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FRĒDA SALVADOR Holds Fall 2014 LAUNCH EVENT + POP UP SHOP WITH CRIMSON MIM

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment
   
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The Ultimate Guide to Wearing a Chambray Shirt

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

UPDATE (Feb 27 2013): If you like this article – you should ‘Like’ Confessions of a Product Junkie’s brand new Facebook page to get updates when there are more fashion how to’s and articles like this one.

Chambray and denim shirts have been popular for quite a few seasons now, and for good reason. They are, hands down, one of the easiest trends to wear. They’re also the glue that ties many other spring trends together (as you’ll see in this guide).

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the chambray. Some of my favorites are from J Crew (I have this one), Lauren by RL and Urban Outfitters.

More options…

However, I’m sad to see that many women have avoided purchasing a chambray because they’re just not sure how to wear them. That’s where I come in. Because one of the questions I get asked most often is how to pull off the chambray (or I get asked how to wear other things and the answer is always “with a chambray!”), I decided it was time to put together a guide. So here are my tips for wearing a chambray or denim shirt. Enjoy!

Image on left via See Jane. Image on right is me.

So if you add one thing to your wardrobe this spring, make it a chambray or denim shirt. In fact, make it two – because if you follow these tips for wearing yours, you’ll get so much use out of it that you’ll want to own both.

UPDATE (Feb 27 2013): If you like this article – you should ‘Like’ Confessions of a Product Junkie’s brand new Facebook page to get updates when there are more fashion how to’s and articles like this one.

You might also like:

Dress it up a little

10 of-the-moment styles and how to wear them

10 Ways to Wear Jeans and a T-Shirt
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Virtual Bodyscanner, Virtual Fit/Sizing and Virtual 2D/3D Try-On and Virtual Closet List

July 16, 2012 2 comments


Microsoft Kinect Technology is Transforming Bodyscanning and Virtual Fit Capabilities.

Whew –  that is quite a title for this posting and believe me it is not representative of the slew of fashion try on apps out there and not all of them are connected to “fit.” All these apps represent a lot of confusion no doubt caused by that magnificent Kinect-based technology that Microsoft made possible. Before Kinect technology it was either type in your own measurements online to match brand size measurements to user measurements or the currently expanding number of on site body scanners like Me Ality that provide a totally accurate body scan  [far more accurate than what an average user would ever type in]. The scanner service matches and locates brand items that fit the body scan measurements. [Update: If Me-Ality installs 300 bodyscanner brand size matching services in shopping centers across North America as I blogged about in the last post, they will have addressed and resolved a portion of the accurate sizing issue for online retailers. Once your accurate body measurements are in the Me-Ality database, you can shop online for accurate fitting clothing. This will have the effect of significantly reducing returns from online sales. I wonder if the Me-Ality scanner data was uploaded to the [TC]2 mobile Virtual Fashion System if the user could then virtually test various brands of garment fit on themselves in 360 rotation? – see the Smart Phone section on the [TC]2 post]. Kinect based technology has made several 2D try on “flat photo image” applications and 3D [360 degree rotational] accurate sizing and fit applications for the on site retail market and development for home based 3D Kinect fit and sizing services is fast and furious, more are emerging every day.

Kinect technology full 3D bodyscanners have been developed that are capable of providing “highly accurate” full body scans. The key word is “accurate’ the number of depth sensors are directly related to the accuracy and  number of measurements that can be scanned. The number of seconds it takes to scan the 3,6,10 is far less important than the accuracy of the scan and number of measurements the scan [related to the number of 3D depth sensors]. The low cost [$10,000 (portable) or $12,500 in the booth version] TC2 “16 depth sensor” Kinect based bodyscanner machine the KX-16  is overall equal to full body scanners and supports hundreds of measurements with better than 1/4″ accuracy.

You have to know exactly what you are looking for because there is an abundance of smoke and mirrors out there. The listing for bodyscanners and full service providers on this post is not all-inclusive. You will have to do your own research and ask a lot of questions relating to what outcomes you specifically want and compare closely. There will be an International Conference and Exhibition on 3D Body Scanning Technologies in Lugano Switzerland in October, check out the program topics and technical program here. If you are lucky enough to attend, get yourself bodyscanned at several vendors and compare the results.

 Chasing the Holy Grail of Accurate Virtual Bodyscanning & Fit

So far several candidates seem to be currently vying for holy grail development and service providers. First to be mentioned is TC2, who is a provider of direct and indirect technology products and services to industry. [Their mission is to elevate the level of technology, manufacturing systems, and business processes employed in the global soft goods industry through research and development, education, training, and outreach.] Others are Human Solutions, Bodymetrics and DNA Interactif Fashion. Styku is all over the Web announcing that they are definitely chasing the full range of holy grail services but seems to be still in development phase. They are all vying to become the first widely used mass market providers of an entire range of services that includes but is not limited to accurate bodyscanning for fit, & sizing, for product customization and home and/or retail virtual try-on with accurate fit and sizing with the ability to move around in the draped clothing and test tightness of looseness of the fit. Color and styling selections are part of the service as well as locating items from specific brands that the user can try on in the privacy of their home.

Variety of Other Virtual Fit and Virtual Closet Services

Some of the other retail-based Kinect applications enable the user to overlay images of fashion items over a video of them to visually see how the items [dress, handbag, etc.] kind of, sort of look like on the viewer by overlaying a flat 2D photo image.

Not using the Kinect technology is True Fit, one of the more well-known online fit and sizing service. Macy’s and Nordstrom have recently begun using True Fit for certain categories of apparel on their websites. True Fit uses a computer program that relies partly on the clothes already in a person’s closet along with brands’ size specifications. Metail, a virtual fitting room launched by Tesco on Facebook. MyVirtualModel  MVM now markets a weight management simulator in additioin to the My Virtual Model app. One fit application that stands alone in the FitsMe application. It is a shape shifting robot that lets you try clothes online.

TC2 offers low-cost 2D/3D Kinect based body scanning devices for home with the Single Windows Kinect Body Scnner and the TC2 Virtual Fashion System or the V-Dresser [or for Weight Management].

The List

1. Full Bodyscanners [highly detailed or detailed  accuracy]

[note: If you are looking for this technology make sure the measurement extraction goes right to your servers. If there is an online extraction service it should go only to the companies servers and not to the scanner company. If it goes to the scanner companies server, they get a copy of all your data.]

