, new deep dive interviews (coming soon) and getting ready for Venice Biennale for the last Bright moments Crypto Citizen and last collection mint next week. 

There has been a flurry of activity across the fashion, culture and tech side events during NFT.NYC and Paris Blockchain week even though the main conferences have been reportedly lean on attendance. Some events on our radar included Kiki World launch with makeup artist Colby Smith, LVMH x Sephora corporate breakfast, Absolute Labs loyalty and customer engagement brunch both at the Ritz Paris. 

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📖 In this week’s issue

  1.  Kiki World secures major investment from beauty giant Estée Lauder 

  2. AI Artist Sasha Stiles drops new collab with Makersplace and Bang & Olufsen

  3. Web3 luxury brand 9DCC launches rewards token “Nines” during popup in NYC

  4. LVMH innovation finalist Xydrobe launches exclusive VR cinema with Harrods 

  5. Empowering Women in Web3: Highlights from PWW3 at NeueHouse

👩‍💻 Also on our radar, in case you missed it

📅 Upcoming events on our calendar this month 

  1. Prada foundation launch event 19th April, Venice Biennale. (invite only)

  2. Bright moments Crypto Venetians and last collection mints, 20-22nd April (token holders only) 

  3. Digital Art Week, 22-28th April, London, multiple events (reply to this email for exclusive invites and access)

✨ Bonus content

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🔎 Deeper Insights

1- Kiki World Secures Major Investment from Beauty Giant Estée Lauder.

Kiki World, a beauty brand that collaborates with consumers to co-create products, has secured a $7 million investment from a16z and The Estée Lauder Companies’ New Incubation Ventures- marking a significant advancement in the integration of Web3 technology within the beauty industry. 

Courtesy of Kiki World

The brand first made waves in May 2023 with the launch of a $29 peel-off nail polish, which was co-created with the consumers. Following this success, the brand expanded its product line to include a Skin Development Kit giving access to customers to vote on the composition and the order of product launches, further increasing the community's involvement in Kiki's product development process. 

By adopting Web3 technologies, companies like Kiki enhance user engagement, bring together a community of beauty enthusiasts, and offer a more customised shopping experience, setting new kinds of standards in the industry. 

Courtesy of Kiki World

This investment underscores a broader industry trend where large corporations, such as l’Oréal or Unilever increasingly support innovative startups blending technology with consumer interaction. Other backers of the investments came from various sectors including consumer-tech funds such Double Down, 2Punks Capital, and Advancit, as well as digital communities, RedDao, OrangeDao, and digital creator GMoney.

Why It Matters: The investment in Kiki World by prominent entities like Estée Lauder and a16z, represents a strong endorsement of consumer co-creation and technology's role in transforming the beauty industry. This strategic move highlights a shift towards an interactive, consumer-driven business model where user preferences directly shape product development and offerings. Not only empowering consumers but those trends drive more dynamic and responsive innovations in products. 


  • LA-based Kiki World raised a $7 million seed round from The Estée Lauder Companies’ New Incubation Ventures, A16z along with other backers including RedDao, 2 Punks capital and GMoney.

  • Kiki’s platform is built using Web3 technology such as Blockchain.

  • The brand prioritises customers by allowing them to vote on ingredients and next products launches, while rewarding their engagement.

  • We observe a general trend where large beauty companies are investing in super-early-stage beauty and technology startups.

2- Artist Sasha Stiles drops AI-poetry with Makersplace showcased at Bang & Olufsen

Following a successful collaboration with Gucci, AI-collaborative poet and researcher Sasha Stiles, recently unveiled her latest project, FOUR CORE TEXTS: Humanifesto and Other Poems, in an innovative partnership with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen and an exclusive release on MakersPlace. The poem premiered online on World Poetry Day, March 21st and on April 4th, the collaboration was celebrated with a store takeover at the Bang & Olufsen NYC gallery. 

The event provided guests with an immersive audio-visual experience, showcasing Stiles' quartet of poems, which were written along her poetry AI, Technelegy, and featured musical contributions from her long-time collaborator, Kris Bones.

