SYKY Raises $9.5M to Fund Digital Fashion ‘Renaissance’

Fashion brand SYKY has raised $9.5 million for its bid to build a blockchain-based luxury platform.

“Fashion is on the verge of a renaissance, powered by technology and the next generation of creators,” Alice Delahunt, a former Ralph Lauren executive and SYKY’s founder and CEO, said in a news release Tuesday (Jan. 17).

“With SYKY, we aim to build a platform that equalizes creative opportunity for aspiring designers, showcases the best of fashion from emerging and established brands, and cultivates a community passionate about the evolution of fashion.”

The Series A funding round was led by Seven Seven Six, a firm started by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. 

“With culture so greatly influenced by the runway, digital fashion will expand opportunities for creatives and consumers,” Ohanian said in the news release.

SYKY (pronounced “psy-che”) said that there’s a market for digital fashion, citing a report by Roblox and the Parsons School of Design that found that nearly half of Gen Z consumers look to digital fashion to play around with new styles. And close to three-quarters of those consumers said they would spend money on digital fashion.

Some brands are already trying to tap into this market. Nike, for example, announced in November the creation of “.Swoosh,” a digital, blockchain-powered meeting place for athletes, creators, collectors and consumers.

As PYMNTS reported in November, the platform will let Nike members learn about and collect creations like virtual shoes and jerseys, which they’ll eventually be able to wear in digital games. In some cases, members can unlock access to physical products or attend events such as private conversations with athletes and designers.

“We are shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the Web3-curious,” Ron Faris, general manager of Nike Virtual Studios, said at the time.

PYMNTS also noted last year that the world of high fashion was reinventing itself to meet the needs of digital shoppers.

In the wake of COVID, the fashion world quickly needed digital tools and visual showroomsJOOR Chief Customer Officer Jennifer Rosado told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in August. And after that breakthrough, the transformation also took hold on the business side.

Rosado said her customers had begun asking for digital equivalents of functions that were handled on an analog basis at real-world trade shows: “‘Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with unassisted online orders from my buyers, can I get those payments done digitally as well? Can I mitigate risk of payment fraud?’”

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