Gmoney Talks 9dcc’s Expansion and the Psychology of Fashion

Much like the crypto world, fashion rarely stays stationary for too long.

At their core, both industries look to evolve and bring fresh ideas to their respective communities in new and exciting ways. Few are straddling the line between both industries as well as gmoney and his newly expanded brand, 9dcc. Rooted in crypto sensibilities but developed with the craftsmanship of a luxury fashion house, 9dcc is giving crypto enthusiasts a new way to signal their participation in the space.

nft now sat down with gmoney at his recent 9dcc pop-up in NYC’s SoHo fashion hub to talk about expanding to a full apparel collection and his vision for the brand’s future. 


Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

nft now: You’ve expanded your line from accessories and basics into full, ready-to-wear clothing. Tell us a little bit about your vision for the collection.

gmoney: Everything up until now was more our ‘proof of concept’. In the first iteration we created, we knew there would be a demand for a crypto-native luxury fashion and lifestyle label. Especially because, at that point in time, there wasn’t a way for you or me to signal that with our appearance that we’re in crypto, and there wasn’t access to high-quality crypto-centric products. People were either rocking a PFP collection on their chest or a Bored Ape on a hoodie. That’s not the aesthetic that I personally wanted to wear. So, the opportunity I saw was that I could walk into any store of these luxury brands and buy anything on the rack, but it wouldn’t signal to anyone that I was in crypto, just that I had money. Or if I wore crypto merch, it wasn’t to the quality nor the aesthetic I wanted to wear and didn’t match the level of craftsmanship I had hoped for to match the rest of my wardrobe.

Iteration-01 was us testing to see if others felt like me. “Is there a demand for this?” It turns out there was, and it was bigger than we expected. And then Iteration-02 was an evolution of that concept – now that we know people want a brand like this, what does a world look like where you can walk into our store and get something that was a unique one of one? And that’s why we teamed up with Snowfro. What we discovered with Iteration-02, was the creation of every single one of those unique pieces, which was an amazing feat in and of itself. Iteration-03 was, “Now that we have distribution, how do we get more things out into the mainstream world?” And that’s why we did the treasure hunt in New York City. We gave out a bunch of hats to the community members and wanted to expand our community beyond the small community we had at that point. A year ago this week, we launched the “Lucky Sh*t” cap. I had been talking to Jeff [Staples] for a while and always wanted to collaborate with him. Working with Stapleverse allowed us to use our brands’ aesthetics to create something covetable and buzz-worthy.

Now, after that process, we had a great proof of concept, and each launch was more and more successful. What does the lifestyle of 9dcc look like? After having conversations, we realized we needed more releases to tell the full story of what 9dcc is becoming, so we decided to do a full collection. We were having all these conversations with potential partners and potential brands within the legacy space and wanted to do something bigger than just putting a nine patch on something. We started brainstorming how we could bring our language into the collaboration and merge it with a potential partner’s language. From there, we developed our own language, our own style, and our own story. That was really the genesis of us being like, now is the time to launch that collection. We know that there’s demand in the market for the things that we’re doing now; how do we start taking it to the next level? And that was, I’d say, over the last year, everything that we were focused on and building towards for the launch of Nines.

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“We know that there’s demand in the market for the things that we’re doing now; how do we start taking it to the next level?”

GMONEY

Was the idea to always expand 9dcc into a full-blown ready-to-wear? Or was it always taking it step by step and seeing, to your point, this idea of proof of concept?

The journey has always been a gradual one. Our ambition was to establish a modern legacy in the luxury fashion domain, and we were faced with figuring out the contemporary approach to this goal. My fascination with history has taught me that while fashion may not repeat itself, it often rhymes. In observing individuals who have achieved great success in various fields, it’s clear that each has carved a unique trajectory. We had our initial launch, and those T-shirts garnered incredible demand, which indeed they did, we could have chosen to simply continue producing those same T-shirts in new hues. However, that path, likely leading to monotony, would have quickly lost its allure.

I’ve always believed in keeping our options open to pivot towards successful initiatives. By focusing on what works, we naturally move away from what doesn’t. Although we didn’t set a firm launch date for our collection, I was curious to see if there was interest. Especially for the first release, I wasn’t sure if we’d sell out. Once we noticed a demand, I began wondering what else people might want and how we could foster a community around these interests.

Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

What’s the significance of craftmanship within this collection and the crypto and luxury space at large?

Our collection emphasizes craftsmanship, guided by a talented design team and a creative director with extensive experience in the luxury goods sector. I also bring my own background in luxury, not from fashion, but from a family business in luxury goods. 

In this context, for me luxury is defined by meticulous attention to detail and comfort, not merely by price. It is really looking into those finer details that if you’re willing to spend the extra amount of dollars on something, it’s not necessarily because you think you’re going to get that much more value it’s because there’s something in the design; the wearability, the fit, all these different variables that add up to this is a luxurious item. One of them is comfort, especially. I think you see that a lot in the crypto space where you go to a crypto conference and you go to any of these meetups, nobody’s really wearing a suit, but everyone’s stylish in their own way and comfortable. That, to me, is comfort. Comfort and convenience are probably the two things I try to optimize in my life in terms of my lifestyle, the way I wear things, and whatnot. I think that is the essence of luxury, and paying attention to those details is key. This philosophy is central to our brand, setting it apart in both the fashion and broader luxury markets.

