Web3 Fashion Platform SYKY Launches Incubator for Emerging Digital Designers

The Seven Seven Six-backed SYKY platform will work with a group of 10 digital designers to grow their skills in the year-long incubator program.

AccessTimeIconJun 27, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 28, 2023 at 3:57 p.m. UTC

Digital fashion platform SYKY has launched The SYKY Collective, a year-long incubator program created to help emerging digital designers grow their brands.

The inaugural class of 10 designers includes fashion house Pet Liger, fashion artist Stephy Fung, photographer GlitchofMind, digital artist Calvyn Dylin Justus, spatial computing artist Taskin Goec, visual artist Fanrui Sun, fashion brand Nextberries, 3D artist Gustavo Toledo, footwear designer Felipe Fiallo and immersive creator Jacqueline Assar.

With the goal of “disrupting” the traditional fashion industry, the cohort will work together to develop their individual brands and pave the way for the fast-evolving world of digital fashion. Working under the mentorship of SYKY founder and CEO Alice Delahunt as well as industry leaders including CMO of Calvin Klein Jonathan Bottomley, founding member of digital fashion platform Red DAO Megan Kaspar and non-profit the British Fashion Council, the cohort will be releasing their first collections on SYKY later this year.

Delahunt told CoinDesk that the company’s mission is to decentralize creativity and bring new mediums into the traditional fashion world.

“There's still a lot of cynicism about digital designers … the metaverse and NFTs had an absolutely mainstream hype cycle and then we went into the trough of disillusionment and kind of felt discarded a little bit,” said Delahunt. “I think that we had to really cut through the noise … there are designers who are designing in these spaces, and there are consumers who are in digital worlds consuming and expressing their identity.”

Taskin Goec, one of the designers selected to participate in the cohort, told CoinDesk he’s looking forward to expanding his design skills alongside a group of artists and mentors who are well-versed in digital fashion and Web3.

“I think that none of us started designing in a vacuum and I think we're all making culture together,” said Goec. “I don't want to work just by myself in my own case, but I want to actually join this family so that we can create something bigger together.”

In addition to learning new skills, the cohort is also focused on diversifying the industry. Delahunt said that The SYKY Collective aims to break down barriers to entry into the fashion world by empowering new artists.

“The more houses that can exist at a grassroots level that can scale, the more creative, more inclusive and more diversified the fashion industry will be,” said Delahunt. “When we look back in 100 years' time, although there's been a lot of work done to break down barriers and diversify, it’s still a very gatekept industry.”

Adaku Emenike and Oluchi Nwachukwu, the Nigerian duo behind Nextberries, told CoinDesk that the barriers to entry to digital design are particularly high in Nigeria due to a “traditional mindset” and lack of access to digital resources.

“The traditional fashion industry, even here, continues to gatekeep, so now we want to be the change, we want to make a difference,” said Nwachukwu. “With the collective, this is what we are looking to change in Nigeria and Africa as a whole because the digital world isn’t yet [as familiar] here.”

While digital fashion has primarily been discussed in terms of events including Metaverse Fashion Week, SYKY has spent the past year building out its community to help foster decentralized creativity ahead of its platform launch. In January, it announced a $9.5 million funding round led by Seven Seven Six, a VC firm founded in 2020 by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. In addition, it released its Keystone Pass, a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that grants access to its private community of 987 fashion leaders, collectors, designers and enthusiasts.

In June, the SYKY was awarded as one of the World Economic Forum's "Technology Pioneers'' for 2023.

Edited by Rosie Perper.


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Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.