Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Freebie “F” Store

If you’re looking for some Japanese style, ranging from traditional to kawaii to edgy ultramodern, check out the Freebie “F” store. Most of the items on display are either freebies or dollarbies, but please check the price before you buy! Some items cost 20 or even 50 Linden dollars (although these are usually clearly marked). There is clothing available here for all genders of avatars, something for absolutely everyone!

I was quite taken with this oversize jacket with a Japanese kabuki mask print by Haori, which comes in eight different prints, all free:

In this picture, my drag queen avatar MissDrag is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body, Black Nailpolish, and Black Jeans Applier: Romeo by Altamura (Valentine’s Day group gift)
  • Jacket: Japanese print jacket by Haori (free from the Freebie “F” store)
  • Brooch: Gadot brooch by Heth Haute Couture (free group gift)
  • Mesh Feet and Shoes: black chained sandal by Ydea (free from The Free Dove at this exact SLURL; just the thing to hide those masculine feet!)
  • Hair: Lilak by FABIA (free group gift)
  • Drag Queen Makeup: Vanilla makeup set by Dotty’s Secret
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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Formalwear for Men and Women

One of my freebie-finding tips is to visit those Second Life dancehalls and ballrooms with a formal dress code; very often you will find free formal outfits for visitors. For example, here are the freebies at the Blue Moon Palace Ballroom (here’s the SLURL):

The woman’s gift from the Blue Moon Palace is this lovely deep red full ballgown, which comes with shoes. The gown is actually a bright red by default, and you can adjust the tint!

Other good places to pick up free women’s formalwear are the group gifts wall at AZUL, the Snowpaws freebie store at the London City sim, and the women’s formalwear section of the Free Dove. Visit these places and you’re all set for your next formal event!

The women’s formalwear section at The Free Dove

The men’s gift from the Blue Moon Palace is a formal black suit with shoes:

Other places to pick up a free men’s suit (with exact SLURLs) are Unihispana Crea, The Free Dove, and the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (here and here). And don’t forget that all the men’s clothing (including a wide variety of suits and formalwear) at Kauna is free! You don’t need to spend a penny to look dressy in Second Life!

UPDATED! Fashion Models in Second Life: A Fad That Has Come and Gone?

Images taken from the Beauty of Rehana blog…quick, somebody get this model a sandwich, she must be starving! She looks hangry 😉

At one time, there were literally hundreds of avatar fashion models in Second Life, who would be hired to perform in virtual fashion shows for designers, and even work as mannequins in stores. In fact, Vanity Fair worked for a couple of years as a mannequin/model for the avatar fashion designers Lemania Indigo and Lestat Reuven, back in ye olde pre-mesh clothing days. She got free outfits in exchange for standing in the store for a shift, showing off the latest fashions and occasionally answering a question from a shopper.

Nowadays, it would appear that there are more modeling schools and agencies in Second Life than actual modeling jobs! There’s even a blog to keep track of them all. Most modeling schools will charge you a pretty penny to teach you everything there is to know about modeling in SL, but I have found that if you just spend enough time in Second Life, you can learn most of what you need to know for free. Who needs a school, especially when there are so few jobs for the people who graduate? There are pageants you can enter, but these all seem to be run by the modeling schools, which seems to me to be a sort of vicious circle.

Is the era of SL modeling over? I would argue that it is. Most vendors are creating alts to use as mannequins and to illustrate their products in stores, rather than going through the fuss and bother to find and hire (and pay) fashion models. Bloggers tend to use their main or alt avatars to illustrate their blogs (like Rehana, above). And I can’t remember the last time I heard about a fashion show in Second Life, or a store that was actually hiring models. Most of the buzz now is about monthly events like Uber and FaMESHed. (By the way, the current anniversary round of Uber runs until August 22nd, so be sure to get down there and grab all the free gifts!)

What do you think? Is Second Life modeling dead? Feel free to sound off in the comments, or better yet, join the RyanSchultz.com Discord and take part in the discussions and debates taking place there!

UPDATE Aug. 7, 2019: Amanda Magick of the Second Life blog Magick Thoughts SL has also written about this topic. So has Monica Querrien, a Second Life model and blogger, on her blog Moni’s World. They both add a lot to the discussion, so I would encourage you to go over and read their blogposts.

Thanks for the tip, Amanda Magick!

UPDATED: How You Can Get a Grant of US$1,000-25,000 for Your Avatar Project

Since I asked Facebook to delete all my data and I quit the social network at the end of 2018, I have been spending much more time on Reddit and Twitter. On Twitter, I have ruthlessly cut the number of people I’m following, focusing in on people in virtual reality and virtual worlds.

Twitter is where I found this Forbes article, which reported:

Virtual Beings Grants announced at Virtual Beings summit.

The grants range from $1,000 – $25,000 and are obtainable by any group building a virtual being. Virtual beings include digital humans, virtual influencers, virtual assistants, creative AIs, avatars, and tools for virtual beings. There are four grant categories: games, enterprise, social, and education. Applications are open through September 17th and winners will be announced October 15th.

If you are interested and want to find out more, you can visit the grants information page. This initiative is spearheaded by the first-ever Virtual Beings Summit, a recent conference held in San Francisco meant to encourage virtual beings projects. They say:

Virtual Beings Is A New Space. To Believe Today That A Virtual Being Might Be At The Heart Of Every Part Of Our Lives Is A Big, Crazy Leap Of Faith. We Invite Those Crazy Enough To Believe To Sign Up Here!

Hmmm, I wonder if I should apply for a grant to support my work informing Second Life users about how to style their avatar for as few Linden dollars as possible? *sigh* Probably not.

By the way, here’s my latest Second Life avatar styling accomplishment:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Leila Bento mesh head by Altamura (free group gift from last Christmas)

Mesh Body: Lara Bento mesh body by Maitreya

Skin Applier: Diana by Clef de Peau (free group gift from last Christmas)

Kimono and Shoes: Tsuru women’s kimono outfit by Secrets of Gaia (free hunt gift in the current Medieval Fantasy Hunt XIX)

Choker: Daphne choker from Beloved Jewelry (free; a hunt gift from last year)

Hair: Haruka hair by aa*Hair (free gift from the 2018 Hair Fair)

Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. To show off the sleeves on this wonderful kimono, I added the Shoulder Overrider by Ethik Nacon, which you can use to adjust the shoulder position of any pose or AO.

TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR: L$3,198 (L$2,075 for the Maitreya Lara body, L$299 for the Shoulder Overrider, L$50 to join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group, and L$99 for the Altamura Omega System Kit available at this exact SLURL.)


UPDATE July 29th: I just discovered this VentureBeat article reporting on the various presentations at the Virtual Beings Summit.