"The secrecy/mystery is what makes it cool," Uniswap's Ashleigh Schap said via direct message. "Normally you wouldn't send $200 to random people who are promising to send you a T-shirt."
And yet people are doing just that for Saint Fame, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that’s part fashion house, part ethereum subculture.
"Saint Fame is more like a subreddit with money than a traditional fashion house," said Matthew Vernon, a designer involved in the project.
Since announcing itself to the world on Nov. 11, Saint Fame has been intentionally somewhat hard to follow. In its first tweet, the DAO described itself as, “The world's first internet-owned fashion house.”
Fashion and aesthetics have a special place in the ethereum world. Slava Kim, one of the people behind the project who works by day as a designer at Coinbase, told CoinDesk, "We are excited to enable a new paradigm of collective creation on the internet."
The DAO currently works by selling a token, FAME, that’s redeemable for one T-shirt. FAME’s price is determined using a bonding curve, basically a smart contract that raises the price of each subsequent token sold at a predictable rate.
There isn't documentation to explain the specific parameters of FAME's bonding curve, but in a Monday tweet the project said the first one sold for $8. If all 100 FAME tokens sell, the final one will go for $170,000, though they have to be purchased in ETH or DAI.
In fact, Saint Fame favors all things ethereum.
Uniswap built it to show how decentralized exchanges "enable new use cases and make it easier to bootstrap tokenized products and businesses," CEO Hayden Adams said in a statement.
The not-so-lowly T-shirt
"Expect the design to be a somewhat incoherent explosion of weird internet things," Vernon told CoinDesk in an email.
Vernon is a designer at Dharma Labs (another ethereum project), but also an occasional freelancer. For the Saint Fame gig, Vernon was compensated by way of his own custom ERC-20 token, BOI, which represents one hour of his time. (Vernon said Saint Fame acquired eight BOI tokens for his contributions to the project.)
Vernon said the potential of DAOs to enable collaboration among disparate internet users was what drew him to participate. He added that Saint Fame could save fashion fans, such as sneakerheads, some of the pain they experience waiting in line for the hot new thing.
"[FAME] essentially gives you the ability to speculate on the value of the good in an entirely digital manner," Vernon said.
In theory, as the project moves forward, owners of the DAO’s token will be able to vote on the direction its fashion house follows – using Saint Fame's governance token, AINT. These votes happen on Aragon.
“Being involved with this launch has been the most fun thing I have done with Aragon DAOs,” Aragon One CEO Jorge Izquierdo tweeted this week. “After 2 years working on this stack, it is so rewarding to see how everything finally clicks and it is used for something incredible. And again, a DAO is selling fucking T-shirts for $160!”
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.