"We can't wait to see the incredible fashion experiences that will emerge from this collaboration"

As the new phygital landscape emerges rapidly, enthusiasts across all industries are seeking like-minded people to share their experiences and thoughts, and also to unite their efforts in building the web3 community.

Blockdown is all about connections and business, except the conference is taking place on a heavenly Portuguese coast, along with diving, parties, and all kind of amusements. It's the second physical event organized by Blockdown, and the speaker list is already looking promising. We are talking about the CEO of Animoca Brands, the head of Web3 at Paris Saint-Germain, the co-founder of Altcoin Daily, and many more that you will be able to hear from between the 10th and the 12th of July at Lick Venue in Algarve, Portugal.

Metaverse Fashion Council is thrilled to announce a strategic partnership with BlockDown Festival to enhance the festival's fashion content and create a more immersive and interactive experience for attendees.

As we are excited to announce the Metaverse Fashion Council partnership with Blockdown for the upcoming event, we will hear more about the Festival from Erhan Korhaliller, founder and CEO of EAK Digital, the creative marketing agency behind Blockdown Festival and Istanbul Blockchain Week.

Can you tell us about your journey into the world of blockchain, and how it led to the founding of Blockdown Festival?

My journey in blockchain started in 2017, having launched my PR& marketing agency EAK Digital in 2016, we were focused on helping C suite-level executives build their reputation by securing them features in major business, tech, and finance publications. We picked up an early angel investor as a client and he was really happy with the work we provided him, that opened up a lot of doors in the industry for EAK and after learning more about the power of decentralization and blockchain technology, we decided to pivot the entire agency to web3. It was the best decision I ever made.

BlockDown Festival was born when the world locked down for the covid-19 pandemic. Having been a digital nomad since 2018, I was traveling the world, running EAK, and going to the biggest blockchain events I could find, from Shanghai to Los Angeles. I had an amazing experience, but after a while, I was uninspired by the lack of creativity shown by event organizers in which most events were just a simple stage and exhibition that could have been in the 1990s.

With the growth of the creator economy in web3, and as somebody that started my career in the creative advertising industry at AKQA, I decided that our industry needs to host more creative events that showcase both the amazing technology and creativity that our industry has to offer. By focusing our events on the creative industries, we also offer a much more enticing event to onboard the mainstream attendees who want to have a fun festival experience.

Blockdown started as a virtual conference, since, it is annually uniting Metaverse insiders on a resort-type conference. What inspired you to create Blockdown Festival, and what sets it apart from other Blockchain events?

The inspiration behind the event was to create a fun and engaging way for our industry to have a welcome distraction from the awful news we were exposed to every day during the covid 19 pandemic. Creating fun and inspiring events is, therefore, now in our DNA, and once the covid pandemic cleared the way for live events once again, we decided that the festival-style format focused on the creator economy was the right path for BlockDown to evolve and stick true to our ethos.

BlockDown Festival sets itself apart from other blockchain events by offering a festival-style experience from the minute you walk through the door. There will be live music, live art, immersive digital fashion galleries, interactive web3 games, talks and so much more. There is going to be a lot going on at any one time, so attendees can explore the festival at their own pace and leisure.

The event itself starts at 1 pm each day and goes on late into the evening as the day progresses from expert talks and panels to big festival-type parties into the evening. We also have unique VIP Boat networking experiences which will include BBQ on private beaches, and exploring the beautiful caves on the Algarve Coast such as the world-famous Benagil Cave.

Last year was incredibly intense in terms of novelty in AI and VR. Could you tell us more about the main topics that are going to be discussed during Blockdown Portugal?

BlockDown Festival focuses on the intersection of web3 and culture - Music, Fashion, Sports, Entertainment, and Arts and this year we will have a big focus on AI. AI has had a breakthrough year this year and we are particularly interested in how it integrates with blockchain technology.

We will also be joined by high-profile brands alongside big players in web3. For example, we will have the head of web3 and metaverse at PSG, one of the world's largest football clubs deliver a keynote speech on how they are approaching the creator economy and the opportunities available to them.

We will also host the web3 lead of Mclaren Racing, one of the most iconic Formula 1 racing teams in the world. He will be hosting a keynote speech and joining an expert panel of brands discussing how Mclaren Racing has successfully entered web3 and where they see the future trajectory of the industry.

We also have the CEO of Animoca Brands, Robby Yung, joining us for a fireside chat live on our main stage, alongside some great VCs like Bankless Ventures.

And the great thing is we still have so much more to announce, check back to our speaker's page on the BlockDown Festival to keep updated on the latest speaker announcements!

Have you faced any challenges going offline as an initially virtual event?

