About 3 months ago I spotted an empty sim called Armani Via Manzoni. Exited by the idea of a famous RL designer making the transition to SL I contacted the company who was helping Armani to get introduced to the grid, but I did not get any confirmation, or any other news for that matter.
So after a while I got bored with it. I could have thrown it on the blog back then. after all, the sim was there, and the secretive ways around it made me pretty confident it was indeed Armani SpA that was involved it this. So after another friendly request and another non answer, I contacted the RL Armani press office. At least a friendly lady there confirmed me that indeed Armani was building the SL version of their flagship store in Via Manzoni, Milano and that within a few weeks the work should be ready. She also kindly requested NOT to write about it at that very time, but to give the builders and the content creators the time they needed to deliver something state of the art.
When I received an invitation that the sim was opened I dropped all the prims I had rezzed and rushed over to state of the art Armani, only to find myself desillusioned, annoyed even. Oh the architecture is nice, but it sure is not a great builder that has been at work there. Yeah they do have toilets. How silly can you be… no av ever needs to go to the restroom unless… oh well.. I don’t even want to go there. The shop is full with a bit awkwardly sculpted clothes, which are not for sale and did I mention, as empty as it was, the place was laggy as hell?
Finally in a hidden corner of the huge shop I found like 15 vendors and a couple of other avatars standing in front of it. I put myself next to them … oh my…. what were they thinking…. a suit, a dress, a couple of t-shits, a bag , a pair of shoes and some shades….. no details or shading on the textures, basic snapshots for ads hmm.. to put it short… what a desillusion.
After a while Mr Armani himself made an appearance and I asked him about the merchandise and if he himself had be involved in the process. As if he felt what direction I was heading he stated that, unfortunately the limits of content creating are set by the limits of technology. Well.. I think that was actually quite flattering. My honest opinion is, and that is what I told mr Armani as well, that in this case the limits of content creating were set by the limits of the creator, because the limits of the software were not met by a long shot.
Obviously, although I doubt the real mr Armani would have been this rude and unable to deal with the press, the typist handling mr Armani’s avatar did not really know how to deal with criticism and poofed, mumbling something that unfotunately he thought it was time to leave and poofed.
So far so good for an introduction of one of the world’s best designers in SL. one of the other girls present mentioned another Americam Apparel situation and I think it is true, Armani doe snot take SL seriously, does not involve the community and is likely to fail in the metaverse. Yet another example of how Second Life requires new and innovative marketing techniques and how even SL companies that pretend to help RL companies with their coming to SL do under estimate that.