MNTGE is Bringing Web3 Tech to Vintage Clothing

We caught up with the founders ahead of today's vintage collection drop

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MNTGE / Graphic by ONE37pm

The comparisons between aspects of fashion and digital collectibles have been drawn constantly since the latter’s boom in 2021—and with good reason. They’re both effectively collectibles communities built around aspects of exclusivity and a love of certain aesthetics. Perhaps the most similar area of fashion is the practice of vintage collecting, wherein lovers of classic clothing pine after the rarest tees and garments that boast an aesthetic still relevant to today’s moment in the cycle of fashion. In this vein, Sean Wotherspoon, Brennan Russo and Nick Adler started MNTGE, a vintage clothing brand that is utilizing aspects of web3 tech to give access to curated vintage collections, custom upcycled pieces and digital collectibles. We sat down with the crew ahead of today's vintage drop, which is comprised of meticulously sourced denim, work pants and tees from the 1960s to the late 1990s.

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What is MNTGE?

Billed as a “category-defining digital wearables brand built around vintage clothing,” MNTGE was born at the end of 2022 intended as a resource equally valuable to those in web3/digital collectibles as it is to those who simply want great physical vintage pieces. The founders of the project all hail from different backgrounds that all coalesce into their unified goal with MNTGE. Nick Adler is the co-founder of Stampede Management and Cashmere Agency, business partner to Snoop Dogg, and an investor and advisor for The Sandbox Game, Yuga Labs, and Non-Fungible Labs. Brennan Russo is the former head of brand experience at Beyond Meat, and a former manager of music and sport collaborations at Adidas. Sean Wotherspoon is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in vintage clothing—a renowned vintage collector, fashion designer, and founder of Round Two, as well as a creative director on projects with Adidas, Nike, Porsche, Asics, Guess, and Vespa. 

They launched the brand last year initially with digital collectibles: 1,500 mint passes to give holders access to the forthcoming curated collections and products from MNTGE. Since then, they also released a series of digital wearables designed by Sean, which have each seen opportunities for customization and evolution. Nick tells me how they started the brand during a bit of a bear market for web3: “As the market declined, we approached it slightly differently from where we started initially, speaking very much to web3. But we knew we were gonna introduce physical, so we started digital and we could speak to the digital communities. I love to talk about this as tech-enabled fashion. For us, it's brand first. We wanna create silhouettes and take vintage pieces and upcycled stuff and make people wanna wear it. And then the technology just is embedded in it. This might be some people's first introduction to a NFT. They may not own our Ethereum digital wearables that Sean designed, but they'll tap our tags and get their first polygon NFT.”

NFC Chip Tap Photo Credit  MNTGE 1 1

Sean tells me a story about how the marriage between physical and digital actually makes explaining some web3 tech much easier than it perhaps ever has been. He was recently speaking to an older woman who asked him what he did, and she had no recognition of “web3,” “NFT,” or any of those terms. “And I’m like, where the fuck do I go from here?” Sean jokes, before adding: “So I showed her the jacket. Scan the sleeve, showed her, and she understood everything. The visuals mean so much more than anything we can say with words.”

The Fruits and Veggies Collection


Their first physical clothing collection, entitled “Fruits and Veggies,” released in April. The collection was comprised of expertly-sourced collection of 1-of-1 Levi's 505s with a mix of other styles, embroidered locally in Los Angeles in an all-over fruit and vegetable pattern designed by Wotherspoon, and NFC-chipped to deliver a one-of-a-kind numbered, collectible denim art token to the owner's digital wallet. The pieces coincided with the launch of the MNTGE Market. "For our first product drop, I hand-picked Levi's vintage denim because they're classic and have so much history and heritage — these pairs, in particular, because they have more wear and a deeper personality and characteristics you can see in their wear, natural distressing, fade, and fit. I also love fruits and veggies, so I put some of my favorites on the pants,” said Wotherspoon.

The Upcoming Drop

MNTGE Market Vintage Drop 6 21 23 7

Today, the team is launching their first purely vintage-curated drop. The pieces aren’t chipped; it’s an example of one of the initial utility prescribed by the founders: giving passholders early access (and preferential pricing) to a curated collection. The drop will be a combination of unaltered vintage pieces and some pieces featuring additional MNTGE branding.

For MNTGE Passholders, the pre-sale starts today, Wednesday, 6/21, at 10am PST, and will last 48 hours, until the public access which begins on Friday, 6/23 at 10am PST. 

The Future

The team intends to primarily release true vintage on their marketplace, with the possibility of eventually integrating sustainability produced vintage-inspired garments. Conducting sales of tons of vintage pieces at once can be hard to do. “We're taking it slower because we're figuring out how to scale this and keep creating a pipeline for the vintage. It takes time to source it and also takes time to build good quality. We don't want to just go and find a $5 Gildan blank and slap our logo on it,” Brennan explains.

Sean gestures to the jacket he’s wearing during our conversation, one of a series of friends and family chipped Levi’s jackets they sourced and distributed to their community: “This is a perfect Levi's vintage jacket. We're gonna take that and find out ways that we can produce contemporary versions of them, but in a sustainable way. Using organic fabrics, maybe using upcycled denim. Making new products will come, but we want to take our time with that. So it's done right.”

Nick adds: “As a brand, we're excited about the community that's been building around us. I think I'm just really excited to see more and more people in our product, and experiencing the technology.” In an illustrious investment resume, Nick managed brand partnerships for people like Snoop Dogg. He takes this experience into MNTGE, excited about the possibilities of the marketplace for producing actually interesting merch for various artists. 

“A lot of the reason we started this was thinking around music merchandise and how do you make more utility around it. How do we collaborate on product? And the product that you rock, you're proud of,” Nick explains one of the potential future goals for the brand. Sean chimes in: “How can that artist offer another layer to their fans? Merch is always very basic. The history of merch is, ‘How cheap can we make it?’ For whatever reason, it was throwaway stuff. But we're offering another layer. We want to give your fans either access to something like an experience, a special product, or just give them merch that has layers to it. Like we could do tour merch for an artist friend on vintage Levi's jackets.”

I've just been so excited to be in our meetings where we can dream a little bit further.

- Sean Wotherspoon

When I ask Sean how it’s been working in web3 compared to some of his work in vintage and sneakers, he tells me of the liberating world of possibility in the space: “It's just a breath of fresh air. I've been really through the mill with the sneaker world and the vintage world. I'm a dreamer, and so it's been very welcoming in the web3 world, just being able to apply that and feel like, yeah, sure, we don't know if it's possible or not. Sneakers, they're always like, ‘Uh, no, it's not possible. We tried.’ I've just been so excited to be in our meetings where we can dream a little bit further.”

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