Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Armani comes to SL, fashion designers shouldn't fear

I read this morning, courtesy of Reuters, that Armani has opened a store in Second Life.

Under normal circumstances, I would say that means trouble for whichever designers the fashion maestro is going to be going up against. This is Giorgio Armani, after all.

But, this is Second Life, not the real world, and one of the points I make in the fashion chapter of my book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life, is that even if big-time designers decide to set up shop in the virtual world, they have no built-in advantage just because of who they are.

In fact, they are at somewhat of a disadvantage, I would say. That's because they come in not knowing much about SL or its community, they haven't developed a loyal customer base and more importantly, they're going up against a well-established collection of SL designers who have been around the block and who have got tons of customers who live and die by when they come out with new products.

The point is, if you're getting started in the SL fashion business--or any segment of the business, for that matter--you don't need to concern yourself with the arrival of big-name real-world competitors. You just have to stick to your guns, make sure you do everything you can to market yourself and deliver great products and, if you do, you'll be fine.

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