RenaiXance is a limited edition digital garment, inspired by the Renaissance period of the 16th century, an era of rapid social and cultural change, but reimagines its spirit and energy for our technological age.
The Fabricant and digital-shoe designer RTFKT's RenaiXance collection was informed by clothing from the Renaissance period and plays with the theme of rebirth. It features pieces – including robes – that nod to the styles of the era, but were made purely for a digital universe and minted as NFTs.
RenaiXance challenges the status quo through the digital world. The collection includes 9 NFTs each rich with their own folklore, based on gaming characters but remixing their aesthetic to correspond to The Fabricant’s ‘Pluriform’ design philosophy.
"The digital world has thrown history’s rule book out of the window and we find ourselves able to challenge every aspect of our existence. Technology gives us the power to explore and embrace our beautiful human complexity - in the digital terrain, all things become possible."
People across history were required to adopt masculine symbology to hide their assumed vulnerability, or were persecuted if they crossed invisible lines of what was deemed gender-appropriate behaviour. While those whose gender expression was anything other than binary were eradicated from history entirely or incarcerated after being determined mentally unwell.
More recently, deeply embedded visual signifiers have crept into the gaming environment, taking gender cliches and biases into our digital world. Hyper-masculine characters such as Kratos from God of War - pumped, violent and powerful - pushed the narrative into new realms. Meanwhile ‘Quiet’ a female character in the Metal Gear series, was created with a sexualised outfit unfit for her role as an elite soldier and a name that suggested it was better for her to be looked at than heard.
With RenaiXance, RTFKT x The Fabricant present the idea of what could be if we reimagined possibilities. What if historic signifiers of femininity replaced those of masculinity, and what new expressive potential does it give us? Does a character become any less intriguing if it’s wearing a robe and corset regardless of gender? Or do notions of the depth and power of femininity give it a new and exciting dimension, drawing on a frame of reference that destroys the limitations we’ve become accustomed to?
"Our belief is that fashion should be fluid and genderless - in the digital terrain we can express multiple selves and identities."