Benoit Pagotto is a cofounder of RTFKT—pronounced “artifact”—a Web3 firm best known for digital sneakers and NFT collaborations with artists like Takashi Murakami. The company’s reputation as a leader in metaverse fashion led to it being acquired in late 2021 by Nike as part of a broader push by the athletic giant to experiment with blockchain.
In a recent interview with Fortune, Pagotto shares how RTFKT, which generated over $185 million in NFT sales in 2022, has navigated the Nike acquisition and the ongoing bear market. He also explains how his passion for gaming has helped him develop innovative brand strategies, and discusses recent collaborations with L’Oreal and others.
(This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.)
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into Web3 and NFTs?
I studied fine arts, and then I worked a lot in advertising and consulting for luxury clients in retail design. When I was a student, I had a job at Colette, the really cool concept store in Paris, which is one of the places where I learned the most, and…