The poems were designed to leverage Bang & Olufsen's exceptional audio technology, creating a multi-sensory experience that went far beyond traditional poetry readings. They integrate the ancient oral traditions of Style’s Kalmyk heritage with the cutting-edge capabilities of Web3 and AI technology. This integration allowed for a multilingual presentation that includes voice clones trained on Sasha’s mother tongue, Mongolian, recordings from Style’s family, adding a deeply personal heritage to the work - layered with generative art.

Those unique poets mark another step in Stiles’ ongoing exploration of the Kalmyk language and culture aiming to blend human and machinic wisdom to not only create art but also to preserve and translate her linguistic heritage.

Why It Matters: This pioneering project represents a significant step forward in the artistic application of AI and technology, demonstrating how these tools can be used to create new forms of artistic expression that resonate on a global scale. By merging high-quality audio technology with multilingual, family recording, AI-generated content, Stiles not only pushes the boundaries of poetry but also provides a powerful platform for cultural preservation and innovation. This initiative not only enriches the field of digital art but also serves as an important cultural bridge, highlighting the potential for technology to deepen our connection to history and heritage in the digital age. 


  • Sasha Stiles launched her new collection, Four Core Texts: Humanifesto and Other Poems, in collaboration with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen.

  • The project debut provided an immersive audio-visual experience during a store takeover, showcasing Stiles' poetry created with her AI, Technelegy, and featuring music by Kris Bones.

  • Stiles' work explores and preserves Kalmyk language and culture, blending human and machine intelligence to innovate and maintain linguistic heritage.

  • The initiative demonstrates the potential of AI and technology in art, offering new ways of expression and serving as a bridge between historical heritage and digital innovation.

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3- Web3 luxury brand 9DCC launches rewards token “Nines” during popup in NYC

The luxury lifestyle brand 9dcc, created by visionary Gmoney, has once again set the bar high with its latest event in the heart of New York's SoHo during NFT.NYC. On April 3rd, the brand unveiled its pop-up, where fashion enthusiasts could try-on and buy from the "Collection 01" line. This line, which had previously captivated audiences at NFT Paris and Paris Fashion Week - features a near-field communication (NFC) chip linked to an Ethereum NFT enhancing interoperability with both 9dcc and other wearers of the brand - pioneering new avenues for "networked products”. 

The launch was not solely focused on fashion; 9dcc also introduced the NINES program alongside its pop-up. An initiative rewarding visitors with unique on-chain NINES experience badges that resonate deeply with the brand’s ethos. NINES transforms in-real-life connections between individuals into digital tokens, allowing people to curate a collection of memories, experiences, and acquaintances. 

This pop-up marked a strategic move in 9dcc’s evolution from a niche merchandise label to a prominent figure in the global fashion scene, demonstrating its commitment to blending fashion with technology and forging a unique identity in the industry. This collection is not only about the physical clothes but a bridge to a digital ecosystem, fostering a community and lifestyle that reflects the brand’s innovative spirit. 

Why it matters: The brand’s recent activities extend beyond the fashion and technology sectors. By merging cutting-edge technology with high-end fashion, 9dcc is shaping the future of retail and consumer engagement. These innovations allow consumers to connect with the brand and each other in novel ways, enhancing the value of physical products with digital experiences. 9dcc is not only setting trends but also defining the future of how brands can interact with their audiences in an increasingly digital world.


  • Last week, during NFT.NYC, 9dcc held a pop-up featuring the "Collection 01" line, previously showcased at NFT Paris and Paris Fashion Week. 

  • The NINES reward Program was launched with the pop-up, digitalising real-life connections into tokens that compile personal collections of memories and encounters. 

  • 9dcc is shaping the future of retail and consumer engagement by enhancing physical products with digital experiences, setting trends and redefining brand-audience interactions in a digital era, pioneering new avenues for "networked products”. 

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Xydrobe, one of the finalists for the 2024 LVMH Innovation Award in the category Immersive Digital Experiences, has recently announced a new partnership with Harrods. Together, they are set to launch a state-of-the-art virtual reality cinema on Harrods' fifth floor. Opening in June 2024, it promises to transform the way audiences engage with luxury brands through immersive, multi-sensory 4D experiences.

