Clinique’s Glam Squad bridges the diversity gap in transforming avatar PFPs

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Clinique is giving profile picture NFTS (or PFPs) a glamorous makeover with its second NFT project, aimed at drawing attention to diversity and inclusion gaps in the metaverse.

The cosmetics brand will randomly drop NFTs from the air to 1,968 NFT holders for unresponsible people every month for three months starting in July this year (a tribute to the brand’s founding days). Individuals receiving a Clinique NFT must “burn” it to reveal the Clinique skincare and makeup look, which is then applied to their PFP or profile picture avatar.

Clinique commissioned make-up artists such as Tess Daly, Sheika Daley and Emira D’spain to each create two looks – one more fantastic, one more practical – and as is typical of PFP projects, the fantastic feature is rarer, accounting for just 10 percent of each the three drops.

Dubbed “Metaverse Like Us,” the project is in part a response to research showing that 20 percent of Metaverse users and creators are women, fewer than 16 percent of all NFT artists are female, and NFTs with avatars of color and disability are valued will be 50 percent lower than white avatars. The Non-Fungible People (or NFP) collection consists of 10,000 female and non-binary avatars, 60 percent of whom are black. It was developed by 3D software provider Daz 3D and launched in January this year to bring more diverse display to the hot PFP market.

“Now that step forward is about how you can create more inclusivity and a more inclusive representation in the metaverse and almost fix some of the challenges you see on social platforms? We wanted to be a brand that used to be more proactive in paving the way for these platforms,” said Carolyn Dawkins, Clinique’s SVP of Global Marketing, Analytics and Online. The artistic collaborators were also chosen for their ability to challenge beauty standards and encourage individuality, she says.

This project reflects some emerging themes within the branded NFT space: an effort to prioritize digital diversity and the ability to “attract” PFP NFTs, the most popular of which are Bored Apes, Cryptopunks and World of Women. Recently, Nyx Professional Makeup partnered with new agency People of Crypto on a non-binary NFT collection and Pride event on digital real estate platform The Sandbox. And Daz3D has previously collaborated with the Institute of Digital Fashion (IoDF) on a project to create a mustache-wearing non-binary avatar modeled after IoDF co-founder Catty Tay. As co-founder and CEO Leanne Elliot Young said recently Vogue shopAdding something like a mustache to a femme-shaped avatar should be easy, but often software has a built-in bias.

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