  • TC2 – ImageTwin  Highly detailed accuracy, NX-16 White light and also 16 sensor KX-16 Kinect Technology.
  • Telmat Highly detailed accuracy,White light technology
  • Human Solutions  Highly detailed accuracy, Laser technology
  • Spacevision Cartesia  Highly detailed accuracy[offered by TC2 in US and Europe] Laser technology [Spacevision of Japan is currently the leading scanner in Japan and Korea]
  • Styku  Kinect 4 sensor Kinect technology/detailed accuracy [possibly a proprietary system linked to Tukacad]

2. Full Bodyscanning  Fit, Sizing, Style, and Data Collection  Services

  • Me-Ality Service geared to match consumers to brand fit and styling selection. [Unique Solutions, Gen. II Intellifit Technology] Currently there already are 65 locations across the US [link], funding was awarded in 2011 for 300 new locations All planned locations are here. Video link of retail service here.
  • Alvascan Service geared to retailers for fit. [Gen I Intellifit, TC2, Human Solutions Technology].

3. Holy Grail Chasers:  Full bodyscanning  fit and sizing/virtual try-on retail/home, data collection, and mass customization services.

The companies below are representative of some candidates for possibly offering all these products and/or services either via industry outreach or directly to the retail industry. In some cases many or in other only a few more ingredients are needed to obtain the magical holy grail. The most obvious requirement is current placement at retail level.

  • TC2 offers and is in continual research and development for the latest in 2D/3D technology primarily for the global softgoods industries that incorporate bodyscanning including chasers of Phase II “holy grail” home-based  2D/3D Kinect fit technology. In addition to the KX-16 portable full body scanner TC2 offers [TC]2’s Virtual Fashion System  – it makes lifelike natural pose avatars and can show them with clothing, and can predict sizes or provide custom clothing specifications that are compatible with other systems. Here is a link to a mobile device simulation, [note:if you click on the link give it a few seconds to start]. Clothing can be generated from V-Dresser, Marvelous Designer, OptiTex, Lectra, Maya, etc etc etc.  TC2 also offers the  V-Dresser  3D virtual garment creation system. Leveraging recently released low-cost scanning devices for home use, [TC]² has combined that low-cost power and availability with its Size Selection, Avatar Creation, Virtual Fashion, and Weight Loss Visualization technologies developed over the years for use with high-accuracy 3D full body scans. The result is an extremely high value-low cost solution for retail, at-home, and web-enabled smart phone applications. V-Dresser is the overall highest quality lowest cost system and is compatible with garment content from almost all systems. TC2 maintains a strong link between education and industry. TC2 technology is currently placed in numerous public applications via a range of products/service arrangements.
  • DNA Interactif Fashion [TC2 Image Twin technology] iStyling Service w/ Interactif Mirror video here. Users can use cloud platform to access their personal proportions, personal body measurements and personalized mannequin to buy apparel, accessories, styling advice, health advice and select new hair styles. All purchases automatically appear on all devices. So they can use it always and everywhere. The consumer can even share info, outfits etc with the community. Offerings of full service here. Their site has links to 3 retail placements, go to DNA Homepage  drop down menu, select References and select from one to the 3 lower locations.
  • Human Solutions Retail [Laser technology] offers life-like natural pose avatars and can show them with clothing, and can predict sizes or provide custom clothing specifications that are linked to industrial processes.  The HS system can utilize 3D clothing generated from its product development applications. HS has developed a product called The Virtual Mirror. It connects your products and your customers virtually in real time. In a seamless process chain, bodyscanning is interactively connected with 3D clothing simulation and CAD software.
  • BodyMetrics [Kinect Based PrimeSense Solutions Technology] Bodyscanning for Brand matching for Fit, Style Selection, Sizing. Currently available at several retail locations [video link here] , Kinect based home shopping virtual try-on and fit services currently in development.
  • Styku [Kinect4 sensor Kinect technology]  Currently no real deployments at retail. [Seems to be still in full concept development stage for Fit, Style Selection, Sizing  and Virtual Try-On  retail/home services and perhaps a variety of other products and services are being planned. [Update: Styku was conducting a 3 month manual user measurement input demo test [category #4] for an online e-tailer Billy Blues that was no longer working at the time of my research for this post. Currently it looks like Billy Blues is no longer taking orders but Styku seems to have recently activated a demo page again for a manual user input size matching service [not a bodyscanning brand matching size service] on their site for jeans at Nordstroms. Here is the direct link.  This does not seem to be a service that is available directly from Nordstroms. Nordstrom currently uses the True Fit service listed below]

4.  Online Fit And Sizing Services That Require User Input Data

This category has some sites that are only available through a retailer, while others are Web services open to the public.  Body dimensions estimated via a variety of questionnaire interfaces where user fills out measurements and current brand style, size/fit info and that algorithm data is matched up with style, sizing and fit info available for online brands.

5. Video image, 3DKinect Bodyscanning Virtual Fit Rooms/Robotic Clothes Form

  • UpCload – Free public user site and available for retailers. Users size is estimated via Webcam image and user input measurements.
  • TC2 Single Windows Kinect Body Scanner   Accurate Human Avatars for All Applications Including size selection advice, virtual fashion and weight loss visualization.
  • Fitiquette – Looks like it will be only a service for retail clients. Seems to be still in development stage – does not seem to be in any on site retailer right now only demo video. The video has too much focus on the customer’s hand movements and not enough focus on the actual product.  Hummm. Video link.  Looks like a still in development 3D Kinect based application that is being planned for use in store and at home with online platform that allows users to input clothing sizes, body types, styles, colors and preferred shopping brands to find the best “fit” using a rotating model. Very interesting…
    Startup Spotlight: Q&A With Fitiquette.
  • Sizeseeker Not sure how this will be marketed. The company uses the Xbox Kinect to help users accurately find their clothing size. They are members of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, all Sizeseeker needs is a photo from the front and side and it will automatically compare your measurements with 100,000 other body scans to estimate size. Wharton Journal link.
  • Fits.me – Only a service for retail clients and a really one-of-a-kind unique one at that. Video link.  Robotic size changing clothes form – responds to typed in measurements. Selected garment sizes are illustrated on robotic shape shifting form that match users typed in measurements.

6. Virtual Closets/ Kinect based 2D Virtual dressing room Virtual Closets

Virtual dressing rooms and virtual closets are “not” fitting room applications.  Virtual-Closet Web Sites Revise Online Fashion Shopping , NY Times.

And finially here is a link to the research link page at [TC]2 and also another link to Cornell University, College of Human Ecology related sites from their 3D body scanner research pages.

Unique Soultions/Me-Ality: Phase I towards Revolutionizing the Way We Shop

Unique Solutions Tanya Shaw, President  [Founder] and CEO of Me-Ality by Unique Solutions

Exciting things are happening at Unique Solutions. Body scanners that aim to ensure the perfect fit have attracted a $30-million investment for Unique Solutions.

