SELFRIDGES TO BECOME THE FIRST RETAILER IN THE WORLD TO SELL NFTs IRL

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AS IT UNVEILS MAJOR EXHIBTION CELEBRATING THE WORK OF OP ART MOVEMENT FOUNDER, VICTOR VASARELY

Part of Universe, a major multi-dimensional project created by Selfridges in partnership with Fondation Vasarely and French fashion house Paco Rabanne that launches today, Thursday 13 January, the sale of over 1,800 NFTs ranging in price from around £2,000 to over £100,000, is the retailer’s ground-breaking entrance into the metaverse.

Along with the unveiling of a unique retrospective and sale of rare artworks by Op Art pioneer Victor Vasarely – who gave David Bowie the design for the album cover of his legendary Space Oddity opus and counted Warhol and Yoko Ono as fans – customers will be able to purchase NFTs simply using their bank card in store (from Friday 28 January) as seamlessly as buying Vasarely and Paco Rabanne curated collections – all within the same physical space in the London store’s Corner Shop (and online at Selfridges.com/vasarely).

The NFTs feature either rare artworks by Victor Vasarely or one of the ‘Unwearables’, the first 12 iconic dresses ever created by Paco Rabanne.

Thursday 13 January 2022 – In partnership with the Fondation Vasarely and Paco Rabanne, Selfridges will present Universe, a celebration of the work of Op Art movement pioneer, Victor Vasarely (b.1906 Pécs, Hungary, d. 1997 Paris) an innovator of 20th-century abstract art, best known for his pioneering geometric designs and perception-shifting imagination. Universe will include an exhibition of 55 works by the artist, none of which have been shown in the UK in over 50 years. 37 will be available for sale, alongside a series of specially commissioned NFTs created by London-based NFT platform, Substance. Funds raised will go to the Fondation Vasarely Museum, Aix-en-Provence, an ‘Architectonic Centre’ for the artist’s archive and large-scale installations, to support restoration of key artworks. 

Universe is a continuation of Selfridges’ commitment to art which has been an integral part of the brand since it first opened in 1909. Visitors will be able to experience the optical tricks, illusions and kinetic energy of Vasarely’s work across the Oxford Street store, including the storefront where each of the 24 windows will be individually wrapped in Vasarely’s iconic designs. In a progression of Vasarely’s investigation of the fourth dimension, Substance has also created a virtual reality environment, a metaverse, in which visitors will be able to interact with Vasarely’s calibrated patterns and hypnotic oscillations. The metaverse will be accessible online at Decentraland and NFTs will be available to purchase in a physical store for the first time anywhere in the world at Selfridges, London or online via Substance’s platform from Friday 28 January.

For more information about the project please visit selfridges.com/vasarely

The project will also celebrate the launch of Paco Rabanne’s Spring Summer 2022 collection for which Creative Director Julien Dossena has taken the work of Vasarely as his starting point. Dossena worked closely with the Fondation Vasarely to reimagine some of Vasarely’s iconic geometric Op Art patterns into printed, jacquard, chainmail and sequined fabrics. Ready-to-wear and accessories from the new collection will launch throughout the season at Selfridges (available to buy or rent).

This multi-layered creative collaboration between cultural institution, fashion house and retail brand will use Vasarely’s work as a lens through which to explore new ideas. Pre-loved fashion and lifestyle products, using or inspired by Vasarely’s design, including his 1969 screenprint series ‘Hommage à l’hexagone’, have been commissioned and curated by Selfridges’ buying team.

In The Selfridges Corner Shop, Vasarely Op Art will meet surfboards, skateboards, hand-painted watches from Bamford Watch Department and Globetrotter luggage. A Vasarely Gift Shop edit will feature over 50 products – all within a concealed concept space wrapped in aluminium scaffold, the preferred architectural material for both Rabanne & Vasarely.

Sebastian Manes, Selfridges Executive Buying & Merchandising Director, has said: “As Selfridges looks to the future, we continue to find inspiration in the past. In the case of Victor Vasarely and Paco Rabanne, we have more than fifty years of proposals for the future to explore. I love the idea of bringing Vasarely’s art to a social space like Selfridges – alongside the distinct identity of Paco Rabanne – and using their vision as way to bring emotion, connection and accessibility to the experience.”

Pierre Vasarely, President of Fondation Vasarely has said: “Fondation Vasarely is delighted to be partnering with Selfridges and Paco Rabanne to celebrate the work of Victor Vasarely and to bring some of his most important works to London for the first time in over 50 years. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of his death, Universe is a unique opportunity to introduce his work to a new audience and we’re delighted to be able to bring together examples of his iconic designs from across his career, including works on canvas, paper, ceramics, enamelled aluminium and tapestries which showcase the extent of his artistic universe.”

NFT Release schedule

FRIDAY 28 JANUARY 2022

Release of 12 Paco Rabanne ‘unwearables’ NFTs (edition of 56 each – 56 years of Paco Rabanne)

SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2022

Release of 6 unique Vasarely NFTs (no physical work attached, edition of 100 each)

SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2022

Release of a further 6 unique Vasarely NFTs (no physical work attached, edition of 100 each)

For more information about the project please visit selfridges.com/vasarely

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