An NFT Hoodie Just Sold for $26,000

Yes, it’s absurd. But it also says a lot about the world of fashion.

Courtesy: Overpriced

People often criticize Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his exorbitantly expensive hoodies. Zuck is the master of spending $400-plus on articles of clothing which make him look like a disheveled college student who is too busy writing Python code to bother with fashion.

Yet a new hoodie puts even Zuckberg’s covert clothing indulgences to shame. According to the aptly named NFT clothing brand Overpriced, the company recently sold an NFT-linked hoodie for $26,000 on the marketplace Blockparty.

A spokesperson for Overpriced told me that “the world’s first NFT Powered Hoodie features scannable QR codes to link it to an original NFT artwork.” In other words, the physical hoodie itself serves more as a conduit to the concept of a virtual piece of clothing, which is what the purchaser is actually buying. The company said in an email that “the value is held in the NFT, not the garment, so if the hoodie is ever damaged, lost, copied, or sold, the code can be invalidated, and the NFT ownership can be transferred to another Hoodie.”

Why would anyone spend this much on a piece of clothing? This statement from Overpriced might shine some light: “Observers can scan the garment to display the NFT, see how much the hoodie cost, and view the ownership chain of the garment.”

It’s easy to criticize people for spending this much on a piece of clothing — especially one meant to make the wearer look schlubby. Let’s do that for a moment. The hoodie itself sold for more than double the worldwide median income of $9,733. It’s worth nearly half the yearly income of the median American family, too. Instead of spending their cash on a virtual/physical hybrid sweatshirt, the hoodie’s purchaser could have funded essential vaccines for 30,952 impoverished children via UNICEF, or any number of other, better things.

That may be the point. Overpriced’s motto is “Fuck your money,” and the company calls itself “a social commentary on the madness of money meeting art.” Madness indeed.

Yet, the company’s hoodie captures and distills several realities about the fashion world. Both the provenance of garments (“Who are you wearing?”) and their high price is part of what makes them exclusive and desirable.

Most big fashion houses approach this subtly, by dressing celebrities in their wares or buying up fancy stores on expensive shopping streets in Paris, Milan, Beverly Hills, and the like. Overpriced simply makes these elements explicit, by allowing anyone to scan their hoodie and immediately see its origins, chain of ownership, and eye-watering price tag. In a move Andy Warhol would have appreciated, Overpriced’s overt profiteering is its message. That the company sold its hoodie just before the Oscars, a bastion of high fashion lunacy, is probably deliberate.

If you’d like an overpriced Overpriced hoodie of your own, the company says that “the remaining 9 pieces from season 1 will be launched in early May, via 9 different auction types designed to give both crypto whales and everyday folks a chance to win.” Or you could just buy a replica Zuckerberg hoodie for $42 and call it a day.

Co-Founder & CEO of Gado Images. I write, speak and consult about tech, privacy, AI and photography. tom@gadoimages.com

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