Northwater Capital Management Inc.’s Intellectual Property Fund is putting the money into Unique Solutions Design Ltd. The cash infusion will allow Unique Solutions to open more than 300 of its scanning kiosks across North America by the end of 2013.  Tanya Shaw states, “As of June 2012, 500,000 people have been scanned and Me-Ality has over 65 size matching locations that are open in malls across the US.” [article link: Body scanners help shoppers get better fit]

Where will all of those body scanners be located? Click here to see if one will be near you.

Size matching service answers the frustrating question…What is my size?

No more will our shopping experience either in the real world or the on-line world involve totally guessing how that brand will fit you. It is an open secret that there are no consistent sizing standards for clothing brands so it is a total gamble for a prospective buyer especially when they are purchasing online how that particular brand will fit. Vanity sizing is common among brands and some brands use it to give them a psychological ” vanity edge.” [translation: $ales] Instead of “those lying eyes” in retail it is now “Oh those lying brand sizes,” combined with a dose of self-denial from all of us.

Some brands actively manipulate the sizes to appeal to the customers vanity ego as a competitive tool to use against other brands with similar price points, but other brands have honestly been trying to provide as much information as possible to empower their customers to order the best size for their body shape. They realize that the lo$$ percentage due to returns from chaotic and random sizing far outnumbers the additional rate of sales for “vanity sizing.”

The task in the past has been near impossible. Why? Because the culturally diverse US only has one sizing survey “public” database [SizeUSA] in the last 40 years. [see 3D Bodyscanner – Ready to Wear,  Cornell University]

From the [TC]² site about Size USA:

[TC]² conducted a comprehensive sizing survey of the U.S. population, scanning nearly 11,000 individuals in 12 locations across the U.S. The first such survey in over 40 years, SizeUSA provides current measurements on the sizes and shapes of today’s adult consumer.  [NY Times archive article]

Using this vast data base of scanned subjects, [TC]² can provide statistically accurate shape and sizing data analysis for manufacturers, brands, and retailers to improve fit.

SIZE UK using TC2 scanners

 TC2 scanners were used to gather 3D body scans for SIZE_UK_STATISTICS  during 2001 & 2002. During this time approximately 11,000 scans were captured and a total of 1.5 million measurements have been analysed.

Alvanon sizing surveys in China and France:

In 2008 Alvanon released the results of a body scanning survey in China and published those results: A 2008 fashion industry survey: The average US female is 5’4″ at 155 lb?

Alavanon also collaborated with: the Institute Francais du Textile et de l’Habillement (IFTH) to create standard French sizes for the apparel industry. The study, conducted by IFTH in 2006, which included more than 11,500 scans of French citizens in 37 different sites in France, provides powerful insight into how to improve fit for the French body for apparel brands both in France and those seeking to gain a competitive advantage in the market Link to announcement here.

Phase I? What is Phase II?

Now the title of this blog posting is that Me-Ality represents Phase I towards revolutionizing the way we shop. You may be wondering what is phase II?  Really exciting developments are underway right now incorporating Microsoft Kinect based technology to initiate and fast forward development of the Phase II: that includes the development of holy grail home fit services for online shopping. Bodyscanning on the retail site “or at home” and in addition to accurate body size match up to a variety of brands. Once the users body is scanned, the user can then virtually select and try on brands  [to test accurate fit] that are matched up to the bodyscan. Customized clothing or garment patterns can be ordered from in store “or home” using this service. Here is a link to some earlier research in this area from Cornell University College of Human Ecology. More in future posts.

Update: If Me-Ality installs 300 bodyscanner brand size matching services in shopping centers across North America, they will have addressed and resolved a portion of the accurate sizing issue for online retailers. Once your accurate body measurements are in the Me-Ality database, you can shop online for accurate fitting clothing.

About Unique Solutions Ltd.

They develop and commercialize advanced body measurement technologies and maintain the largest database of body measurements that accurately reflects the real size and shape of people. The company’s proprietary technology yields aggregate data and body measurement information that readily translates into better fitting products and services.

Me-Ality [formerly mybestfit]

What is it? Me-Ality is a FREE service that matches body sizing to specific brand sizing measurements that takes less than 10 minutes from Scan to Shopping Guide and makes it easy to find the best fitting clothes for your unique body. Customers are given a shopping list of jeans and apparel that will fit and flatter them. Specific brands and stores in the mall that carry those brands are listed to find their selections. They can also narrow their list to specific style features, or to favorite brands, or the price they want to pay.

Here is a link that will show you the current brands that are working with the Me-Ality service.

Body Scanners

The Intellifit Virtual Fitting Room is a high-accuracy scanner utilizing low emitting radio waves to capture 200,000 points of data on a fully clothed individual in less than 20 seconds. It includes a high-volume transaction server to store a customer’s shopping profile and body measurement information. The data collected can be converted into body measurements for the purpose of size and styling recommendations, product customization as well as health and wellness indicators and progress tracking.

Speciality Software

Online Size and Stylist Recommendation Software

Database Licensing

Unique licenses its customer measurement database for use in body research, and technical design applications. This data could also be licensed in aggregate to apparel brands, or used for marketing to consumers through their affiliate programs through our mybestfit service.

Custom Apparel/Products

The program is available to retailers and apparel and lifestyle manufacturers who sell apparel and lifestyle products through an e-commerce portal; or want to enhance their brick-and-mortar customer experience with the ability to quickly size-match customers to their products. Managed Business Services An all-inclusive scanning service offered to industries which require high volume scanning (measurement collection) during a specified and short period of time. This service is aimed at those who would like the scanner to come to their location as opposed to sending people to an outside location. Consumer Reports Fitness and wellness Comprehensive Measurements.

Links to Unique Solutions News

Alvanon: Innovative, Integrated Fit Solutions for the Apparel Industry

Alavnon uses and links cutting-edge technology to create an innovative transformational process that results in a full service fit and sizing company that offers brands the elusive goal of determining a custom sizing standard for their brand and developing custom forms [that reflect their clientele] and pattern blocks to ensure quality and consistent fit for their product.

Products and Services

 

Listed below are current products and services provided by Alvanon:

AlvaInsight develops fit specifications and grade rules to provide the best fit for the “sweet spot” of your target customer base. Integrated methodology combines technical design expertise, analytical skill, our global body measurement and shape database to redefine particular product specifications and apply anatomically aligned grade rules.

AlvaScan is the first step to improving fit by capturing the exact body specifications of your target market. This customized scanning service utilizes portable and easy-to-use, cutting edge technology to gather relevant data. AlvaScan utilizes safe millimeter wave scanners, to accurately measure a fully clothed body in seconds. These 3D full body scanners (produced by Intellifit Corp, with www.it-fits.info as the link underlying Intellifit Corp) have been employed worldwide and have gathered data for more than 200,000 subjects. This is the most cost-effective method for gathering large amounts of scan data accurately. We have also partnered with various National Size Surveys and have included this data in our measurement databases, giving more breadth and depth to our analysis.

