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GIA Style Scene // Zanzo

Posted in Fashion Interview, MV-SL-Fashion @ 10:56 am on September 14th, 2009 by admin | 28 views

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Here is a new piece of GIA Style Scene. This regular column presents interviews and fashion identities of SL’s established and upcoming fashion designers. They all make our shopping excursions fun and addictive and we all want to know what they have in mind! The following lines are all about Zanzo and its multiple faces. Unfortunately Drusus was too busy to take part in this interview but you shouldn’t miss Theodore evoking his personality, the raise of Zanzo and his vision of SL’s fashion. Zanzo is not your typical store and will satisfy those of you who are young at heart!

“Many categorize the non-mature male avatars as kids in SL [but] there is also a very large community of young adults who just don’t want to be stubbly and wrinkled yet” – Theodore DuCasse

Hello Theodore, how are you ? Can you introduce yourself to our blog readers ?
Hi there! I’m Theodore DuCasse, co-owner of Zanzo with my partner Drusus DuCasse.

Why did you name your brand “Zanzo” ?
We’re both very much interested in Japanese culture so in an effort to find a unique and hard-to-forget brand name we looked up cool Japanese terms. Zanzo means “afterimage” in Japanese. Ever looked into the sun then away and still felt the lingering image of it? That is essentially what it means and we thought if we could create awesome products, people would still have the image in their mind after looking away.

Could you define the spirit of your brand?
This is pretty easy. We’re fun, colorful, and eclectic! We rarely plan things out and have no calendar of releases – we just go with whatever interests us at any given moment and create it. I guess we are very random and looking around our store at the variety of our products gives you an idea just how random.

How do you design and create your pieces ?
We have many inspirations and often look through obscure picture books or listen to music to try and induce ideas in our minds. In terms of actual creation, my partner Dru does most of the Photoshop laboring but we could never run Zanzo effectively without each other. Each of us contributes something the other is lacking.

What were your motivations to release products outside of your clothing line such as a skin line, shoe line, to produce accessories…?
Skins and shapes were actually our original priority although compared to the ones we offer today, they were fairly primitive and bad. We started small in a tiny shop at a Harry Potter sim then grabbed a good rental at the urban teen sim Undercity that we still hold today. With the extra space we had there we slowly branched out with eyes, hand decorations, and other things. Our inventory was getting out of control so we took the plunge and rented a big chunk of land at Splintered Rock, a Dune RPG sim owned by one of Dru’s friends. With this extra space we could go crazy and just created and created… to the point now where we have hordes of content and our own full sim after less than 1 1/2 years in business.

You are actually holding several sub-brands under Zanzo, which ones are they and what make them unique ?
The sub-brands are an attempt to avoid bewildering people unfamiliar with Zanzo and to give the store some order. Several people still don’t realize that everything within the city block that is our main store is all Zanzo, just categorized and sub-branded. We have quite a few of sub-brands now but a few of the more popular ones are:

Kakkoii! – Mostly full outfits inspired by the street styles of Japan, they cater largely to the younger crowd who love color in their avatar’s appearance.
King’s Road – High street male fashion, we look all over the world for inspiration for this sub-brand and name each line after a certain region or culture.
Pink Bubble – Cute and kawaii Harajuku inspired fashion, this is probably our most popular sub-brand as it is overflowing with cuteness.
Union 82 – An area for preppy and casual male gear, though lately some of our ranges (such as the gym shorts) have more unisex leanings.

Amidst all the competition in the market, you seem to have been able to carve a niche for yourself, how did you do ? and how do you keep it up ?
When we started, we largely catered to the often overlooked young avatars in Second Life. Many categorize the non-mature male avatars as kids in SL and while there are kids, there is also a very large community of young adults who just don’t want to be stubbly and wrinkled yet. Our original skin range was made for this crowd, we wanted to add something to the youth scene. So while we have expanded a lot to cater to more markets, I think our roots still lie in the youth of Second Life and the vigor of youth is what inspires us whether we’re making patterned kids clothing or high concept couture. I also think our variety is important as one area of the store could, for example, appeal to a cute kid avatar while another could appeal to the more critical fashionista.

Fall season is coming closer, so what can we look forward to in your upcoming collection?
Well to answer this would contradict what I said earlier, that we have no real calendar or schedule of releases! We have some general ideas of things we want to make soon, such as a new range of casual shoes for men and more women’s clothing, but nothing concrete. We usually can’t go a few months without a new skin range either and just released a new one for men today, so will probably enter pre-production for a new one soon enough.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?
Dru isn’t in Second Life as much as myself so I spend a lot of time alone, whether working on the business side of the store or something else. I like to do is wander around Japanese sims and enjoy the cute, obscure stores they have.

Last question… One thing, which the world still doesn’t know about you?
Well, even though I can be wordy in written pieces like this I’m actually very shy and socially awkward. Moreso in RL but it influences myself in SL and as such I don’t really have a social scene and spend a lot of time alone.

Discover the world of Zanzo today, the full sim is just a click away!

Interview by Patty Cortes, Founder/CEO
Photo courtesy of Theodore DuCasse

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