Raz Schionning, American Apparel's director of Web services, tells the WSJ that they have sold 4,000 virtual items since opening their Second Life store in late June 2006. But, that is actually subtext to the fact that WSJ Marketplace (free) is featuring Second Life’s fashion scene in the first place. Pretty legitimizing.
The story’s essence however, is the growing competitive fashion scene in Second Life – and the importance of Second Life media to driving sales. Designers gain attention using advertising, websites and blogs – and Second Life style magazines are a key PR tool, as well. The story cites the Second Man and Fashionista blogs which are now part of Second Style magazine as key media. (If you haven’t yet checked out Second Style – wow seriously beautiful – you forget you are looking at virtual fashion.) The Second Life newspapers such as The Herald and the Metaverse Messenger also frequently feature style-related stories, as does the excellent SLATENight Magazine.
Of course “word-of-wearing” is also just as important in-world as in RL.
But what should perk up the ears/eyes of anyone paying attention is the age of the “consumers” quoted in the story, the amount per month in real dollars they spend per month on virtual fashion and the buying motivations that peak through.
Be sure to take a browse through the WSJ’s fashion slide show that accompanies the story.
Photo credit: Dow Jones & Company Wall Street Journal Online