Shopping for Fashion in Virtual Worlds: Buying the Clothes Off the Avatar’s Back

Fashion is a key part of avatar customization in virtual worlds. Second Life has a huge clothing market, and many people make an actual living designing and selling virtual fashion. Newer virtual worlds with humanoid avatars, such as Sansar and Sinespace, have growing avatar fashion marketplaces, too. In fact, many creators who had their start in Second Life are moving their businesses to these newer platforms (for example, BlakOpal Designs has set up a store in Sinespace).

I have a confession to make. I buy a lot of clothes in Second Life when I see something I like that another avatar nearby is wearing, like this gorgeous Roxy dress with the chain detail by United Colors:

Roxy dress 9 Aug 2018.png

Whenever I am in a busy Second Life sim full of fashionably dressed avatars, like Frank’s Place, I almost always do a right click/inspect to see what other avatars are wearing. It’s quite easy to do, and I find out about stores I had never heard of before that way.

The following instructions are for the Firestorm viewer, but they should work in any SL viewer. Just hover your mouse over a mesh article of clothing that another avatar is wearing, click the right mouse button, then select More from the circle menu that pops up, then select Inspect. You will get a display that gives you the name of the object, and even tells you who the creator is, so you can check their profile for a store location in their profile bio or their profile Picks:

Right Click Inspect 9 Aug 2018.png

In fact, there is a free HUD available on the SL Marketplace, called What Is She Wearing?. that allows you to scan nearby avatars, and then select one to get a complete list of all their attachments! It’s very handy, as you can see at a glance their entire outfit, including shoes, hair, and what make of mesh avatar body and head they are wearing:

What is She Wearing 9 Aug 2018.png

Sinespace has taken this concept one step further. Click on another avatar in Sinespace and you pull up a complete list of what that avatar is wearing, including skin and eyes. You can then preview the item on your own avatar, or buy the item directly from that listing!

Sinespace 8 Aug 2018.png

This is a very handy feature to have in any virtual world, and I hope that Sansar and other platforms take note of it and implement some form of it for us fashionistas!

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Second Life: The E2V Vendor System Is Shutting Down—And How That Affects You

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Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

Once again, Strawberry Singh is right on top of Second Life events with a very timely blogpost on a matter of concern to all Second Life users, especially the fashionistas! She is to be commended for providing such a crucial service to the SL community.

The issue? E2V, one of the popular vendor systems used in many in-world stores in Second Life, has announced that they are retiring their product at the end of May. (I first heard the news this morning from Sansar/Second Life creator Debi Baskerville.) You might think that this will not affect you, but if you have bought products from any of the following well-known Second Life brands/stores, you are affected:

  • Maitreya
  • Belleza
  • Slink
  • Catwa
  • 7 Deadly S{k}ins
  • The Skinnery
  • Glam Affair
  • Tableau Vivant
  • Cynful
  • Just BECAUSE
  • Dead Dollz
  • Tres Blah
  • ISON
  • Kaithleen’s
  • EMPIRE
  • Exile
  • Apple May Designs
  • Ingenue
  • etc., etc…

What to do? First, don’t panic; vendors have several weeks to make an orderly switchover to a new in-world vendor system. Strawberry has the following excellent advice for consumers:

  • Check this Pinterest Page from Delmar Quintessa – Delmar is creating a list of content creators using E2V, so you will know if you’ve shopped from them.
  • Self-Hosted E2V Creators – Ask the creators if they are self-hosted with E2V and if they will be staying with the system even after May 31st. They do have an option to do that if they choose to.
  • Check Credit – Go to those stores and check if you have any leftover credit before May 31st. You might want to then also use that credit or contact the creator and ask if they are planning to transfer the credit to any new vendor system.
  • Redeem Gift Cards – If you have any left over gift cards in your inventory from any of these stores and you haven’t redeemed them yet, make sure to do so before May 31st.
  • Get Redeliveries – Redeliver anything that you may need.

The part about getting redeliveries is important, especially if you have a mesh head from Catwa or a mesh body from one of the “Big Three”: Maitreya, Belleza or Slink.

UPDATE April 12th: Here is a Google Drive spreadsheet with a detailed list of all the Second Life stores affected by the pending E2V shutdown. This looks to me to be a longer list than the Pinterest link above, and they are including status updates from the stores themselves. Among the other SL brands affected (not already mentioned above) are:

  • Apple Fall
  • Rebel Hope
  • Runaway Hair
  • JIAN
  • Elikatira
  • Clawtooth
  • Belle Epoque
  • Sync’d Motion Capture

Also, since so many of you have Catwa brand Bento mesh heads, there is news that Catwa has a self-hosted E2V server and will not be impacted by this change. They say:

Regarding the sad news about E2V vending system that they will be retiring. Maybe some of you are wondering what will happen to his CATWA redelivery history and credits balance. We have good news. Since CATWA has a Self-hosted system. It will not be effected. Our redelivery and credits system will keep going. If there will be any other changes I will let you know.

However, since E2V is ending all support for the product after the end of May, eventually they, too, will have figure out a way to move all their customers to another vendor system.