What is RTFKT?
RTFKT pronounced as artifact is a design company under Nike. It came from the gaming terminology that refers to specific magical items can be futuristic or ancient in origin. Originally launched in 2020, the company was founded by three friends with the vision to create the first native brand bounded by crypto and gaming culture.
“The goal of RTFKT was to create the first native brand bonding crypto and gaming culture, and to redefine what you think of a brand, a product, a community — everything. ” Benoit Pagotto
Who is behind RTFKT?
The co-founders of RTFKT are made up of the trio namely Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Valisev who all came from different backgrounds. Benoit previously worked on gaming and luxury fashion while Chris was heavy in VFX and multimedia. Lastly, Steven, otherwise known as Z, was all into different sorts of businesses. Currently acting as the CEO of RTFKT, Z was in the crypto scene investing at the mere age of twelve years old. In addition, he was into streetwear and start-ups which was how they all met.
The Vision has always been that in the Future, your digital possessions and life will be way more valuable than your physical one, economically and emotionally.
We all already live in that future, with our most precious items being NFT’s and the community we are building 🚀
— Benit0 RTFKT 👁🗨 (@benitopagotto) April 29, 2022
How did RTKFT start?
The founders met when Benoit Pagotto was working and doing merch for the biggest e-sports team in Europe, Fnatic. While handling physical merchandise, he reached out to Chris Le to do a mock-up of a Fortnite (popular battle royale game) skin on a sneaker, as skins on Counter Strike has been booming. When the mock up received positive reception on Fnatic’s social channels, it was decided that they needed to make that shoe physically.
In an interview with Highsnobiety, Pagotto recounts needing to find the best guy for the job, and he found Steven Valisev, also nicknamed Z. At that time, Steven was running a successful sneaker customization company which supplied the Fnatic’s League of Legends team with YEEZY 700 adorned with a Raven Fortnite skin.
At the start of the trio’s partnership, they ran an Instagram account putting to use Chris’ talents by creating CGI videos to promote RTFKT ideas and concepts. Upon gaining traction, they decided to quit their day jobs to focus on the brand. Chris acknowledged that the partnership between his partners is a match made in heaven. He spoke that merging sneakers and gaming culture together just made sense. He stated “…when you think about it, one of the most popular things to collect in the physical space is sneakers.”
The trio shared details on the journey of RTFKT so far. The team was initially apprehensive in creating products when they learned that Nike patented digital items such as early as 2019, which limited their moves as a collective. However, the discovery did not the stop the group. Benoit Pagotto even shared that the similarities between their digital sneakers and Nike models shouldn’t be surprising as they started with those before creating their own. He says, “Modding them, remixing them in 3D. We did a logo that is this futuristic swoosh, and now we’re the fourth brand of Nike. So that’s pretty crazy.”
What is the goal of RTFKT?
RTFKT is a creator-led community. Alongside all its product that have released and still in the pipeline, the company aims to provide another avenue of enjoying sneaker collectibles and digital artifacts. Largely brought by the desire to provide products, they hope to streamline the process in acquiring collectibles just in a different form. Occasionally, RTFKT has physical forging events wherein you could claim physical items for NFTs you already own.
The underlying technology of NFTs and crypto has created a flawless transition on how the sneaker culture and collectible market was able to translate in web3 land. In the NFT space, the team can mint and release a collection in a span as short as three days wherein a normal cycle would take 1 to 2 years. In addition, they can stay more connected to their community because of the online presence of the public.
With the infusion of capital, the team has been growing rapidly. The team values Nike’s backing, as it has been a dream to work with them and they are excited for the future. As it stands, RTFKT aims to be at the forefront of providing the best experience to its users through its roadmap.
Road MAP : 2022 🌐
All Clones have incredible utilities we will deliver from early next year.
3D files to create your own content or use on the Metaverse or video calls, customization of your Clone fashion items, and Forging Events.
RTFKT = UTILITIES 🦾 pic.twitter.com/m2qCY61tj8
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) December 12, 2021
What products have RTFKT released?
The idea to release a sneaker has always been a dream for the team, as they have always been interested in the sneaker culture. The idea eventually expanded to include digital collectibles such as wearables and art as well. The first-ever product for the brand was the drop with FEWOCiOUS via Nifty Gateway, a digital art online auction platform for non-fungible token, in which they did $3.1 million in sales in mere seven minutes. In addition, they have joined forces with Jeff Staples in releasing The Metapigeon. They even had a collaboration with legendary gaming company Atari via Sandbox and Decentraland wearables.
Our @decentraland airdrop has started! 🛫
Enjoy the complimentary Akira Hoodies 🎁
Don’t miss out on the next airdrop, join our discord https://t.co/krHEp3ECnf pic.twitter.com/aqs21O9fbe
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) September 8, 2021
Most importantly, Clone X is a partnership with Murakami Takahashi.
The group only aligns themselves with artists they love which have borne successful results. Alongside blockchain native artist FEWOCiOUS, the team released collectible sneakers which did numbers and sold out within minutes. The collection sits at a current floor price of 1.79 ETH as of August 2022.