AlvaForm fit mannequins represent the core body standard within a company’s supply chain. The AlvaForm Standard facilitates communication and creates alignment between all parties. The result is improved speed to market and an optimized fit approval process.

AlvaBlock  Customized for you target customer – basic blocks for correct and consistent fit.

AlvaTraining Alvanon has partnered with several training authorities around the world to educate your supply chain on how to effectively implement and measure results for AlvaForm, AlvaBlock and AlvaPhoto systems. They also provide training to your designers, merchandisers, pattern makers, retail store staff on the new fit and how it relates to your customers.

Product Catalog links

Academic Partnership Page

Alvanon’s Latest Creation Your Personal Fit Model

News Articles on Alvanon.

More on Alvanon products and services here on previous blog posting.

Target Australia National Sizing Survey

Target Australia is partnering with Alvanon to body scan about 25,000 people from 4/30/12 to 5/30/12 to get their body measurements down to the exact millimetre. It will be recorded, processed and Target will come up with sizing that best suits the Target Australia population,”

Target managing director Dene Rogers predicts the technology will revolutionise the way we buy and fit clothes. Here is a link to the official Target Australia National Size Survey page describing the body scanning sizing project is here. Scroll down to see two official Target videos demonstrating and explaining the project.

Here is a detailed article on the Target Australia National Size Survey Project titled: Sizing up Australia – is Target’s 3D body scanner the shape of things to come?   by Kate Kennedy, Lecturer, School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University.

This article mentions the long desired hope for development of a public domain database to inform both the industry and consumers on Australia’s size and shape. Many people within the Australia textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry will no doubt be viewing Target’s body-scanning project with a certain amount of envy.

I believe many people in the US (AAFA) American Apparel & Footwear Association [as well as Target US] will also be viewing Target Australia’s body-scanning project with a certain amount of envy. Development of an expanded SIZEUSA public domain database would be excellent for generic industry, consumers and educational researchers. Perhaps this is something that AAFA as an organization would consider supporting. [SizeUSA was a two-year National Sizing Survey was sponsored by clothing and textile companies, the Army, Navy and several universities. Lead researcher for the study was Dr. Cynthia Istook, a North Carolina State University textiles professor who teamed up with AlvaProducts using TC2 scanners –source] Matching brand specific items to customers is a win for customers who end up with reliable and good fit and retailers who increase sales [especially online] and reduce returns.

Link to article about the SizeUSA research: Changing the Way Apparel Companies Think about Body Shape.

Anyone that would like to submit a guest blog posting on the subject of expanding on the SizeUSA public database research project, please contact me at polvinem@buffalostate.edu

Virtual Retail Sales are Hot, Hot Hot!

December 28, 2009 1 comment

This week there is a MUST READ article by By Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY titled,” Unlike reality, virtual retail sales are hot, especially for avatars. ” The article verifies the trends that the Fashion Research Institute has previously concluded. Millions of people are buying virtual fashion items and sales are booming.

There is a section that illustrates CEOS’ AVATARS: What virtual-world execs find fashionable. Mark Kingdon CEO of  Linden Lab, Neil Edwards CEO of Cellufun and Cary Rosenzweig CEO of  IMVU are pictured along with their customized avatars.

Second Life CEO Mark Kingdon states that perhaps the bad economic conditions in the real world are positively impacting sales in the virtual worlds.

“Virtual goods cost a fraction of what goods cost in the real world,” Kingdon says. “You can get a beautiful pair of white ice skates for … less than $2.”

The USA Today article has a short explanation of how the buying and selling process works in a virtual world but if you want to know how it works in Second Life – listen to Missy’s virtual internship interview. Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview I ask Missy to explain the entire buying and selling process of virtual fashion goods in Second Life.

The USA Today article goes on to state that:

“IMVU, a social-networking site and virtual world that caters to 13- to 24-year-olds, does more than $2 million in sales each month. Almost all of the virtual goods sold on IMVU are made by users, who keep the proceeds. IMVU makes its money selling the credits used to buy virtual goods. Overall December sales are expected to be up 20% over November, and sales will be about $22 million this year, mostly from the direct sale of virtual credits to users.”

In an earlier guest post FRI: Virtual Fashion Internships by Shenlei Winkler [CEO of Fashion Research Institute], she summarized current retail fashion trends for the virtual world:

“we think the virtual goods marketplace will burgeon rapidly. In 2007, virtual goods accounted for $2.6 billion in sales.  Although the total value of virtual goods pales in comparison to the $1.7 trillion apparel industry, this market compares very favorably with the accessories market which generates about $1.8 billion in sales.  Various analyst reports indicate that the virtual goods marketplace is set to double in 2010.  Fashion designers are often encouraged to move into handbags and other accessories to add a new revenue stream and enable brand extension.  With virtual goods slated to open up further in 2010, designers should definitely consider this new niche market they can readily move into which can help them generate more sales in a completely new area.”

The growing trends of virtual fashion sales and the translation into real currency for this market translates into viable reasons for fashion education to begin addressing the niche market of virtual fashion.

Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection

December 9, 2009 2 comments

Here are the images from Missy Lavecchia”s Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection. These are the fashions created for Missy’s first solo show in Second Life last Monday evening titled “Jewels of Winter”.

You don’t actually have to be in-world to purchase these virtual garments. You can go to the Xstreet SL Marketplace, purchase them there and they will automatically be delivered to your inventory in-world or if you purchase them as a gift they will be delivered to your gift recipients inventory in world.

Here is a link to Missy’s Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle collection at Xstreet. If the link does not work correctly go to Xstreet SL Marketplace and search for “Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle.”


Links to other related blog postings about Missy:

Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter

December 5, 2009 3 comments

 

Please try to attend the student fashion installation in Second Life this Monday, December 7th from 7-8PM ET [4PM SLT/PT] for Missy Lavecchia, a Buffalo State fashion student. Missy has been interning for the past 9 months with  Shenlei Winkler [aka: Shenlei Flasheart in SL] from the Fashion Research Institute. This installation will represent Missy’s first solo show in Second Life.

Shenlei Winkler, CEO pf the  Research Institute states that:

 “Missy will be showing formal gowns developed in rich jewel tones in honor of the holiday season.  Her gowns, fittingly enough, will be presented in an opulent winter wonderland of snow and ice.  A dozen gorgeous models and 4 handsome gentlemen callers will showcase Missy’s romantic gowns in a tableaux befitting the set.

Please join us on Monday December 7th, at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT in Shengri La Second Life to celebrate the outstanding work of this star performer as her models show her work with aplomb.

Here’s the SLurl Link to teleport you into SL for Missy’s show: The set will not be open to the public until 7 pm ET promptly – early arrivals will just end up wandering aimlessly around in our marketplace so please wait until 7pm ET to teleport over.”

