Shopping can be stressful and complicated even in Second Life®. To grasp the trends in fashion, one has to journey across a galaxy of sims to visit hundreds of designers and stores. One way to improve on this endless journey was the concept of an event. For an event, a bunch of designers get together at one location and customers can come there to shop. There are many events in SL and one fairly new entrant into the field has many clever and interesting innovations.
Adonis Lubomir started Swank Events. He explains, “It’s one room, even if it’s a very large room. We started in a small room, not even a year ago, with 17 booths and now over 100. All the fashion and beauty booths are along the walls so it’s easy to cam or just take one simple walk around the room. Home & garden are in the center and recessed so it’s not obstructing the view of the booths. It’s just an overall nice shopping experience. I wanted to keep the event light in color, bright but with that still have lots of style and detail. With over 100 designers in one place it sure beats having to TP, rezz, search, etc. to over 100 locations.”
The event opens every month on the 7th until the end of the month. Designers place an exclusive collection at the Swank event for the month at a discount price and then they can move it to their regular store at the regular price.
Each month, before the monthly event opens, Lubomir holds a press meeting with his network of bloggers. He has over 70 bloggers in this network. Each monthly press meeting features one designer who is featured in the upcoming event.
Why hold a press meeting? Lubomir said, “Swank is not and never will be just another sales event in SL. I think of how to make things better for designers and customers. One of the most important images of an event and the designer’s line is how your bloggers write about you. The image. The way you are represented as an event and designer and making sure you are represented well, making sure your blogs reflect how that designer wants to be represented and the best way to do that is for our bloggers to ask designers questions.” Hence, the monthly press meeting
Lubomir does a monthly fashion show through AIM Productions. The show follows after the press meeting and features exclusive designs from several designers each month. He says, “I want my designers to know they are special. It’s hard work creating exclusives each round and they are usually in more than one event. I think exclusive items deserve better attention, so every round we have a sneak peek show were all the exclusives are featured in a runway and customers can come see what they want before the event opens.” AIM Productions is run and owned by BonieFacio, Ponchituti Boucher and Kat Carter (Kathrin Dassin).
The monthly runway show is paid for by Lubomir and free to the designers. He also sponsors shows at fashion weeks and works to get designers into fashion magazines. He did two shows at Penumbra Fashion Week for his designers, fashion spreads in Eclipse Magazine, blogs in E N V Y Magazine and has been featured in Angels Kristan’s VIRTUAL DIVA magazine.
He said, “We are far more than just another sales event in SL for customers to shop or designers just to fill a booth. We don’t have customers by the thousands in our group like older more established events but I can say this, once the designers come in they love us and once our customers join us they never leave.”
Lubomir sees Swank as a way to change how fashion is marketed in SL. He said, “I control the quality of designs that I allow in Swank and I get to make everyone happy to the best of my abilities. Our customers have challenges [contests] where they win real Lindens, so they love to stay in our group. Every round I share a percentage of what the event makes and give it back to the customers as prizes.”
As a former model himself, Lubomir wants to help new models to get jobs and exposure. So, he has his own certified models on staff. The models rotate garments and pose at the booths. Each model takes a picture of themselves by the booth and Lubomir includes that in the weekly report that goes to the designer. He said, “So designers see who modeled for them and that model’s styling abilities. The models get paid in items; clothes, beauty items, gift cards, etc. And any time I can help get these models into real paying model jobs I try to place them.”
Lubomir has two goals for the future. First to attract higher quality mesh designs and second to build the customer base. He said he would like to have one side ladies’ and the other side men’s, but there were too few men’s designers at the current time.
I wish to thank Mika Palmyra who gave me an extensive tour of the Swank Events sim and the AIM Productions sim. Her expert tour helped me to understand the unique experience that is a Swank Event.
Written by Deepthinker Oh. Top banner photo and featured image by Mika Palmyra. The featured image shows a LUXE Paris outfit (Jet Set 2) at the Swank Events July show.
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