Endstate Creates NFC-Chipped Sneakers That Unlock Perks at a New Museum of Fine Arts Boston Exhibition

Endstate — maker of tech-enabled apparel and sneakers — has teamed up with The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MFA) on a collection to celebrate the museum’s “Hallyu! The Korean Wave” exhibition.

MFA explained the exhibition, which will debut in March, “explores the rise of South Korea as a cultural superpower and the worldwide impact of its transformative contributions to cinema, drama, music, fashion, beauty and technology.”

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For the exhibition, Endstate has created a range of NFC-chipped items that includes a sneaker (with Vibram outsoles), two T-shirts and two sweatshirts. The collection, MFA explained, was inspired by six objects from the exhibition, including one contemporary work and five historical works from the Joseon Dynasty, the last dynastic kingdom of Korea that lasted more than 500 years.

Endstate’s collection will connect customers to several “perks.” For instance, the sneakers will offer access to see MFA works not currently on public view, VIP and early entrance to two MFA Late Nites events celebrating “Hallyu!” (which will also be available through the apparel) and more.

“These are not just exceptionally designed sneakers and apparel. They are experiences, and the technology promises to redefine expectations of what products can truly deliver,” Endstate cofounder and chief executive officer Bennett Collen said in a statement. “Through this new collection, visitors to the Hallyu! exhibition can embark on an exclusive journey that goes beyond what’s currently on view at the Museum, and connect to art in new ways.”

Endstate, MFA, sneakers, apparel
Endstate x MFA sneakers and apparel.Courtesy of MFA

What’s more, Vibram will host an event Thursday in Boston to celebrate the Endstate x MFA sneaker launch. The event will take place from 6-9 p.m. ET at the Vibram Connection Lab, and will feature panelists from MFA, Endstate and Vibram who will discuss the intersection of physical, digital and experiential worlds.

“The MFA continues to share works in the collection in unique and innovative ways, and we’re excited about this new partnership with visionary brand Endstate,” MFA senior director of intellectual property and business development Debra LaKind said in a statement. “Pushing the boundaries of wearable and functional art, this new collection broadens access to the Museum’s world-class Korean collection and brings works to life through fashion, demonstrating how the past can influence contemporary designs.”

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.

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