Missy has the Bella Fantastique boutique in Second Life. Here is a SLURL link to her boutique.

Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview
  • Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • FRI: Virtual Fashion Internships

    November 24, 2009 2 comments
    Shineli Winkler, CEO of FRI

    [Note: this is a guest post by Shenlei Winkler, CEO of the Fashion Research Institute, Inc., 419 Lafayette, NYC, NY 10013 [ph 646-688-4042] [fx 646-688-4043]

    • Author, Designing Dreams: Best Practices for the Art & Business of Avatar Apparel Design & Development
    • Author, Shengri La Spirit: A Designer’s Perspective of the Making of OpenSim

    Fashion Research Institute has been working in virtual worlds for the past few years, exploring them as platforms and tools for use by the $1.7 trillion apparel industry.  We have since developed a design application, Black Dress Design Studio, which is currently in closed alpha. Black Dress shows promise of being a disruptive technology for the industry, as well as a game changer for the way product is developed in both apparel and in the much larger soft consumer goods industries.

    As we worked in the virtual world space, our understanding of both the potential power and range of the platform, and our understanding of how to educate fashion designers using virtual world platforms grew and changed.  We knew that understanding how people learn is as critical to our success in bringing our application to market as making sure the application is ‘right’.  With that understanding as a basis, we launched a series of educational programs, which currently include our Shengri La Marketplace program and our student internships.

    Both of these programs focus on educating designers and helping them achieve their dreams.  There are critical differences: the Marketplace program is intended to help designers of virtual goods, or ‘virtua’, develop their label in these virtual spaces.  These designers have varying educational backgrounds and they have a burning desire to create within virtual worlds.  Their product is not intended to ever be manufactured in the industrial complex, nor will it be sold through usual apparel industry retail channels.  This product is sold to the users of avatars for some of the same reasons we buy real life apparel – we want to customize our appearance in a way that sends a message to people who see us.  Obviously in a virtual world we don’t need to be concerned about fit or function, nor on manufacturability, which can be very freeing for the creative spirit.  The Marketplace program has a rolling admission deadline.

    The internship program, in contrast, is designed to teach fashion student designers how to go through the process of developing a collection from original concept to final runway show.  Using virtual worlds as the platform, we take our interns through a fast-paced development sequence where they learn about both the art and business of design and development. 

    Our internships run about sixteen weeks.  In that time the interns are expected to develop marketing concepts for their label, which include logo, showroom, storefront, customer service policies, packaging, and an overall look and feel for their line.  They use these concepts to present their actual collection to the virtual goods marketplace in Second Life.  The interns are expected to create all components of a collection during their internship – we have them create a mood board, color stories, and materials story, which we keep displayed in their workspace for reference. 

    The interns are taught to develop product using the in-world content creation tools.  We maintain presence on several grids, and we usually have them prototype their designs on one of our OpenSim grids because there is no cost for developing on our grids.  When they are ready to develop for the marketplace, they develop their product on the Second life platform, package up their outfits, and place them in vendors.  They receive immediate feedback – either their outfits sell, or they don’t!
    Our interns are expected to complete one look a week from their original sketches, developed in 3-6 colorways.  Our goal is to help the interns produce a visual ‘story’ for their portfolio that shows they understand how the product development cycle works in the real life apparel industry.  Using these low risk platforms enables us to take our interns through the process at a nominal cost. They are encouraged to explore the full parameter space of their own creativity. 

    Our final project with our interns is to help them produce a full virtual runway show with live models presenting their designs to a general audience.  These shows are group shows where the interns collaborate to define their theme, name the show and determine the run order for the models.  The interns are all individually responsible for styling their models and determining makeup, hair, and accessories to complete the look.  They must also select pre-determined poses for their models to strike at the end of the runway.

    FRI has a team of dedicated volunteer models who generously offer their time for fittings and the show.  They also provide needed moral support and encouragement.  The FRI team builds the runway and make sure that all of the models are correctly styled.  We also manage the overall show including media and marketing.  In addition, we have an audience of supporters who are gracious enough to come to the shows and demonstrate their support of our student designers by blogging about their work, buying their work, and simply being present and giving these new talents a bit of an ego boost.  

    At the end of the runway show, our interns have a chance to be recognized for all of their hard work by taking a bow on the runway.  They depart with valuable experience in the real life development process.  We stop short of pulling physical samples but the design cycle is the same and when the time comes for them to enter the work force, they will recognize the design process because they have already been through it. The educational process is fast-paced and demanding, and we set very high standards for them to reach. 

    Virtual Goods Marketplace Trends

    We’re particularly excited to be working with our student interns from Buffalo State university because we think the virtual goods marketplace will burgeon rapidly. In 2007, virtual goods accounted for $2.6 billion in sales.  Although the total value of virtual goods pales in comparison to the $1.7 trillion apparel industry, this market compares very favorably with the accessories market which generates about $1.8 billion in sales.  Various analyst reports indicate that the virtual goods marketplace is set to double in 2010.  Fashion designers are often encouraged to move into handbags and other accessories to add a new revenue stream and enable brand extension.  With virtual goods slated to open up further in 2010, designers should definitely consider this new niche market they can readily move into which can help them generate more sales in a completely new area.

    Not only is there a business case to be made for providing design for this niche, but designers can also use the low-risk OpenSim platform to explore new design ideas, and to show their work 24/7 on special runways, where models can walk the catwalk at a touch of the button and show off designs as they are meant to be: in 3D and moving.

    Virtual/Real Runway 3.0 Project

    We are very excited to be working with the talented students designers from Buffalo State University, and we’re very much looking forward to our Spring work with them.  Working virtually, we will be helping them develop the exact same looks to present on our virtual runways as they will be showing in real life in their graduating senior runway show, ‘Runway 3.0’.  Our work with them will extend even outside of our virtual space. We’ll be taking a day to tour them through the fashion district in New York City, the home of fashion.  And finally, we’ll be working with them as technical fashion designers to help them create real world apparel with a decided technical bent: we’re going to help them add motors, lights, and more!

    Virtual Intern Applications Being Accepted

    We’re accepting new applications for our next internship cycle from Fashion Programs, which begins at the end of January.  Admission is highly selective.  For more information, please visit www.fashionresearchinstitute.com

    Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions

    November 21, 2009 5 comments

    I would like to include a link to the Bella Fantasique blog that Missy started when her virtual fashion brand concept was developed in the summer of 2009. If you would like to visit Missy’s Bella Fantasique store in Second Life to see all the virtual fashion garments she has developed for yourself here is a SLurl to teleport you there. If you do not want to visit in-world yet but would like to see Missy’s fashions here is a link to her fashion products on the XSTREET Marketplace. You can purchase something there and have it delivered in-world to you or to someone else as a virtual gift.

