The Fabricant: A Brief Introduction to a Digital Fashion House for the Metaverse

The Fabricant describes itself as “a digital fashion house leading the fashion industry towards a new sector of digital-only clothing”. The team of artists, technologists, and executives certainly aspire to some very lofty-sounding goals:

ALWAYS DIGITAL, NEVER PHYSICAL. 

We waste nothing but data and exploit nothing but our imagination. Operating at the intersection of fashion and technology fabricating digital couture and fashion experiences.

CREATIVE EXECUTION: We develop end-to-end 3D narratives for customers and consumers, from concept to implementation.

PHYGITAL EXPERIENCES: We merge physical and digital capabilities to create interactive brand experiences.

DIGITAL COUTURE: We create digital-only fashion that can be used and traded in virtual realities.

An article on the blog Portion includes an interview with Michaela Larosse, the Head of Content at The Fabricant:

The Fabricant is the world’s first digital-only fashion house. Its’ community of creators combines 3-D fashion design, cutting-edge visual effects animation, and technology to build the future of fashion. Their bespoke designs garments only exist digitally and collectors’ avatars can “wear” the items on social media platforms, in gaming environments, and in virtual worlds (“the metaverse”)….

Q: When you talk about your practice you sometimes refer to it as “thought couture.” Can you elaborate on what that term means for you and how it ties in with your practice?

A: The Fabricant has always believed that clothing does not have to be physical to exist, but it can be quite a challenging concept for people hearing it for the first time. We’re used to such an intimate relationship with garments because we have traditionally worn them against our skin, so the idea that this is no longer necessary requires a mindset shift in what fashion can be. We use the term ‘Thought Couture’ to describe our pieces to enable people to comprehend the concept of non-physicality. It’s couture that exists beyond the physical, just like a thought. We can collectively agree that thoughts exist even though they don’t take physical form, so it’s that idea translated to fashion.

Here is one of their first projects, described as “the world’s first digital-only dress”, and sold on the blockchain for $9,500. It was designed by The Fabricant, and “worn” by model Johanna Jaskowska in collaboration with Dapper Labs. Here’s the 8-second video:

The Fabricant has launched something called the Fabricant Studio. Michaela Larosse says:

The Fabricant Studio is an open invitation for anyone to become a digital fashion creator, without any software knowledge, and participate in co-creating their own digital fashion NFTs to be worn, collected and traded. Users get to customise garments to their own preferences using limited edition digital-only fabrics, trims and accessories. The master silhouettes are dropped into the environment by big brands and boutique digital creators, so they can be played with and customised before users mint their own entirely individual fashion NFTs.

All the garments can be traded in the Studio’s in-platform marketplace, launching 15th October [2021], and have multiple utilities in environment such as The Sandbox and Ready Player Me, so they can be worn on avatars in virtual spaces.

A Google search for the “Fabricant Studio” brought forth the following clever 404 page:

It turns out that the Fabricant Studio moved to a completely separate website, here.

My take on all this? In the same Portion interview, Michaela claims, “We didn’t end up in this industry [digital fashion], we created it.” Oh, really?

Well, there would be a lot of virtual fashion designers in Second Life, Sinespace, Sansar, and dozens of other social VR platforms and virtual worlds who would likely beg to differ with The Fabricant’s claim to be “the world’s first digital-only fashion house”. I have interviewed them, reported on many of their stories, and showcased their creations on this blog.

Digital fashion is not a new concept, people. What perhaps is new, is the creation of Instagram-like “filters” so that people can see digital garments on real-life people (and once again, I’m pretty sure that others have done this before The Fabricant). I am starting to get tired of being the only person in the room who keeps pointing out that what everybody keeps trumpeting as “new” in this season of NFT and metaverse hype, really isn’t. It’s becoming tiring, and frankly, I’m starting to get cranky.

If you wish to learn more about The Fabricant and its work, you can visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow them on social media: Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They also have a YouTube channel with a lot of CLO3D tutorials, as well as the ones I shared here with you.

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

Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Discord yet? You’re invited to be a part of the first ever cross-worlds discussion group, with over 500 people participating from every social VR platform and virtual world! We discuss, debate and argue about the ever-evolving metaverse and the companies building it. Come join us! More details here.


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 Decentraland Wearables Editor

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)