Of course, bringing the event offline after 6 successful virtual events is a completely different ballgame required in terms of costs, planning, and execution requirements but it's a challenge that our team at EAK relished. There are many more things to consider, in particular the amount of thought required for an IRL experience. From walking through the physical venue and carefully planning the different atmospheres that we want to create, to logistics of how to bring the most exciting things I have seen on my travels around the world to the location have been a challenge but one we very much enjoy.

Blockdown recently announced its partnership with Metaverse Fashion Council for the summer festival in Portugal, could you tell us more about it?
For Fashion, we are delighted to have partnered up with the Metaverse Fashion Council for our fashion-related content. First up, on July 11th, we will have a metaverse-inspired fashion show on the main stage of the conference, catwalk included! In between each fashion speaking content, there will be a fashion show for fashion lovers and curious minds alike to enjoy the latest in the future of fashion.

In addition, something we are very excited about is the world's first fashion AI hackathon happening at BlockDown Festival this year, Style AI’s Got Talent. The Metaverse Fashion Council has just released Style AI, a first-of-its-kind fashion AI that will create fashion garments based on your prompts. In an America’s got talent style competition, competitors will take the stage to battle it out who can create the most fashionable clothing and judged by expert fashion judges, this is going to be very exciting.

Finally, we will have a unique gallery experience enabling fashion designers to have a 2-hour slot in the day to display their digital fashion, to meet and greet with new and existing fans of their work, and an intimate area to allow for Q + A style questions with the audience to learn more about the inspiration behind their collections, how they can support the designer and learn more about future collections amongst many other things.

According to you, what are some key features or principles that a successful decentralized autonomous government such as MFC should embody?

Every DAO should of course actually be decentralized, many DAOs are still not decentralized, for example, the foundation of the DAO which is controlled by a limited number of people can have the largest amount of tokens which therefore, if they chose to, can swing any governance vote in place. A DAO must be fair and therefore have transparency built into its core, this will enable the community around the DAO to have trust and a much better chance of success.

First up, on July 11th, we will have a metaverse-inspired fashion show on the main stage of the conference, catwalk included! In between each fashion speaking content, there will be a fashion show for fashion lovers and curious minds alike to enjoy the latest in the future of fashion.

This year was also very intense for the Fashion industry. Several virtual fashion weeks took place, Metaverse Fashion Week, AI Fashion Week, and Digital Fashion Week, what do you think about the future of such events, and do you think fashion has its place in the new-shaping web3 realm?

Absolutely, as metaverses become more and more advanced, there is no doubt that people will be spending more of their time there. We have already seen with the NFT Boom that people are willing to spend $ 10,000s on PFP projects like BAYC to flex in the metaverse and that will only continue.

What I love about it is, it's bringing a whole new generation and type of person into the fashion world, who until now may not have considered the fashion industry as their place of interest. I think this is a very exciting opportunity for the fashion industry.

I also am very excited about the opportunities that web3 provides to fashion designers in areas of the world that they would have struggled to have gotten the exposure and opportunity that web3 provides. The fashion industry typically has always been a tough industry to get into and I have already heard some amazing stories of fashion designers who are creating an amazing brand for themselves thanks to the opportunities that web3 provides them.

How do you see Blockdown Festival evolving in the coming years and what can we expect for future events?

At BlockDown Festival, we will always look to be on the forefront of emerging technologies to bring real world experiences that mixes the very best of virtual and physical worlds.

In future years, I expect BlockDown Festival to be the go-to place for cutting edge and provide our attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves in technology and culture.

We plan to take BlockDown Festival to the next level and across multiple continents across the globe, finding the best and most creative experiential activities in beautiful and inspiring locations.

What do you see as the future of what is happening right now with the merging of physical and digital worlds? How do you think it will impact the industry?

It is clear that the merging of the physical and digital worlds is something that is only accelerating. I see the future of the digital world as a great area of entertainment for the whole world to enjoy, that will give access to experiences that otherwise would have been out of reach for many people. Take the concert that Travis Scott did in Fortnite for example, Snoopdog’s snoop verse in Sandbox is another example.

We have seen many brands jump into the metaverse over the last couple of years to varying degrees of success, but the fact that they are experimenting in this area goes to show that they understand the great potential this technology has for their businesses.

As the quality of virtual worlds improves, I see many people spending an increased amount of their leisure time in the metaverse as well as more and more jobs being created for people in the metaverse. With AI set to disrupt the world we live in and take a large number of jobs, we could see people migrating to the metaverse for job opportunities, this would provide a personal touch that would make a virtual world more attractive and increase the acceleration of adoption. This ultimately will have a positive effect on the industry as more people that are new to web3 and transaction in tokens will be required to have a web3-enabled wallet and be paid in cryptocurrency.

Metaverse Fashion News
  • Erhan Korhaliler
    Founder of Blockdown Festival