     After  Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview ended and I uploaded the podcast, I thought of some additional questions others may have for Missy regarding this entire virtual internship experience. I sent the questions to Missy and her responses are below.

    1. Are your Second Life experiences relavant to any of your fashion education classes? If so in what way? 

    My Second Life experiences are related to two fashion classes I have taken at Buffalo State college thus far, FTT208:Introduction to Fashion Technologies and FTT308: FashionCAD. Both are fashion CAD classes, using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Once I learned the basics in those two classes, I was able to learn so much more about those programs.
     
    2. Do you feel that the experiences that you are simulating in second life regarding developing a brand and coordinated fashion lines, presenting and merchandising your brand integrates and simulates the knowledge and skills that you are learning in your fashion education classes?

    If anything else, Second Life inspires me. I am eager to create and design garments and have the ability to change what I am making with a simple click of a button, instead of having to completely redo a sewn garment. I am faster at finding ways to get things done more efficiently in my fashion classes.
     
    3. Are your fashion design and merchandising related experiences in Second Life providing you with a clearer  picture of what is involved in the real world design and merchandising process? If so how?

    Second Life is making having a fashion line real to me. It’s a fast pace enviroment and putting your ideas into Photoshop and Illustrator and then into Second Life virtually shows an image of what my designs would look like on a body, without the cost of materials and sewing time. I like seeing the progression of sketches to actual garments, and it cuts time so much shorter to see it on a virtual body first to make sure everything looks they way I want it. I also have always had a love for marketing and the business side of fashion, and I get to do this in SL by running my store and modeling. So it’s the best of both worlds… literally. [note from e.polvinen: Missy really does mean this literally because the Lindens $L she makes from selling her virtual fashions are easily converted into $US dollars.]
     
    4. Would you recommend a virtual fashion design and merchandising experience to other fashion students?

    I absolutely would recommend virtual design to other fashion students because that is where technology is taking us. If we have the programs available, it doesn’t hurt to get familiar with them, in order to make presentations and amazing concept boards. So many things are done now with the computer, so why not make fashion with it too?

    From my own experience as a professor teaching fashion students introduction to fashion concepts in Second Life for the last three years, it is an ideal platform for developing unified fashion garment/line /brand concepts,  building presentation skills, organizational skills, fashion terminology, business and marketing skills…and it’s an opportunity to makes real $$$.

    Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview

    November 21, 2009 5 comments

     

    Missy’s Virtual Fashion Internship

    In this Virtual Fashion Internship podcast I am asking Missy questions regarding the virtual internship PowerPoint she submitted to me upon completion of the project. Missy aka: Missy Lavecchia in Second Life  is one of two Buffalo State Fashion Technology students that completed a virtual internship with Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flasheart from the Fashion Research Institute in the summer of 2009. We are viewing the PowerPoint as we are discussing the internship.

    We have been attempting to schedule this interview since September. After multiple postponements we finally managed to complete it in my campus office last Wednesday. I did not even notice the traffic noise in the background [including an ambulance] until after the interview was completed. We were viewing Missy’s PowerPoint as we discussed her reactions to the entire virtual internship experience.

    You will hear in the interview that she developed a concept board for her brand, a color palette for her collection, presentation  boards and packages as well as a customer service policy. Once her collection was completed she participated in a well attended virtual fashion show titled Fluid with two other interns.

    Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • Here is a link to The Fluid Fashion show event that was the culmination of the internships for three fashion students.

    Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

    April 29, 2008 4 comments

    Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

    David PolinchockSusan RedaPanel Presentation: Preparing the Next Generation of Industry Executives for the next Generation of Marketing Tools: YouTube and More. Susan Reda, Executive Director of Stores Magazine, Kathy Savitt, Chief Marketing Officer, American Eagle Outfitters & David Polinchock, Founder and Chief Experience Officer, Brand Experience Lab.

    Kathy savittMs. Savitt began speaking about AEO – American Eagle Outfitters. Their mission is to be generous with their brand. She stated that, “Content is King, distribution is Queen and the Arch Duchess.”

    77E is a dedicated unscripted content entertainment platform on A&E. MTV will run the show. It has unscripted content with social community building blocks via Stylehive, a new media application. Stylehive is a social community where users can share and bookmark trends. [note: another similar community is Stylefeeder]

    No sharing between divisions was mentioned by David Polinchock as an example of a growth stifling issue within a company. [note: that is also true in an educational institution.] He went on to state that some of the rules are changing with new instant social community media. An example was described about a customer that had a very unpleasant experience trying on clothing at a well-known retailer – the experience was “twittered” from the dressing room and was immediately picked up and amplified by multiple blogs.

    YouTube was mentioned as a new media and postings of the The Charmin Potty Party promotion. The Charmin Potty Party was group of custom designed Charmin Bathrooms set up in Times Square as a Christmas gift to New Yorkers in 2006.

    An example of a brand that uses new media technology to their advantage is Zappos. They made use of Twitter  as a promotional community marketing and promotional tool by selecting someone from their Twitter community for a free pair of shoes.

    The panel mentioned some  top leaders in the next generation marketing and why they stand out.

    • Zappos Twitter channel – they are using new channels and helping people engage.
    • E-Shirts – took an industry that never changed and to rethink how they do business.
    • Nike ID on  Facebook– a consumer destination for designing personalizing and customizing NIKEID footwear, apparel and equipment.
    • Webkinz – building a social marketing community

    When something is launched online there is immediate attention. Relevance is now the criteria. Unscripted content like concerts, music, spring break is not vulnerable but scripted content is vulnerable because when you create scripted content you may get comments that you don’t want.

    The panelists felt Second Life would evolve into a mixed reality. They mentioned some RL business ventures and why they “dabbled” in SL but then abandoned it after 12-18 months. Many business people walked away perhaps because they did not take the time to truly understand how to integrate the RL and the virtual world experiences. Businesses did not want to get involved if they did not want to deliver a unique and compelling experience.

    One of the biggest problems with a brand trying new things is that they don’t understand the media. Unless they really make a commitment and find their voice they will be lost. The definition of success differs from brand to brand. If the focus is “only” on the product or “only” on the brand you could get in trouble with your message but if focus is “only” on the customer then stupid irrelevant material will not be developed if new media is your content.

    The panel discussed “standards” on a site. They stated that standards can be limiting but some people go to a place specifically because they have standards. There is room a a lot of different options regarding standards.

    How new marketing tools could impact marketing strategies was a topic of discussion. New media is an unbelievable opportunity to get customer data. [note: the new viral marketing tool that MVM has developed for retailers popped into my mind at this point]

    New media:

    • offers a way for companies to get smart.
    • empowers companies to directly engage with their customer base.
    • enables creation of a customer community that can be integrated into a company Website.
    • provides branding authenticity.
    • provides companies the opportunity to engage outside of the bricks and mortar.

