Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion | Coinspeaker

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

October 11th, 2023 at 3:01 pm UTC · 11 min read

This summer, the voice of “NFT is dead” often appeared in the encryption industry. On the one hand, the well-known project Azuki encountered a trust crisis, and the prices of blue-chip NFTs fell one after another. The SEC began to intervene in NFT regulation. Against this backdrop, NFT projects are being pushed to balance “depicting a new ideal vision and leading a new narrative of NFT” and “finding a suitable direction for their own development”.

In the NFT market, whether a brand can have a stable and credible narrative directly affects the project’s vitality. As the leader in the NFT field, Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre mentioned in an interview with BlockBeats that “Yuga Labs was built from the beginning with the idea of becoming a continuous interaction and community development, which is why it is called BAYC. When the community feels that they are not only being listened to and connected, but also that the experience will continue to evolve, they will remain enthusiastic and help build the brand.”

At the recently concluded BlockBeats co-hosted EDGE, the world’s largest AI&Web3 investment summit, Matt Sypien, founder of Hape®, with some similarities yet a completely distinct style compared to BAYC, shared the growth and development of Hape®. With years of experience in the Web2 art and fashion industry, Matt Sypien has maintained a stable level of artistic creativity at Hape®, conveying the true value of its brand to users.

At the beginning of its establishment, Hape® had a clear positioning – digital fashion creativity. On the one hand, the positioning of “digital fashion” itself can carry more real user participation behavior, which helps to achieve stable community development; on the other hand, through cooperation with many well-known brands, Hape® has gone further and further on the road of becoming an explorer in the forefront of digital fashion, making NFT accessible to more audiences.

Hape® is a 3D NFT fashion brand featuring monkeys wearing modern trendy clothing. It once ranked first in the 24-hour trading volume ranking of the world’s largest NFT secondary market, OpenSea. Within a week, it achieved 1549 sales and 14067ETH in sales revenue. Currently, its trading volume has reached 200 million US dollars.

Previously, the Hape® brand had gained recognition in the industry through collaborations with Italian fashion giant Diesel and unique digital art pieces. Hape® was incubated by Digimental Studio, a well-known 3D art studio. On May 24, 2023, Vertex Labs (Vertexlabs.uk), a global leader in metaverse, Web3, and AI infrastructure, announced the acquisition of Digimental for $12 million. The two will work together to develop the 3D metaverse platform LightCycle, making Hape® “the preferred destination in the fashion universe” and providing community members with unparalleled access and experiences in the Web3 field. Recently, Hape’s collaboration with Jagermeister was announced as a finalist in two categories for this year’s Lovie Awards: BEST PARTNERSHIP and BEST ART AND MUSIC.

At the EDGE Summit, BlockBeats interviewed Hape® founder Matt Sypien to discuss the development of Hape® and his insights on the industry.

Hape® Brand Philosophy: Authenticity, Creativity, and Community Cohesion

Journalist: Firstly, could you please introduce yourself, including details about your career experience and what you were doing before creating Hape® NFT.

Matt: 你好 (Hello), I’m Matt Sypien, Digi or Digimental in the web3.0 space. I serve as the CEO of Digimental Studio, a London-based digital art studio and the creative force behind Hape®. My journey in the creative realm spans over two decades, during which I navigated through various roles in renowned ad agencies and production houses like R/GA, AKQA, BBH, and TBWA. I served as an Art Director at the BAFTA and Oscar-winning creative studio Framestore Labs. Throughout my 25 years of experience in design, creative, and art direction, I witnessed the evolution from Web2 to Web3.0, where I continue to build with my dedicated team. My diverse brand portfolio includes globally recognized names such as Nike, Beats by Dre, Chelsea FC, Jordan Air, Adidas, Lacoste, MTV, Jaguar, and Rolls-Royce, to name a few. Before my venture into the Web3 space, I was Design Director at The Economist. Today, I am deeply immersed in the web3.0 world, shaping the future of digital art and fashion through Hape®.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: Would you like to provide a detailed description of the background and motivations behind establishing the Hape brand? Additionally, what is the brand philosophy of Hape®?

Matt: Amidst the digital renaissance and the burgeoning realm of NFTs, I recognized a distinct opportunity to merge my design expertise with my love for gaming and streetwear culture. This revelation led to the birth of Hape®, a trailblazing brand disrupting norms and revolutionizing digital fashion. Hape® stands at the forefront of the digital fashion revolution, captivating global audiences with its groundbreaking approach and collaborations with industry giants like Diesel.

At its essence, Hape® embodies a philosophy grounded in authenticity, creativity, and community. Our commitment is to providing unparalleled access and immersive experiences within Web3, emphasizing genuine connections within our global community. Hape® serves as a testament to the transformative potential of digital art, where creativity knows no bounds and actual ownership is paramount.

Hape®’s philosophy transcends traditional boundaries, creating a unique digital experience where fashion, technology, and art converge seamlessly. We emphasize genuine engagement and foster enduring relationships within our expansive community. Through innovative storytelling, collaborative initiatives, and a fervour for digital craftsmanship, Hape® continually reshapes the digital collectables landscape, setting new standards at the intersection of fashion and technology. Hape® represents more than just a brand; it is a creative lifestyle thriving on innovation, authenticity, and a shared passion for exploring the boundless possibilities of the digital world.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: Hape® has collaborated with many well-known brands like Diesel. What does this mean for Hape®? I’m wondering if there are any plans for future collaborations with other brands.

Matt: Collaborating with renowned brands like Diesel has been a pivotal milestone for Hape®. These collaborations signify Hape®’s recognition and acceptance within the broader fashion and creative industry. Partnering with established names not only elevates Hape®’s visibility but also validates its unique approach to digital fashion and the innovative use of NFTs.

