Quick Post: Second Life’s Fashion Economy


Your Emergence-Media Author Window-Shopping at Designs by Adri

I just got around to this but WSJ’s Andrew LaVallee did a write-up on the fashion industry on Second Life: “Now, Virtual Fashion” (09/22/06 Registration Required).

Key Data/Points on Second Life and its Fashion Industry

Some choice numbers excerpted from the Second Life article:

  • Demographics of Second Life Players:
    “median age 32 and 57% male, with 40% living outside the U.S.”
  • On Fashion Industry Sales:
    “In August, the 20 best-selling Second Life fashion designers generated a combined $140,466 in sales, Linden says.”
  • On the American Apparel store in Second Life:
    “the store has sold some 4,000 items, catering to players who want their avatars to dress as they do.”
  • Example of a Second Life Clothing:
    “One target customer is Lizbeth Moore, a 45-year-old office manager in Santa Barbara, Calif., who got hooked on Second Life while recovering from knee surgery (“It was the painkillers,” she jokes). She now has more than 15,000 items in her virtual closet and doesn’t mind shelling out as much as 1,000 Linden dollars (about $3.50) for an elegant gown. Ms. Moore says she spends about $15 to $20 a month on Second Life clothes, though she spent about $75 a month when she first became a resident.”
  • The Second Life’s “Fashion Industry Ecosystem” mirrors the real world:
    Antics and spats between designers and customers (accusations of stealing designs, customers dumping clothes in the front of stores in protest) to blogs dedicated to Second Life fashions.
  • Associated Cost of Fashion Business:
    “Uploading a dress design from a computer to the Second Life world costs about four cents, though once it’s there it can be duplicated and sold over and over again. Many designers also “rent” online storefronts or stalls in shopping malls, which cost about $5 a month.”

Conclusion
I’ve asked before outloud on how viable it is to be present on Second Life. Truth be told, I’m still asking that question – but this article goes a long way to not only answering it but also shows in some areas (at least in clothing) it makes sense. I’m still looking to do an interview with some Second Life marketers and business owners, will keep you posted…


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3 responses to “Quick Post: Second Life’s Fashion Economy”

  1. Tina Anderson Avatar

    Has there been any more information on Second Life from interviews? I am anxious to hear if it is actually good for making real money or not.

  2. Daniel R Avatar
    Daniel R

    SecondLife is a very niche market. Lots of major brands have gone into SecondLife and met with failure:

    http://gawker.com/354785/okay-which-second-life-employee-is-sleeping-with-the-entire-nyt-tech-section

    From SLers I’ve talked to and via research, there seems to be two areas where there is any revenue happening:
    1. Selling of fashion items on Second Life
    2. Buying and selling of land on SecondLife

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