    Because of the new media tools – people are using brands to do more. And finally the most important statement for last  – companies that focus and serve customers will take on a level of honesty that is contagious.

    Raymond Yee
    Raymond Yee,
    Author of Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services presented “Create Mashups to make the Web Your Own.”

    Raymond gave an excellent demonstration of what is involved in building a customized mashup with the Pipes Web application. He also demonstrated the Picnik application that is integrated into FLICKR  to photo edit images on the Web.

     Raymond also spoke about the Open Source FLICKR viewer in Sl.  Here is a link to an article about it. This is a fantastic development! Up until now we had to upload each image that was needed to present a slide presentation in SL for $10L each upload. Now it will be possible to use our FLICKR images to project into SL.

     …to be continued.

    Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

    © 2008 All Rights Reserved.

    Technology Day at FIT Part II

    April 27, 2008 5 comments

    Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

    My Avatar Myself - Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 Flintlock

    I was next at Technology Day at FIT to present “My Avatar Myself: How Avatars are Transforming Product Development, Marketing, Retailing and Education.”

    My presentation was an expansive overview of how avatars that represent personal representations of the user are totally and completely transforming all aspects of fashion product development, marketing, retailing and how fashion education can respond.

    I began my presentation with the OptiTex Red Dress video to illustrate what a multidimensional product development application is capable of producing. I have been totally immersed in researching and retooling on cutting edge technology for fashion/textiles education for the last 20 or so years and I have never witnessed technology transforming as quickly as it currently is now shifting over to 3D and virtual reality.

    There is just no way a software application company can keep up internally with the changes taking place in the industry without forming multiple external liaisons and partnerships. In the same vein there is no way that retailers can respond to the mass personalization and customization [MCP] trend that the user centric social community market is driving without shifting to an integrated multidimensional product development and/or retailing application. The user is totally driving the market that is requiring these transformational changes. Fashion education in turn can successfully respond to this transformational technology and market trend by also forming liaisons, partnerships and linkages with industry and other fashion educators on a global level. Sharing resources, knowledge and skills regarding this shift over to multidimensional product development, MCP marketing and retailing will enable a quick and positive response to prepare future entry level professionals for the fashion industry.

    Elaine Polvinen and Beth Harris meet for the first time in the real world at the FIT Technology Day.At the time I was researching for a manuscript I was working on last fall, one of the reasons that OptiTex caught my eye was because they were the only apparel/textile application I could locate that had formulated a variety of highly successful partnerships and/or liaisons that resulted in novel and creative  pre-marketing, and MCP marketing applications (in addition to a relatiively uniform level of development of multiple modules). This company was definitely ahead of the MCP social community trend that is currently taking place in the fashion industry. Technology leadership today is a precarious position to be in for any company especially when you have a multidimensional application that requires cutting edge development for multiple modular applications. It’s a high speed, high stakes race to the future – correctly predicting and preparing for future trends at the warp speed that is required for todays software applications. Quick response is a definite stratigic market positioning advantage.

    A multidimensional system empowers the user to work seamlessly from 2D to 3D and back to 2D again in real time. And most important to retailers is to develop the product in digital content from square one. This equals BIG $$$ and time savings as well as enabling pre-marketing and MCP options. Why even discuss the lack of global sizing standards when parametric sizing is possible and fit models can simply body scan themselves into becoming the 3D virtual avatar dress forms that are then used to design and create a brands garments on? A brand can focus on developing sizing standards for their target customers. Multiple functions were displayed in the presentation that are mentioned in previous posts:

     Where is this mass customization emerging from? Think Webkinz – a multi-million dollar success story that involves exceptionally cute little furry avatar creatures that young children love. And who knows a young WebKinz addicted child that only has one Webkinz? Purchase of these little avatars enable entry into a very special social community that empowers the owner to do all sorts of things on line. And just to keep the purchases strong there they “expire” after one year, while others are forced into “retirement,” and there are continual introductions to new Webkinz [see video below]. Open your wallets!

    Club Penquin is another on line social community that markets to young children leading to Barbie online and the Meez social community. The ability to make the animated Meez gifs in such a variety of backgrounds and movements had led kids to string them together to make some creative videos [see video posted below]. Search for Meez on You Tube. Oh yes I almost forgot all the Meez clothes are available for purchase at Sears. Sweet marketing concept.

    The Club Penquin avatars have also inspired some creative YouTube videos

    The crème de la crème of this trend for the youth market is the Sims and H&M “Where Fashion Design and the Virtual World Meet,” branding and promotion that created the Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway product. The on line Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway community votes to select the best design that will be produced for the H&M product line – what a creative and unique personalization and social community concept. This is an excellent virtual preparation for an emerging fashion design student.

    Where is this social marketing trend moving after youngsters, tweens and teens? Try the MVM BrandMe personalized model trend that is rapidly expanding into fashion products. MVM  develops customized user centric applications specifically for retailers that empower the user to personalize their shopping experience and share it with a social community or “push” it to a blog or e-mail.  Viral marketing strategies for retailers are a reality with the MVM Dressing Room and Home Products Outfitting Solutions. Retailers can track buyer’s preferences and offer promotional items based on those preferences. [note: search MVM and/or BrandMe for previous blog posts]

    Duel virtual and real world marketing is already taking place. Examples are House of Nyla and the Playboy line developed in partnership with Second Life fashion designers. Virtual World Product Life Management solutions for the apparel industry are currently under development as evidenced by the Black Dress Technology Subsidiary that represents collaboration between the Fashion Research Institute and IBM. A gargantuan virtual world is currently under development in the form of the Cyber Recreation District in Beijing China that has the potential to impact the world economy if successful. The need to download a virtual world application in order to access it may soon be a thing of the past with multiple developers [MetaPlace and SocioTown] to name a few] racing to release the most successful 3D virtual world that is easily accessible via the “flat Web browser” we currently use.

    How can education prepare students for the 3D and virtual transformation that we are currently undergoing? Introduce them incrementally to a virtual experience like Second Life. Getting acclimated to a virtual 3D experience will provide them with the ability to think and conceptualize in 3D. Whatever the application they will be required to work on in the real world will be – they will already be halfway there because they have experienced and achieved a level of comfort by completing simulated fashion related projects in a virtual world. Projects like developing fashion collections, exhibits, brand logos, fashion show production, store layout and design, 2.0 Web applications, simultaneous real world/virtual world marketing and promotion.

    If fashion education does not initiate the type of quick response solution (that students are taught with regards to the real world) to the unprecedented transformational technology shift that is taking place over to 3D, they run the serious risk of becoming redundant and obsolete and could actually be the driving force for industry to develop private training institutes.

