The representation of identities is a field on which art and fashion seem to converge in the common aim of a wider diversity. A new wave of sexual and racial liberation is pervading the contemporary imagination across fashion shows, exhibitions, advertising campaigns and social media channels. In November 2020, on the occasion of a Gucci-branded online festival- Gucci Fest- transgender activist Paul B. Preciado starred in an episode of a web-series signed by film director Gus Vas Sant and the brand's creative director Alessandro Michele. A few months earlier, Judy Chicago designed "The Female Divine" show for Dior, bringing her iconic story as a feminist artist to the runway along with the Spring/Summer Haute Couture collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri. And there are many other collaborations of the Dior designer with feminist artists such as Marinella Senatore and Claire Fontaine. Something similar is happening on the online platform, a digital showroom that hosts a room dedicated to Black Lives Matter with the participation of artists and designers such as Grace Wales Bonner, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Mowalola Ogunlesi, Kenneth Ize and Idris Balogun. Sumother, the agency behind the project, describes the digital space as follows: The Black Lives Matter room provides a virtual fashion utopia that offers all-access to a showcase of black thought leaders working towards a future free of institutionalised racism.
Is there effectively a place for utopia and liberation within the image market?

Art, fashion and utopia

1) Why is it so important? in my view, it is because it allows countless artists living far away from centers of the "art world" (NYC, London, Beijing ...) to have their work seen, and perhaps even purchased. But most importantly, it can give them something that can't be measured in money - dignity.
2) Certainly, hundreds of thousands of so-called "non professional artists" (which includes people who did not have resources to move to some of the most expensive world cities to study at prestigious art schools) were already sharing their works on networks such as DeviantArt and ArtStation. But these networks did not intersected with the art world of biennales, art fairs, collectors, and critics. The selected few were allowed into this physical world - while much more open and democratic online world was welcoming all other artists and creatives.
So what is so important about crypto art phenomena is that it creates an even playing field. If you are living in a small city in a developing country nobody in the art world (or even in your country capital) even heard of, you can now show your works in the same universe as world most prestigious museums, galleries and artists. And this is very satisfying by itself, in my view.
3) Of course, all modern societies operate via hierarchies and systems of prestige. Next to - open to everybody - we have a number of "invitation only" NFT art marketplaces.
As soon as some system in a society is threaten to loose its exclusivity and capital, it adapts to this challenge and creates new systems of inequality. This is what happened to the web itself. A very open and easy to create for web of the 1990s was turned into a highly professional sphere where design agencies can charge six figures to create big websites.
4) I think that crypto art phenomenon will change and its future forms will be different from what we see today in first part of 2021. But I am really hoping that the new situation where millions of artists can have dignity and feel proud will remain.
After all, this is also what happened with the web. While complex high end and unique sites do cost a lot to create, generating you own page website takes only a few minutes, and does not require any technical or design skills at all - see free tools listed on


Lev Manovic