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“Comfort and convenience are probably the two things I try to optimize in my life in terms of my lifestyle.”

GMONEY

What are some of your favorite pieces in the collection?

My two favorite pieces are the plaid set with the breakaway pants and this futuristic approach to camo we took in our printed denim.

Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

Tell us about the futuristic camo and the process of creating it.

We’re definitely going to be telling that story more over the next few months. However, for the most part, we’re really building on what we did with Iteration-02, so that even though all of them will obviously look similar and you can tell they’re from the same collection, each one is very unique. I think that’s pretty cool because, ultimately, especially in fashion, one of the challenges people face is how to create an algorithm or make something that is one of X, but also make it look good. I can put together a bunch of designs that maybe don’t necessarily flow together. Sure, it’s unique, but just because it’s unique doesn’t mean it’s aesthetic. One of the things we are trying to solve specifically is creating something unique and differentiated but still congruent from one to the other.

From my time in the online generative art space, having a distinctive look is one of the key components to creating something as meaningful as a Squiggle. When you look at a Squiggle, it is so iconic in its design. So, whenever you do anything generative, you want to focus on that so people recognize it. They think, “Oh yeah, that is 9dcc when I see it,” even though each one is unique.

“One of the things we are trying to solve specifically is creating something unique and differentiated, but still congruent from one to the other.”

GMONEY

You speak a lot about memes; one of the most defining characteristics of the web3 space is hoodies. You see the value of PFPs like CryptoPunks with a hoodie trait traditionally traded higher than those without. Tell us a little bit about your hoodie.

I might be completely biased, but it’s the most comfortable hoodie I’ve ever worn. I’m not wearing it right now because my team cautioned me about overwearing our samples, but I had it on earlier today; it’s double-lined. Wearing it feels like being wrapped in a comforter, yet it still looks stylish—that’s the best way to describe it. I practically live in it. I can’t praise it enough, from the fit to the feel.

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Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

You are an active participant in Fashion Weeks internationally. How does your own aesthetic impact the direction of what you’re building? It kind of feels like it was built in your own image.

Absolutely, I believe that’s true. From the very beginning, everything we’ve designed has been filtered through the question, “Would I wear this?” I never want to promote something I wouldn’t personally enjoy or wear. This approach ensures that our designs are deeply authentic to my own style. Being an active participant in the crypto community as well, I feel that our creations resonate with a broader audience. While everyone has their unique style, our designs might signal, “This is who I am, and others might connect with it too.”

I’ve had the privilege of attending international Fashion Weeks, engaging with brands, and understanding the narratives and processes behind the scenes—experiences you don’t get from just an Instagram post. These insights have been invaluable. Whether it’s orchestrating our lookbook shoots, working with models, or collaborating with diverse talents, each step teaches us something new and often impacts our work in unexpected ways. By bringing these experiences from traditional fashion into our projects, I aim to blend what I love with what feels right, hoping it also strikes a chord with others in the community.

Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

You said you wanted to dress for any opportunity in the metaverse…

It’s interesting, I did mention that, but when I first ventured into NFTs. My initial idea was to launch a fashion brand for the metaverse, especially during the peak of COVID-19 when everyone was envisioning a metaverse future. Having played Fortnite and seen the substantial amounts kids were spending on skins, I realized the importance of establishing a brand in the physical world first. Even though a digital-only presence seemed imminent, we still inhabit a physical world, and creating a tangible brand is crucial for a successful future crossover.

Therefore, while I see the future trending towards digital wearables, the reality is that currently, there aren’t many places to wear them. However, I’m confident that opportunities will emerge. We’re positioning ourselves to be flexible and adaptive, ensuring that when the market evolves, we can pivot quickly and effectively to meet new demands. This approach keeps us ready for the inevitable shift towards more digital fashion experiences.

“I think fashion is really interesting as a study of how humans work.”

GMONEY

What came first, the techno futurist in you or the fashion designer?

I would say the techno futurist in me came first. Growing up during the transition from analog to digital, I witnessed the rise of the internet around the time I was 11 or 12. Before then, our lives weren’t intertwined with the online world. I’ve always been driven by the question, “What’s next?” and keen on understanding trends. This curiosity naturally extended to fashion as I began to notice what people around me liked to wear, especially those I admired, and how certain individuals have a greater influence on trends than others.

My interest in the underlying psychological dynamics of influence and trendsetting initially drew me to the stock market, which I view as a massive psychological play. In a similar vein, fashion fascinates me as a study of human behavior — how a particular celebrity wearing a certain item can be pivotal for a brand’s breakthrough. This intersection of technology, psychology, and fashion defines my journey from a techno futurist to a fashion designer. I think fashion is really interesting as a study of how humans work.

Credit: Courtesy of 9dcc

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