COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gerardo Encinas always had an eye for fashion, but now has his sight set on something else.
Encinas started designing gowns for pageants and has now worked his way up to wedding gowns and red carpet looks. The Mexican designer opened his own boutique last month but is already on to his next venture: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
“I thought it was a good opportunity for me to just showcase and just to try different things on fashion,” said Encinas. NFTs are noninterchangeable units of data stored on a digital ledger. They have taken the creative world by storm, allowing artists to capitalize on their creativity.
Encinas started the process by reaching out to Thomas McClure, the executive director for the Columbus Fashion Council. McClure had been researching the digital space for a little over a year and was excited to take on the adventure with Encinas Designs.
Gerardo Encinas NFTs will be digital designs of various dresses in his “But Make it Fashion” Collection.
“The art piece is of his own dress and someone can purchase that NFT using a cryptocurrency on an NFT platform like OpenSea and they own the original and the only one,” said McClure.
The owner of each NFT controls the price and the contract. Right now, Encinas NFTs are up for bid starting at about $100 USD. The contract does not only include the digital designs, but also a $100 credit to shop at Encinas' boutique in downtown Columbus. The control artists have with NFTs also gives them the opportunity to keep ownership of their work thanks to the blockchain, which are digital ledgers to verify the source of an NFT.
“Great point made about artists being ripped off or copied,” said McClure. "The great thing about the NFT world is the blockchain. That blockchain is honest, it's transparent and it's going to tell you if you have the original. This is just a great way for a brand like Gerardo Encinas to expand into a whole other world that fashion still hasn’t quite taken hold in.”
Encinas NFTs are currently up for bid. He said in the future he hopes to expand his NFT contracts to include even more.
“I want to know if you buy my digital one I can add in the contract or in the price you can have the digital too and you can have the actual dress,” said Encinas.
You can find Gerardo Encinas NFT on the OpenSea app and they can be purchased using various types of cryptocurrency. The bid starts at 0.0325 Ethereum or about $100 USD. There will be a new bid for another dress in the collection starting Monday, Jan. 24.