The innovative cinema will accommodate up to 20 guests, offering an exclusive environment where every sense is engaged. Using top-of-the-line VR headsets, it will deliver stunning visuals, complemented by sensations of wind, temperature changes, enveloping surround sound, and curated scents. Time slots will be booked directly through the Xydrobe website.

Looking ahead, Xydrobe plans to extend this innovative concept to other luxury retailers, aiming to forge deeper, more meaningful connections between these brands and their customers. As mentioned by their CEO and co-founder, Nell Lloyd-Malcolm, the partnership not only aims to drive sales but also to enhance the luxury shopping experience, setting a new standard for retail in our digital age.

Since their establishment in 2021, they have collaborated with renowned brands including JW Anderson, Manolo Blahnik, Givenchy, and Dr. Barbara Strum. Following the opening of their flagship in Mayfair last October, the Harrods cinema represents their most significant undertaking to date.

Why it matters: With retail continuing to adapt to the digital landscape, innovative experiences of the sort are crucial for maintaining the relevance and allure of physical stores. The Xydrobe VR cinema at Harrods could well become a model for future retail experiences, offering a blend of physical shopping with the boundless possibilities of virtual engagement. This initiative highlights the potential for technology to enhance brand storytelling and customer engagement, showing the path to a more interactive future for the luxury market.


  • Xydrobe and Harrods team up to launch a virtual reality cinema on Harrods' fifth floor set to open in June 2024, featuring advanced 4D immersive experiences for luxury brand engagement. 

  • The cinema will accommodate 20 guests with VR headsets, simulating wind, temperature changes, surround sound, and scents.

  • Xydrobe intends to expand this concept to other luxury retailers to enhance customer-brand connections.

  • The experience aims to set new retail standards by blending physical shopping with virtual technologies, enhancing customer engagement and brand storytelling.

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5- Empowering Women in Web3: Highlights from PWW3 at NeueHouse

Last week on April 3rd, during NFT.NYC, the third edition of 'Portraits of Women in Web3' (PWW3) was co-hosted by NeueHouse Madison Square. The event celebrated the impact of women in the Web3 space and also marked the celebration of the bitcoin halving. This special edition spotlighted the remarkable achievements of female leaders, experts, and innovators in the cryptocurrency and blockchain landscape. 

Portrai of Women in Web3 at Neuehouse.
Credit: Memry/BFA.com

The event featured engaging discussions that delved into the intersection of technology and art, emphasising the transformative role of women in these sectors. Panels explored the growing importance of ordinals in blockchain, the transition of art from traditional galleries to the digital-first Web3 environment, to conclude with a fireside chat delving into the revolutionary impact of augmented reality and NFTs on the fashion industry. 

PWW3 not only highlighted current technological trends but also emphasised the empowerment of women through community and inclusivity. The event served as a platform for networking, sharing insights, and showcasing industry-leading women, setting the stage for future collaborations and innovations in the Web3 and digital arts space. Join PWW3 next time to be part of this empowering journey and celebrate the incredible contributions of women to the digital world.

Why it matters: Women's representation in tech fields, particularly in emerging technologies like Web3, is crucial not only for ensuring gender equality but also for fostering diverse perspectives that drive innovation. By highlighting the achievements and insights of women in this space, PWW3 contributes to a more inclusive ecosystem. This not only empowers women but enriches the entire sector with a wider range of ideas and solutions.


  • "Portraits of Women in Web3" was co-hosted with Neuehouse during NFT.NYC. It showcased the achievements and innovations of women leaders and experts in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors, coinciding with the Bitcoin halving event.

  • In-depth discussions at the event featured panels that explored significant topics such as the impact of ordinals in blockchain, the evolution of art from traditional spaces to Web3, and the transformative effects of AR and NFTs in fashion. 

  • PWW3 emphasised the importance of creating an inclusive environment fostering diversity, facilitating networking, and promoting the empowerment of women in the tech and digital arts industries.

That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and sign up to our WhatsApp channel for more weekly recaps, case studies, and deep dives on everything happening across creative, culture, and technology. 

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