Congrats @fewocious 💥
leading the way with joy, tears and art
Inspiration for all 🚀https://t.co/TghpjYyVLA pic.twitter.com/sl7HegLMu1
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) October 15, 2021
The release with FEWOCiOUS resulted into Jeff Staple reaching out to RTFKT. Jeff Staple is a legendary figure in the sneaker industry. He was the creator of the Staple Pigeon dunks that put sneaker culture in the map. His brand Staple is a creative outlet which led him to opening his own design studio. The collaboration is compelling given that RTFKT was at the time a relatively a brand-new studio, a renowned name outside the NFT space collaboration was a surprise. Together with RTFKT, Jeff Staples released the Meta Pigeon with a current floor price of 2.49 ETH as of August 2022.
RTFKT x Jeff Staple forgers, check your wallets, OG PIGEON has landed 🐦
Keep it safe somewhere, gonna unlock something in the near future 🔮
do not feed the pigeon ☠️ pic.twitter.com/ppJSkwedJD
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) July 2, 2021
On the other hand, the relationship with Japanese contemporary artist Takahashi Murakami was brought about in the similar way. The team had the idea of creating 20,000 anime-inspired avatars and the perfect match was made. Given that the team only works with artist that they truly believe in, they are willing to share their expertise in matter relating to the Web3 space. The group had to introduce the style of RTFKT and NFTs to Murakami and Jeff Staple. Both were leaning towards being more traditional artists than that of FEWOCiOUS who was more used to the NFT world that made more vibrant art.
In addition to big name collaborators, RTFKT has always involved the community. For the Space Drip drop, they took 18 emerging artists to create a design based on the model that they have already released. In addition, several artists were also brought into the projects to design traits for the Clone X collection . The revenue that the NFT market has been very beneficial to the artists. With the nature of NFTs, artists get a percentage of the sales which has dramatically changed their lives. In a traditional market, once an artwork is sold, the artist does not make any more money on a secondary sale, which differs in the royalty model than is prevalent in Web3. However, Pagotto states that not only artists can benefit on this market. He has seen other collectors make a ton of money than they would in a lifetime. This explosion has not been seen since the early Internet days. Those collectors then would go on to buy RTFKT other products or maybe launch their own. It supports the overall ecosystem unlike the established cycle. That is one of the main reasons the RTFKT team has not shied away from being vocal about their community. It promotes an uplifting spirit within the culture.
FORGING WILL GO LIVE TODAY! ⚒️🦾
Owners of RTFKT Space Drip x Air Force 1 NFT will be able to redeem the physcial sneakers.
You can buy these from secondary here: https://t.co/P2DGNxp9Jq
We will confirm Forging opening time soon 🤞 pic.twitter.com/lPmJJXdTzC
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) June 6, 2022
What is a CLONE X NFT?
Clone X is 20,000 PFP (profile picture) project is the main bearer of the RTFKT brand on the Ethereum Blockchain. The Clone X NFT project is heavily influenced by the owners’ background in gaming and sci-fi. Created alongside Japanese contemporary artist, Takahashi Murakami, the collection features several Murakami traits that is very popular as it adorns the artist’s signature style. Takahashi Murakami rose to prominence as a contemporary artist due to his signature flower art and significant portfolio which boast working with Louis Vuitton earlier in his career, creating the 2002 album cover for Kanye West’s Graduation and again providing artwork in 2018 for Kid See Ghosts. The Clone X lore is centered around clones being created to transfer human awareness to ready for upcoming expansion to the metaverse. Clone X traits are made up of eight DNA types across the 20,000 NFTs which are as follows:
- humans (50%)
- robots (30%)
- angels (8.75%)
- demons (8.75%)
- reptiles (1.25%)
- undead (0.6%)
- Murakamis (0.5%)
- aliens (about 0.15%), the rarer the more desirable.
What is the utility of CLONE X?
All holders of the Clone X have full commercial rights for their PFP with the recent release of the 3D files. With this recent development, creators are expected to emerge as it entitles them the ability to build around NFTs they own. However, Clone X that has the Murakami traits do not have commercial rights to their NFT. This means that holders of Clone X with Murakami traits can only create content but not sell those commercially.
A new Era begins
3D Files 🌐
Full Commercial Rights 👩⚖️
It’s time to CREATE 🧵#clonesunlocked 🔓 pic.twitter.com/fYqx6Sbg23
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) July 4, 2022
There have already been a multitude of airdrops that were given to Clone X holders. The products that were airdropped (given free of charge) were described in the roadmap. If you held everything from the beginning, you’ll have a Space Pod, your virtual house, and a PodX an extension of said home. Then MNLTH was the next airdrop, and it featured the first ever Nike co-branded metaverse item. When the reveal came, the MNLTH box contained the first ever Nike CryptoKicks or the first ever Nike sneaker NFT. Within the box as well, there was an Evo Skin Vial where you can apply the design to your Nike CryptoKicks. It is similar on how Fortnite players can change the look of their default characters.