Looking ahead, Hape® is indeed planning for future collaborations with other brands. These partnerships are crucial for several reasons. Firstly, they enable Hape® to expand its creative horizons, exploring new styles, concepts, and technologies. Secondly, collaborations with diverse brands allow Hape® to reach a wider audience, fostering a more extensive and engaged community. Thirdly, these joint ventures open up possibilities for cross-industry innovations, pushing the boundaries of what digital fashion can achieve.

In essence, future collaborations are integral to Hape®’s growth and evolution, ensuring the brand continues to pioneer the digital fashion landscape and offer fresh, exciting experiences to its audience. Stay tuned for upcoming collaborations that redefine the intersection of fashion, technology, and art within the Hape® Fashionverse.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: I’ve noticed some opinions in the market saying that NFTs are dead. What’s your opinion about the current market trends, especially regarding blue chip NFTs?

Matt: The notion that NFTs are “dead” is a multifaceted and continually evolving topic. I’ve encountered this sentiment multiple times, even during bullish market trends, so I tend not to give it too much credence. Technology is in a constant state of growth. It will undoubtedly continue to shape our future for many years to come. New projects are emerging, and the NFT ecosystem remains vibrant and dynamic. While the term “NFTs” might evolve or be rebranded in the future, the underlying technology is unstoppable. Use cases may shift, but fundamentally, it’s still NFTs. It’s crucial to recognize that market fluctuations and changes in sentiment are natural occurrences, and evaluating the NFT market, especially blue chip NFTs, requires a broader perspective. Achieving mass adoption is pivotal, as isolated sentiments alone cannot sustain the growth of this technology.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: What’s your opinion about Yuga Lab’s BAYC? How does it help to establish the Hape® community?

Matt: My experience with Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of the NFT landscape. Owning the coveted number 183 and witnessing the community’s growth has reinforced my belief in the long-term potential of NFTs. BAYC’s success demonstrates the power of creativity and community engagement.

In the context of Hape®, my involvement in the BAYC community has inspired me to foster a similar sense of belonging within Hape®. I’ve actively shared my experiences and introduced fellow community members to Hape®, leveraging the shared desire for self-expression and uniqueness prevalent in the NFT space.

Hape®’s emergence as a digital fashion brand tailored for the web3.0 community aligns perfectly with the NFT ethos. By providing a platform for individuals to express themselves, Hape® represents the natural evolution of digital art and collectables. My journey with BAYC has deeply influenced my commitment to Hape®, contributing to the growth and vibrancy of both communities.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: Pudgy Penguins has been selling  their IP products well on Amazon. Will Hape have similar plans to focus on the Web2 market?

Matt: While Pudgy Penguins has made strides in the Web2 market, Hape®’s focus remains on our high-end digital fashion niche within the Web3 space. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of digital fashion innovation. While we acknowledge the opportunities in Web2, our strategy involves staying true to our unique profile. Our upcoming premium quality clothing capsule exemplifies our commitment to our brand’s essence. This blend of digital fashion and physical offerings allows us to explore new revenue streams while maintaining our high-end identity. Our approach mirrors our dedication to our community and our brand’s evolution, ensuring a seamless integration of physical and digital realms.

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Journalist: How do you view the development of Bitcoin NFTs? Also, how do you view SEC regulation of NFTs?

Matt: The development of Bitcoin NFTs represents an intriguing convergence of two influential forces in the cryptocurrency world. By combining the inherent uniqueness of NFTs with the robustness of Bitcoin’s blockchain, this innovation opens up new possibilities for digital asset ownership and creativity. While still nascent, Bitcoin NFTs could bridge communities and bring a broader audience into the NFT space.

Regarding SEC regulation of NFTs, it reflects the growing recognition of NFTs as legitimate assets. While rules are essential for investor protection and market stability, finding the right balance is crucial. Clear guidelines can provide a sense of security for market participants, fostering trust and encouraging responsible innovation within the NFT ecosystem. As the regulatory landscape evolves, it’s vital for the industry to adapt, ensuring that NFTs continue to thrive as a transformative force in the digital economy. We also need a clear set of rules to know how to move forward and comply with the law and regulations.

Journalist: The last question, does Hape have any prospects for the Asian market? Is there anything you would like to say to the Chinese users?

Matt: Hape® is profoundly optimistic about the Asian market’s potential, especially after we participate in the EDGE Web3, AI, and Investment Summit in Hong Kong. With our recent acquisition by Ander Tsui, CEO of Vertex Labs, we’re dedicated to expanding our presence in Asia. The Founder and CEO of Vertex Labs have devised the Hape 2.0 strategy, encompassing gaming, film, and the metaverse, with the AI-powered hyper-realistic metaverse platform, LightCycle, being a part of Hape 2.0. We will continue to lead at the forefront of shaping digital fashion, providing superior experiences for the Z generation.

To our Chinese users, 万分感谢 (Thank you very much) for your great hospitality and warm welcome. We’re honoured to join your vibrant community. Hape® is committed to bringing innovative digital fashion and NFT experiences to you. We eagerly anticipate unique collaborations that resonate with your creativity and passion. We are collaborating with prominent brands in Asia to develop intellectual property (IP). There will be revolutionary breakthroughs in the realms of both film and gaming in the future.

stay I  Iape® for exciting developments tailored just for you. 我们爱你 (We love you).

Interview with Hape® Founder Matt: Explorer in the Digital Fashion

Hape Socials: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram.

Collections: Hape Prime, Genesis Hape.

Digimental socials: InstagramLinkedIn.

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