Home > avatar, Digital Fashion, Mass Customization, Technology, Virtual Fashion, Virtual Fashion Branding, Virtual Fashion Marketing > Part 3: Avatars for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

Part 3: Avatars for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

Would you like to make your own personal avatar for trying on fashions before you buy them or have you already discovered My Virtual Model Inc. (MVM)? mvm-female

This company was co-founded in 1993 by Louise Guay, Ph.D., and Jean-François St-Arnaud. They teamed up to build one of Canada’s leading multimedia agencies, Public Technologies Multimedia Inc. (PTM). My Virtual Model was released in 1997 and it was a major breakthrough in online customer service. In 2000, PTM became My Virtual Model Inc. 

Two primary products: My Virtual Model™ Dressing Room and My Fit—enable consumers to “try on” clothes on the Internet. MVM users can create their own personal avatar model and “try before they buy” to get a better idea of how the fashion item will look on their figure. Optional features added to the basic MVM package are virtual shopping assistants that include zoom, fit & size suggestions, recommended items, shop by outfit and the outfit wizard; my closet where you can save your personal profile as well as your  selections and an e-mail option where the user can e-mail their personal model to others.   


i-mailThe company also has a product called MVM – iMail  that personalizes messages to a customer base. It seems to be a push marketing tool.

weight loss

 A novel use of the MVM avatar is the MVM – Weight Loss Manager for weight loss tracking and visualization. The display can show the start, current and goal weights side-by-side – nice. 

The only (kind of/sort of indirectly related) comparable product I have located is the Virtual Reality Fashion Tour from a company called 360 promo. They offer services for developing 360 degree fashion, product and location virtual tours. You cannot customize the avatar or the products you select to place on the avatar – they simply provide a full 360 rotational view of the product as is. I would consider this a static virtual marketing tool and not an interactive (real-time) mass customization tool as the MVM products are. With the 360 promo, the user drags the mouse to rotate the image on a 360 degree rotation. Check it out yourself – here is a link to the fashion page.

As a side note (because we are focusing primarily on avatars here), the MVM company also provides services to other markets with a product called MVM Showroom™ that allows customers to visualize hard or soft goods. It can be used for kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, dining room, patio, etc.

 If you would like to try My Virtual Model for yourself, you will have a large number of retailers to choose from. Some of the brands on this Webpage list Lands End, Sears, H&M, Adidas and Levi Strauss just to name a few.  They also have links to i-village for trends and Nutrisystem for weight loss – it’s a very impressive list. If you would just like to play with creating a virtual model first to see what it’s like without going through a retailer first you do that right here. I take my students there when I talk to them about virtual retail merchandising. DMTDMTDMTDMT

The company also offers a Digital Merchandising Tool called DMT Web™ that can be customized for companies working via the Web on product development. It looks like a Web based version of the ClicDesign ColorTool module for Adobe Illustrator.   ClicDesign was part of Age Technologies Inc. up until July 2006, when they were acquired by My Virtual Model Inc.  ClicDesign has a full line of affordably priced modules for Photoshop and Illustrator developed specifically for the apparel, textile and fashion product development industry. I know the ClicDesign modules very well because I have been teaching them to my students for many years. The company is exceptionally supportive to education and sponsors an Academic Donation Program. 

This company is covering all the bases – they even offer a product called the MVM — Configurator. They will work with a client to develop a specialized interface to enable customer customization of a clients products.


MCPC 2007


My Virtual Model will be a participating host of the upcoming World Conference on Mass Customization & Personalization (MCPC). This conference is designed to bridge academic research and management practice and provide an interactive platform for learning about mass customization strategies and exploring proven and new technologies and enablers.  

The theme of the conference is ” MCPC 2007: Extreme Customization” it starts at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge/Boston, with an interdisciplinary focus on the new advancements in the field. The second part of the conference, in the form of a business seminar hosted by My Virtual Model at HEC Montréal—Canada’s oldest business school—addresses the application and implications of mass customization and personalization in retail.  

I was very interested to see that My Virtual Model will sponsor a seminar titled “The Extreme Makeover of Retail,” Wednesday, October 10, 2007. Seminar participants include representatives from MVM, Sears and Reebok. Another seminar is titled “An Extreme Makeover of Product Creation and Merchandizing,” and my favorite one titled “Avatar Marketing: An Extreme Makeover of the Self,” is where Louise Guay, President and Founder of My Virtual Model will present. There are other interesting seminars also, here is a link to the conference schedule. This looks like an excellent conference on how technology is driving mass customization.

Related Posts:

Part 1: Avatars in Second Life for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

Part 2: Avatars for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

Part 4: Avatars for Retail Marketing? Help Me Find More…

Virtual Product Presentation [VPP]

“My Avatar Myself: How Avatars are Transforming Product Development, Marketing, Retailing and Education.”

  1. April 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    virtual avatar… hnnnn… well i have to say its pretty cool, but if my wife became addicted to it as some other lil games shes addicted to, I could be in for a huge credit card bill.. But the concept is cool….

  2. June 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I adore the ClicDesign ColorTool and when I found out that there’s a new version called DMT Web, I jumped into it and tried it right away. Thet’re both almost the same. But I now use DMT more often.

  1. May 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm

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