A new Era begins
3D Files 🌐
Full Commercial Rights 👩⚖️
It’s time to CREATE 🧵#clonesunlocked 🔓 pic.twitter.com/fYqx6Sbg23
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) July 4, 2022
How much is a CLONE X?
Owners of previous RTFKT projects were whitelisted and were able to mint the two vials for only 0.5 ETH each. It was selling around average of 3-4 ETH after whitelisted wallets were able to mint prior to the public release. As for the public, it was released via Dutch Auction on the Ethereum network. The auction is basically where people put on bids where they want to buy the product, prices lower over time until it sells out. To make things interesting they created a new smart contract, which is in vial.
The vial auction started at 3 ETH but was halted 2hrs and 30mins into the sale due to bot attacks. With the ongoing issues, they were forced to reopen the sale the following day and set the price at a fixed bid of 2e but sold out eventually.
The current floor price of a Clone X NFT is at 6.97 ETH as of August 2022. The collection is available on Opensea, Looksrare and other major secondary market platforms.
How popular is CLONE X?
The community right now is made up of 9,475 holders for the 20k collection. The top five holders of the collection have stacked tons of the NFT with about 4.53 percent of the collection between them, the top holder having over 424 Clone X. The official twitter of the brand is @RTFKT boasts 365.2K followers.On the other hand, their Discord, a discussion platform, has 220k members which has become the main point of communication between holders. Most communities or projects for that matter are based on a Discord server. Inside the RTFKT discord, you’ll see the focus on creators. As a project, the Clone X metaverse is pushing for holders to create. It even has a #blender-world section. Blender is a 3d creation platform. With the recent release of 3D files, holders are encouraged to tinker around their NFTs
Commercial rights are limited however the project is working towards unlocking the whole vault.
In terms of OpenSea sales, Clone X sits at 7th all-time with 226K+ ETH in the secondary market with the current price of the ETH that translates to $383 million. The highest recorded sale for a Clone X avatar is 450 Ethereum (about $1.25 million) in February 2022. This NFT has Murakami DNA type with white octopus hair.
What makes RTFKT so special?
The acquisition of RTFKT was Nike’s first foray into the Metaverse. But even before that, RTFKT has been relevant due to their widespread appeal. The acquisition news hit the community a few days after reveal for the Clone X vials, which resulted into a spike in the NFTs price. RTFKT is only the fourth brand under the Nike company beside Converse and Jordan Brand. Terms of the acquisition by Nike have not been released to the public.
Being the leading fashion brand in the metaverse, the partnership made sense from a business standpoint. Before the Nike partnership even came to fruition, RTFKT were approached by countless brands, which they said no to. Steven Valisev emphasizes the reluctance to work with other luxury fashion brands as they usually operate in the different manner such as having a creative director. He says that their mindset is to encourage growth and to mutually benefit in any partnerships they enter into. Obviously, Nike’s influence on innovation was what made the brand ultimately the chosen partner for RTFKT. It serves as a bridge between athletes and creators.
Ultimately, as Chris says, “We’re really thinking for the digital future. We feel like digital identity and digital collectibles is going to take up the majority of people’s thoughts and wallets.” There has always been a willingness for Nike to participate in Web3 even prior to signing RTFKT as evidenced by their presence in the popular battle royale game Fortnite. They made a handful of activations such as a Travis Scott concert and even putting on Jordans in the game.
What is next for RTFKT CLONEX?
With the purchase of RTFKT by Nike last December 2021, the sky is the limit for RTFKT. Nike’s backing means so much for the group. RTFKT aims to learn on how to work with a brand such as Nike and vice versa. Clone X will stay as the flagship project of RTFKT and it will receive more airdrops in the future. Some products will be limited to holders such as the most recent drop of the Nike AR hoodie, which were made to order.
Forging Event for the @RTFKT x @Nike AR hoodie starts today 3pm PT time. ⚒️
Owners of the NFT will be able to redeem the physical at no extra cost. You have 3 days to Forge.
Forging closes: Monday 25th, 6pm PT
AR Hoodie Ships this Sept / Oct 🚀 pic.twitter.com/1jfsF99Vxk
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) July 22, 2022
The event gave the opportunity to buy the hoodie NFT and was given the chance to redeem them within 3 days. This is very much different to the common practice of creating products then selling them in retail stores.
As a Web3 company, they plan to grow and innovate with Nike’s help. In a world where everything is moving digital, they fully intend to extend Nike’s digital footprint by bringing metaverse fashion collectibles in the forefront. This only the beginning for RTFKT, it is only a taste of what could be.
How to buy RTFKT CLONE X?
The easiest way to purchase RTFKT CLONE X is on secondary market like OpenSea. As of August 2022, you can purchase a RTFKT CLONE X for 6.97 ETH.
Editor’s Note: Information stated in this article about RTFKT CLONE X are updated regularly by our editorial team. This article is not a financial advise. We recommend you to do your own research and invest at your own risk.