American Apparel, who in only 8 years has become the third-largest t-shirt maker in North America, has opened up a store in the game.
Some may call this advergaming, but I certainly disagree. To me, there is no difference in opening up an American Apparel store on Fifth Avenue than there is in opening up one in Second Life, where commerce abounds and fashion is one of the key things that allows for Second Life characters to achieve their own style and substance.
…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.
How awesome! Isn’t this a bit of consumer generated media? Brand evangelism? E-commerce? Deep branding? In the wake of Wells Fargo’s Stage Coach Island, I can see how certain brands are getting it…while others are still sponsoring My Space pages thinking they are ahead of the curve.