Fresh off her recent collaboration with Chinese photographer Chen Man, musician and artist Grimes has teamed up with MNTGE for a limited-edition collection that’s as much about the future as it is about the present. The collection includes NFC-chip-enabled vintage Levi’s denim jackets and t-shirts, and it allows buyers to access new music from Grimes through the embedded chip. The garments, part of Grimes’ ELF.TECH initiative, feature graphics designed by the artist herself, including AI art and an “ELF.TECH” graphic.
The NFC chip in each garment serves multiple functions. It provides a digital rendering of the item, a certificate of authenticity, and an exclusive preview of new music from Grimes. These features can be accessed by scanning the chip with a smartphone. Nick Adler, co-founder of MNTGE, stated that the aim of the collaboration is to “bridge the physical and digital experiences with music,” creating collector’s pieces that offer a new kind of fan engagement.
The partnership was formalized at this year’s Christie’s Art + Tech Summit, where discussions focused on the intersections of music, fashion, and digital culture. ELF.TECH, co-founded by Grimes, has been at the forefront of integrating technology into the artist’s experience. MNTGE shares a similar vision, exploring ways to innovate the live fan experience through digital technology.
DAOuda Leonard, co-founder of CreateSafe and manager of Grimes, indicated that the collaboration is an extension of previous efforts to combine digital assets with sustainable fashion. The garments retail for $200 for the jacket and $50 for the t-shirt, both of which are customizable. The NFC chips also offer counterfeit-proof authentication via blockchain technology. The collection will be available exclusively on MNTGE.io starting October 23, 2023.
As digital technology continues to permeate various aspects of culture, collaborations such as the one between Grimes and MNTGE highlight the potential for multi-faceted fan engagement. However, the integration of technology into traditional forms of art and fashion also raises questions about the commercialization of these experiences and the implications for both artists and consumers.