Alice Delahunt believes the future of fashion lies in web3 and created Syky (pronounced “psy-key”) to set the wheels in motion.
She launched the company in November after a career in marketing at luxury fashion houses, including chief digital and content officer at Ralph Lauren and digital and social marketing director at Burberry.
In 2017, Delahunt was at Ralph Lauren and had her first look at the blockchain, but it wasn’t until years later, when she was pioneering some digital wardrobe projects with companies such as Snap, Bitmoji, and Roblox, that she got the chance to see that web3 would become “more than a niche community” for luxury fashion.
“It felt like there was potential for virtual fashion and digital fashion to really take off,” she told australiabusinessblog.com. “I believe that the luxury fashion houses of tomorrow are being built today.”
That’s when Delahunt left Ralph Lauren and started developing Syky, which she said will serve as an incubator, marketplace and social community for the next generation of fashion designers and consumers.
As my colleague Dominic-Madori Davis recently pointed out, “If there’s one industry that could use web3, it’s fashion,” especially when it comes to moving the industry in a new direction or helping it become more sustainable.
This is a big part of Delahunt’s focus. Her company’s name was inspired by the mythological Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche, who she says personified “how designers use fashion to express the elusive parts of ourselves and themselves.”
“Designers inspire us to dream through fashion,” added Delahunt. “And those dreams come from the deepest parts of our psyches, so it was important to me that the name reflected that.”
The company is kicking off the community portion of its platform by releasing its first NFT called The Keystone, 987 of which will be available on January 20. Fifty Keystones will be reserved for and awarded to aspiring designers, Delahunt said.
The Keystone is a membership pass that provides exclusive access to Syky’s membership space, where they can network and collaborate with other creators and attend digital and in-person fashion events. Keystone holders will also be the first to hear about designer collection drops, alpha and beta feature releases from the company, and partner projects. In addition, they periodically receive insights and reports on fashion and technology.
Syky is still in its infancy, but is backed by a $9 million Series A investment led by Seven Seven Six, which also included Brevan Howard Digital, Leadout Capital, First Light Capital Group and Polygon Ventures.
The investment marks Seven Seven Six’s foray into web3 fashion, and Alexis Ohanian told australiabusinessblog.com via email that the attraction to Syky stemmed from his obsession with the intersection of technology and culture.
“Creating and growing Reddit gave me a front row seat to the power of culture creation through technology, even if it’s internet culture, and fashion is another core element of that,” added Ohanian.
Meanwhile, Delahunt plans to use the new capital for building the Syky team, incubating the designers in the community, and for product and technology development.
She plans for the future market to become a source of income for the company. It will be a place for emerging designers and non-established designers to sell and trade their collections with consumers. It will also become a place where designers and consumers can put together spaces to showcase their fashion passions.
Delahunt has been secretive about some of the company’s next moves, including an announcement to designers in February and another part of the platform’s launch in the second quarter of this year.
“We’re going to build the luxury space environment in the digital world and then in the physical world,” added Delahunt.