Pet Liger is a digital artist and designer, who is making an impact in the NFT and Metaverse worlds through highly desirable footwear creations. The brand's now extensive catalogue, which features over 1,500 custom designs, has attracted some of the biggest names and labels in the fashion industry. From major sports personalities and widely acclaimed music artists to pop culture icons, Pet Liger’s reputation and desirability continues to grow.
RED-EYE had the pleasure to meet the team of Pet Liger at Milan Fashion Week and speak to its founder Constantinos Panayiotou.
Constantinos, please tell us more about your past: when did you start your design career?
I started creating my daily footwear concepts roughly 4 years ago. I create and post a new one to the PET LIGER Instagram daily, so it's now close to 2000 unique silhouettes.
How did you get started in digital fashion?
I've been living in Cyprus for roughly 10 years. Prior to moving, I was a music producer and DJ in London. I have also worked in high fashion for almost 10 years whilst living there.
Going from a bustling global centre to a tiny little village I decided to turn my focus to photography, as I was surrounded by such beautiful scenery and landscapes.
It then occurred to me that you can’t tell what is a “real” photo or what is manipulated, so I decided to download some 3D software and start making my own surreal creations.
I began by rendering out fantastical 3D images but I soon got bored of using other people's assets to populate the scenes. I started creating my own, I began with sneakers using a combination of traditional modelling, sculpting and parametric design. They were a big hit with the community, so I stuck with them.
What were the most interesting projects you worked on?
The PET LIGER collaboration with Metaverse builders Wilder World was really interesting. We had 2 sold-out collections. I created roughly 100 meticulously handcrafted sneakers in 2 weeks for the 1st collection and 200 in 10 days for the second collection! Love our WW family, a very passionate, smart, forward-thinking community.
Early this year Gucci Vault Art Space approached us to provide artworks for their gallery. They saw my creations and wanted me to produce something unique to go alongside 29 other artists. I reinterpreted the legendary Gucci loafer by infusing it with the PET LIGER DNA. It was a mind-blowing experience and an honour!
I have to mention that the recent collection we put together for Milan Fashion Week is pretty epic! 20 unique PET LIGER heel silhouettes that are part of the BIOME_COLLECTION are up for auction on SuperRare! Including this incredible encapsulated living breathing animation named ANEMOS. A collaborative effort of staggering proportions. Featuring the immensely talented computational architect Pico Velasquez, VIIRA. Cutting-edge sound design from highly regarded producer and performer AKITO. 3D wizardry from SKETCHY VISUALS and of course footwear concepts from myself.
We know that you refused a couple of very interesting offers, can you tell us details?
I wouldn’t say that I refused Yeezy, but I was merely a little apprehensive at the time about packing my bags, leaving everything behind and moving to Calabasas. I’m sure I will cross paths with my Ye again someday.
The other brands that I walked away from were tampering with my creations too much and so I decided to become laser-focused on my own journey. I am always open to collaborations, I’m just not interested in providing a service. My artworks have their own special and unique voice.
Wow, not many designers would find the strength to stay independent with such offers. Tell us more about your artistic process, what are your favourite tools to create your designs?
Imagination, intent and integrity are the words that define my creative process.
My main tool is the Volume Builder in Cinema 4D. I’m long overdue to start experimenting with new apps. I would love to start using Zbrush again and maybe get myself an Oculus.
What is your biggest challenge as a designer?
One of the hardest yet most rewarding things about what I do is knowing that I must keep learning and keep growing. Learning is a talent within itself. I usually go through short periods of inhaling (learning) and then really long periods of exhaling (producing). I have been in my “cave” for the past 10 years, isolated from the world and focused on my craft. Everything that I have learned to do - I have given back to the world, from music production, photography and now 3D art. My isolation has now put me in the position where I must learn “people'' and how to interact with them in a social and work-related environment. It’s both challenging and very exciting.
What do you seek to add to the world as a creator?
I want to make people feel and think through my art, I want to inspire.
What is the most innovative advancement with digital fashion?
NFC chips are really interesting to me. Providing authentication for real-world items plus it's an easy way to provide AR/VR interactivity with the item too. Lots of potential there.
What do you think is the most powerful thing about digital fashion?
The most powerful thing is perhaps an approach toward sustainability. In a few years, people will probably own 5-10 real-world fits made with quality, ethically sourced and produced materials, but they will have 1000s of outfits in their digital infinity closets.
What do you think your future will look like 5 years from now?
We will start seeing the early stages of full metaverse adoption. Celebrities with massive followings will be flexing their digital fit, business people will be taking meetings in the Metaverse and not on golf courses. It will start becoming the norm. In 10 years it will definitely be the norm.
What do you love about your job?
I love that it's not a job, but that doesn't mean I don't have to be efficient or hard-working or anything else that is required of a job. I, in fact, want to do more. Go above and beyond. I am PET LIGER 24/7, there is no time off. I eat, sleep and breathe what I do.
What is your favourite thing about fashion?
Fashion allows you to be yourself and at the same time be “someone else”. What you wear is an extension of your spirit and an expression of how you feel. Not only can your attire evoke a feeling it can also provide a function required for the world around you. It ticks so many boxes! Art, engineering, time and space, community the list goes on.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Discover more about Pet Liger here.