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Hey, Quick Question: WTF Is Cy-Bella?

Am I supposed to understand?

Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!

There's a very specific type of anxiety that creeps up for me when I encounter words like "NFT" or "metaverse." It's a unique mental block where, not only do I not understand this, but I don't want to try to understand it. It seems scary, and there's enough going on in my brain at this time — I don't feel like trying to wrap it around another entirely foreign concept. I downloaded TikTok; I bought a little bit of crypto when I was bored during Covid lockdown. Was that not enough? 

Probably unwisely, I have fully ignored several work pitches, articles and even IRL conversations because of this anxiety. I did once try to ask Paris Hilton about NFTs but, if I'm being honest, I didn't really know why or what I was asking, and that has pretty much been the extent of our coverage of it here on Fashionista thus far. But now that Bella Hadid has gotten herself involved, I guess I have no choice but to pay attention. I can't be someone who doesn't "get" something that Bella Hadid is doing.

But someone is going to need to help me out, because WTF is a Cy-Bella?

The supermodel has been teasing this...thing on social media for a couple of months now. On Wednesday, she tweeted that "we" are nearing its launch date... Of what, though? Is this like a Bella Hadid version of Lil Miquela? Can you just buy a Bella Hadid-shaped robot? Help.

Unlike with other celebrity posts with "NFT" in the hashtags, I actually decided to look at the accompanying media. A video shows Hadid dressed like a hot cyborg, and at the end, she says, "Cy-Bella." Not helpful. 

I clicked on the link to find a website with an About page that does feature several regular English words, like: 

"CY-B3LLA is a digital revolution that seeks a revival of human connection. It is a celebration of high fashion, women in web3, and love that has no borders. CY-B3LLA will serve as identity passes to the CY-B3R GALA.

Inspired by the cyborg/robotics theme, we breathe life into our
design, transforming core ideas into a cohesive product. With
recent tragedies such as wars and COVID-19 plaguing our world,
we are forgetting how to communicate, love, appreciate and care
for each other. We are reviving how we used to live, how we used to connect, in a new way."

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Oh yeah, thanks, that totally clears things up for me. 

There's also a page where it seems like you can sign up for email updates. For some reason, it's called a "whitelist," but the first thing it says is: "We don't just want to build a list of people who have no interest in minting." That's where it lost me — as intended, I suppose.

Based on an overview of the site, I feel like I can say with certainty that there will be 11,111 NFTs available, and that each one is a lifelike representation of Hadid based on a 3D body scan. They (no, I don't know who "they" is) even consulted makeup artist Raisa Flowers and hairstylist Evanie Frausto, who have both worked with the real Hadid, to help "complete Bella's perfect aesthetic" with unique makeup looks and hairstyles. 

While that tidbit kind of helps tether all this to my reality, I still feel kind of lost and don't quite understand what's happening here or why, so I think I need to do a little more research. I'll get there. 

Homepage photo: Jacopo M. Raule/Getty Images For Balenciaga

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