Decentraland Introduces a Wearables Editor: Creating and Selling Avatar Fashion on the Blockchain

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If Second Life has taught us nothing else during the 18 years of its existence, it is this: that people are willing to invest considerable amounts of time and money on avatar customization. In some worlds like VRChat, the customization applies to the entire avatar; in others, like Sinespace, Second Life and Sansar, you can have dressable, human(oid) avatars, where you can mix and match clothing you purchase from content creators to make your own signature look. (In fact, at one time I had aspirations to teach myself Marvelous Designer and become an avatar fashion designer in Sansar…you can read through all the blogposts of that particular saga here.)

The blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland has followed the latter path of Sansar and Second Life (i.e. dressable human avatars), and early this month, they have taken another step on that journey by releasing the Decentraland Wearables Editor. Here’s a quick promotional video:

Now, unlike Sansar and Second Life, creating and selling avatar clothing is different in a blockchain-based virtual world like Decentraland. Every single copy of every single article of clothing has to be minted as a unique NFT (non-fungible token). In other words, the designer decides ahead of time how many copies he or she wants to sell. All clothing is limited edition!

The Decentraland Wearables Editor allows you to name items, model wearables on an avatar, assign categories and item rarity, and set a price for each item in your collections. After that, according to the official blogpost:

Once you’re happy with the details, you can publish your item or collection which then goes to the Curation Committee for approval.

The Curation Committee was voted in place by the DAO, and exists to prevent buggy or offensive wearables from appearing in Decentraland.

Read more about the committee and the approvals process in the documentation.

While there is no gas cost for minting wearables on Polygon, there are fees for publishing wearable items in the Editor. These fees are intended to discourage and reduce wearable “spam”, which can have a negative impact on the performance of the Decentraland Platform.

Again, this is another key difference between Second Life and Decentraland: everything you create for the latter has to go through an approvals process. Since this is a new process, it is impossible to say how much of a potential bottleneck this could create. (By the way, the Decentraland DAO is an autonomous body which owns the most important smart contracts and assets that make up Decentraland—the LAND Contract, the Estates Contract, Wearables, Content Servers and the Marketplace—and subsidizes various operations and initiatives throughout Decentraland.)

So, as you can see, blockchain throws an interesting curveball at the world of avatar fashion design! If all this intrigues you, you can learn more from the Decentraland documentation on wearables. You can follow Decentraland via Twitter and Reddit, or via their blogYou can also join their official Discord server.

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!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: NEWCLOVER

If you’re looking for the latest in hipster clothing for your trendy male avatar, have I got a deal for you! The back half of the NEWCLOVER store is all marked down to zero! That’s right, everything is free!

Newclover 1 18 Oct 2018.png

Now, the sign says the sale is only until Oct. 17th, but I was still able to pick everything up for free today, so you might want to hurry down, just in case it all ends soon. If you join the NEWCLOVER group for free (there’s a sign at the entrance), you can also pick up a nice free group gift, packed full of men’s clothing.

Here’s one hipster look I was able to put together. Everything except the sneakers is from NEWCLOVER:

Newclover 2 18 Oct 2018.png

This avatar is wearing:

Bento mesh head: Keiji head by Akeruka (no longer available for free). If you haven’t yet joined the Akrueka group (called [AK] Heads News & Support) for L$150, you should really consider it. If you had joined the Akeruka mesh heads group a year and a half ago, you would have picked up no less than six fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (three female and three male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to only L$25 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal!

Bento mesh body: The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (as I did here).

Hat: Fedora hat in black from NEWCLOVER

Coat and sweater: Neo coat in black check from NEWCLOVER

Pants: Neo slacks in black from NEWCLOVER

Sneakers: I’m pretty sure I picked this pair up from the men’s section at the excellent freebie store on the Ajuda SL Brasil sim; I’m not sure if they are still available, though.

Total cost of this avatar: L$150 (the group join fee for Akeruka)

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Elf Angel Makeover for FREE!

OK, here’s another one of my fifteen-minute avatar makeovers. I started off with one of my old alts, named Peace Dove, who is essentially the avatar embodiment of peace. Here’s the “before” shot, taken back in 2012:

Peace Dove 27 Sept 2018

And here are the “after” shots, all taken in the gorgeous fantasy sim called Lost Unicorn. Everything I am wearing I picked up for FREE!

Peace Dove 9 Oct 2018

Peace Dove 4 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 2 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 5 9 Oct 2018

Here are all the details on what I am wearing and where/when I got it:

Bento mesh head with animated elf ears and mesh eyes: Jessy 3 head by Safybelle, who you can get for free by earning 30,000 points on her in-store roulette wheel game or piggie sploder (scroll down to the very end of this blogpost to get more information). Seriously, this beautiful head is one of best-kept freebie secrets in Second Life!

Bento mesh body and hands AO: the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body from the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head, only if you got the freebie Jenny body from last year’s Women Only Hunt; however, you cannot remove the head on the version you can pick up now at the London City Freebie Megastore!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. Perfect for an angel wearing a ballgown!

Bento animated wings: angel wings by Blueberry (I picked these up for free using the discount vendor and the generous L$500 gift card offered by Blueberry at the Second Life 15th Anniversary Shopping Event)

Gown: Nadia ballgown in white from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes (not shown): White flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar and bracelet by Beloved Jewelry (two free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones, so you can match any outfit!

Hair (the only thing I kept from the original avatar): Say 2 hair in white by elikatira (this was a freebie I picked up years ago, way back in the pre-mesh hair days, and I’m not sure it’s still available; I checked and it’s not on the SL Marketplace)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!