Popular Second Life architect and content-creator Aimee Weber of in-world brand *PREEN* sends news that she’s just designed and built an in-world showroom for real-world fashion brand American Apparel. The store, located on a private island in Second Life, is set to open as soon as this weekend. The news has SL residents considering what it means that the first real-world fashion brand has made an entrance to Second Life. Fashion is one of the virtual world’s biggest industries, and the fashion business in SL is extremely competitive. So it’s not a surprise that the first real-world retail brand to set up shop in SL is a fashion retailer.
The fashions themselves are patterned after American Apparel’s real-world clothes, and were designed by several designers, including Aimee, though she wouldn’t say who else was involved. The clothing will be priced “high-priced reasonable” compared to other SL fashions, Aimee says. No comment either on where the revenue from clothing sales will go — which leads me to believe it will go to the designers as part of their compensation. Notably for Aimee, who herself has become a wildly popular brand in Second Life, the project is not one from a virtual world services company like Millions of Us, whom Aimee has worked with before, but was generated when an American Apparel marketing rep approached her about establishing a presence in SL.
In many ways, American Apparel is the perfect fashion retailer for Second Life. Though the company’s bright colors and somewhat revealing styles can’t compete with the fantstic creations and truly skimpy stuff that SL residents often favor, the sexual adventures of American Apparel CEO Dov Charney are very much in keeping with Second Life’s culture — where almost one-third of commercial activity on the Grid is devoted to sexual pursuits, according to some of Linden Lab‘s own estimates.
The build itself looks handsome in early screenshots. According to Aimee, its boxlike structure is based on the American Apparel store in Tokyo, by the company’s request. One unusual feature of the site is that the lighting is scripted to change when virtual darkness falls across the land (which happens every six hours or so in SL, if I remember correctly).