    Avatars are permeated throughout product development, marketing and retailing. Their use has multiple benefits for industry in the form of cost effectiveness and quick response, pre-marketing and MCP options. The use of multidimensional applications provide retailers with digital content to pre-market a product to a social community similar to the MCP Sims/H&M branding/marketing concept on a grand scale.

    Virtual worlds hold great promise for product development, just-in-time manufacturing and multidimensional retailing. How will industry, retailers and education respond? This is like a massive multi player game of musical chairs [or Survivor] to see who survives and prospers by responding to the users [that are driving the MCP social marketing trend] and by creating strategic linkages.

    continued on … Technology Day at FIT Part III

    Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

    © 2008 All Rights Reserved.

    Technology Day at FIT – Part I

    April 26, 2008 5 comments

    Steven Zucker and Beth Harris. Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

    Kudos to  Beth Harris, Assistant Professor, History of Art at FIT. She carefully sowed the seeds that started this entire Technology Day Conference at FIT yesterday . She did a wonderful job of presenting an overview of all of the transformative 2D, 3D and virtual technology changes currently taking place in the real world and the effect they will have on the educational world.

    Steven Zucker and Beth Harris are pictured above. Read Steven’s post on the conference here. Beth Harris started the conference off by introducing Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT to give the welcoming remarks.

    Here is a link to the Bio page for the conference speakers.

    The Keynote was The Second Life of Fashion Design: Meta universe as Prototype Platform W. James Au His book is coming out this month — The Making of Second Life and James keeps the blog, New World Notes.

    James began the presentation with an explanation of the basics of what a virtual world like Second Life is and how it works on a grid of servers. He spoke of the principles of SL notably: Impression as opposed to consumer. The goal standard in SL is creativity and commercial engagement. Be-bop reality – user created art and mirrored flourishing – the more stuff you do the more important you are in Second Life.

    James went on to explain to the group that in SL users make unlikely friendships and alliances based on creative affiliations. He noted that religion, memorials and non-profits are widely represented in SL.  In the area of SL fashion – they are now merging RL and SL brands represented by the Playboy brand that includes SL designs as noted in his article Smart Bunny: Playboy Sells Fashion Created and Co-branded by Second Life Designers.

    A novel and relatively new use of virtual reality is the Wickpedia concept for creation of 3D architecture in Second Life.  James mentioned the primary groups in Second Life were: social gamers, role players, fashionistias, capitalists and innovators.

    I was kind of disappointed that he did not include educators because from my point of view (as an educator of course) Second Life is expanding on an ever expanding large scale. There are literally hundreds of educational institutions in Second Life. NMC currently has 50 Sims in Second Life and is continually growing. NMC serves over 80 colleges alone in Second Life. Here is a link to NMC’s plans for 2008.

    Janine Hawkins aka: Iris Ophelia also presented to the Technology Day Group. She covers fashion for New World Notes and is the Editor of Second Style in SL. She has been a SL fashion journalist since 2006.

    Janine spoke about the fashions in SL and mentioned some of the top SL fashion designers as well as the promotional impact that SL fashion publications have by focusing attention on talented new SL fashion designers from all over the world. She mentioned that Japanese designers were very talented but had a language obstacle marking and promoting their designs in SL. The SL fashion publications spotlighted the Japanese designers and drastically reduced and/or eliminated the language obstacle once the SL fashion buying community was aware of their high quality designs. Janine also mentioned that some SL designers are finding success with marketing and promotional strategies for the virtual shopping community. Free items, social events, blogs, virtual community building are all tools of the marketing trade in SL. She spoke about why Sl can be a marketing tool RL businesses and how RL businesses can get it right. Most RL businesses don’t really understand the virtual platform and how to translate their brand values over.

    Some SL Designers that Janine spotlighted in her presentation:

    Dressing for Two: What Avatars and Their Humans Buy and Wear, by Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD, Managing Director of Marketing Truths.

    This presentation was from inside Second Life. Mary Ellen Gordon worked so hard on this presentation and the large projection screen did not seem to do justice to getting a clear view of the various models she had arranged especially for her presentation. On top of that there was a region shutdown 10 minutes into her presentation. She did manage to continue it a bit later in the session.   PowerPoint and/or video link to post Mary Ellen’s research of fashion preferences and buying habits in SL. One strong point I remember from the presentation was that in SL people tend to purchase the reverse of what they purchase in RL.

    Pasted below is a link to Mary Ellen Gordon’s Presentation PowerPoint that she  generously is sharing that includes brand new research done by Market Truths.

    dressing-for-two-_-what-avatars-and-their-humans-are-buying-and-wearing

    Read an interview with Mary Ellen here.

    continued on…  Technology Day at FIT Part II

    © 2008 All Rights Reserved.

    Virtual Product Presentation [VPP]

    March 26, 2008 4 comments
    VPP
    VPP Home page

    Virtual Product Presentation [VPP] is using the multi dimensional OptiTex system to create customized industrial patterns and market them directly to the public using the custom avatar imagery that was created in the product development process. [note: Second Life Fashion Designers – here’s your chance to make your fashion garments a reality in the real world] VPP is a service bureau specializing in the development of patterns and virtual sampling.This company illustrates a perfect example of what is possible for a company using the OptiTex multi dimensional product development application.

    All virtual samples are “stitched” and draped in 3D from real 2D patterns. This animation is actually part of the pattern development process and can also be used for marketing and promotion of the product as is being done for promotion of industrial pattern development by VPP.
    Pattern development steps:

    Step One:  you send them a sketch or a painting of the fashion item you would like developed along with body measurements.

    Step Two: from this information they will create a 3D virtual mannequin form.

    Step Three: they will make a 2D flat pattern and show you the pattern in 3D on your customized virtual mannequin form.

    Step Four and Five: They will send you the illustration of how your 2D pattern drapes on to your customized 3D virtual mannequin form.

    Step Six: When you receive the customized 3D virtual mannequin form with your garment – you give your comments and sketch any modifications and adjustments you would like to have completed on the pattern and return the form.

    Step Seven  & Step Eight : VPP makes adjustments to the 2D flat pattern and sends you the 3D virtual mannequin form with the modified garment on it for your final approval.

    Step Nine: Completed pattern is sent to you.

    Garments are not the only product that can be created with the OptiTex multi dimensional product development application. Look at these images of handbags created at VPP…

    VPP bags

    Are they totally amazing? Think about the premarketing possibilities by having the product images available instantly on a 360 degree rotation.

    Speaking about having product images available instantly on a 360 degree rotation – this is a very cost cutting and quick response aspect of having an integrated multi dimensional product development application like OptiTex. The product images can be used to pre-market the product or can easily be used for customized try-on’s if the product is being retailed online via a personalized fashion avatar.

    Previous post: It’s a Reality: OptiTex Enables Total Integration 2D>3D>2D Fashion Product Development

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