Top model Bella Hadid joins metaverse with NFT collection

An image from CY-B3LLA, model Bella Hadid's new NFT collection is seen in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on July 22, 2022. reBASE/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. supermodel Bella Hadid has stepped from the catwalk into the metaverse with the launch of CY-B3LLA - a collection of Non-Fungible Tokens featuring artwork based on 3-D scans of her face and body.

Hadid, 25, told Reuters in an interview from New York that she was intrigued by shared virtual world environments and that she wanted to make "cool versions" of herself after becoming obsessed with video games during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Earlier, she said on her Instagram account that she had created the NFTs to "encourage travel, community, growth, fantasy and human interactions".

NFTs are a digital asset that exist on blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers. All kinds of digital objects - including images, videos, music and text - can be bought and sold as NFTs.

"It was super fun," Hadid said of the process, saying the end results really have her "exact facial expressions".

Her collection comprises 11,111 NFTs and they were made in collaboration with the NFT minting platform reBASE.

Inspiration for the CY-B3LLA NFTs came from 10 different countries, with input from local artists.

"To see what kind of version of me that their brain concocted was really interesting ... There are so many different versions of me that you could make and not ones that I could ever dream up," she said.

The locations and accompanying digital assets are set to be revealed between now and September, with the first batch featuring images of a robotic-style Hadid inspired by Japan.

Each NFT also works as a passport to a global community, unlocking rewards and enabling the holder access to real events attended by Hadid.

The date when these NFTs can be snapped up is yet to be announced, but interested buyers can register online.

"It's really exciting to see that people actually, like, want to be involved," said Hadid.

"Every time I put something out, it feels like a birthday party, like no one's going to show up. And so it's been really nice to see ... people actually ... kind of tuning in and understanding it."

(Reporting by Sarah Mills; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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