The online metaverse and social networking site IMVU grew 44 percent during the pandemic; it now attracts 7 million active users a month, most of them women or girls who identify and range in age from 18 to 24. If you’re not one of the millions, here’s the introduction: At IMVU, make users have personal avatars and wear them. the clothes designed by fellow users – makers, in the language of the site – were purchased paid for with real money. The point of IMVU is to connect with close friends and to create new ones, but shopping is no small part of attracting the site. IMVU’s virtual store has 50 million items created by more than 200,000 creators. Fourteen billion credits, or $ 14 million, exchange hands in more than 27 million transactions each month. “I shop so I am,” as Barbara Kruger puts it in her famous 1990 artwork, with a new resonance in this digital world.
“Fashion is central to why people create avatars and connect with others at IMVU,” said Lindsay Anne Aamodt, the site’s senior director of marketing. “Part of that is because dressing up as an avatar in a digital space gives people access to whatever they want to see, and it’s hard to do that in the real world.” On the night of the 2019 Met Gala, for example, there were virtual campy red-carpet versions of celebrities watching IMVU before the cameras stopped flashing. “Whenever there’s something important in pop culture or there’s a fashion trend, it’s immediately on IMVU,” Aamodt testified. Users put on their own fashion shows, created virtual modeling agencies, and hosted award ceremonies. When the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic began bringing musicians to digital platforms like IMVU, where they could make videos without real-world productions, Aamodt had a brain.
Today, she leads the first of IMVU’s best virtual fashion show combining real -world labels Hill Road, Gipsy Sport, Mowalola, Freak City, Bruce Glen, My Mum Made It, and Mimi Wade with expert creators who know their approach to the 3D meshing and texturing process that brings clothes and accessories to IMVU. The show will stream on May 27, after which IMVU users will be able to purchase and wear their avatars to look like the designer they saw on the virtual runway.
The seen-now, part of buying now makes it different from Passing Animals showed the fashion show in May last year, when shutdown orders made it impossible to live events. As well as the level of 3D avatars in IMVU. “It goes beyond putting a logo on a digital T-shirt or‘ pixel pants, ’” Aamodt said. “I really want to see two things happen: I want to see people looking at fashion with a different lens-not just putting a dress on their avatar, but looking at Collina’s offer. Strada or Mowalola and more creativity about this expression.And I also want real world brands to expect that the metaverse is a place of audiences, where there is a real opportunity for brand integration, for to expand the brand, and for brand expression. “He continues:” It’s one thing to see an ad all the time. It’s one thing to do on an Instagram Live. But it’s another thing to access one brand before you invest in it in the real world, and that kind of accessibility, will only improve the reach of brands.
IMVU line designers don’t have to be technology masters, but they all break the rule in one way or another. As a promoter for the sequel, Collina Strada’s Hillary Taymour is in the game to try her hand at virtual costumes. “There’s a way to create a more educational model or meaningful model, than just a product model,” Taymour said. hip when, with help from Gucci, he made a video game for pre-fall ’21 in which he fought the mission of climate change. At IMVU, Taymour’s avatars will wear virtual versions of the clothes he sells at IRL, as well as a more unusual take. “I’m not that connected to digital media – in my downtime, I like to lie on the rock in a stream – but I think it’s a way to get things done,” he said. “I’m a small mark, I don’t have a team that can do everything I want to do.” Nigerian-born Londoner Mowalola Ogunlesi, who runs an eponymous line and worked with Kanye West on his new venture Yeezy Gap, stressed the importance of IMVU’s accessibility. “I like the idea of doing something digital because I haven’t done it before,” he said. “It’s the idea that it can be anything, and that people have it right away, at all, rather than waiting for production, for stores.”
Gypsy Sport’s Rio Gipibe is concerned with real -world representation and the virtual one. His latest runway at the IRL is a celebration of his Chicano heritage; at IMVU, his avatars will be modeled by his muses and other people he works with, with only alien-ish blue and green skin and other mundane looks. “It starts in New York City, and they go to the Gypsy universe, which is a metaphysical world where all bodies are valid and fashion is almost unnecessary, because we want to be naked, but it’s a cool way to express yourself, ”he said.“ I was inspired by the idea of us introducing Gypsy Sport to people, which is why we repeat the looks of the past but give them a lot more life Met Gala, “he added.” Maybe one of the pieces could be shown at the Met one day. “