As anticipated earlier this week, today's interview, we have one of the biggest male fashion icon in Second Life, the creative mind behind MADesigns, and successful business man, Maddox Dupont.
First of all, thank you for accepting to do the interview, I know what a busy man you are.
Q: Let's start from the beginning, how did you, come to know second life?
Maddox: I have been in Second Life for 3.5 years and have been creating avatars for the past 3 years. I heard about Second Life via media, it was a television program about one of Second Life's content creators who was selling furniture and lived solely from Second Life. I did not quite understand what I was watching, but I decided to try Second Life as the whole idea was fascinating and promised a lot of creative opportunities.
Q: We all had difficulties when we started with this virtual life, I basically stumble myself for a whole week before I knew what I was doing and gave up on 2 other Avatars previous to this one. How were you as a newbie? How long did it take you to adjust your appearance till you thought it was acceptable and it became your representation in this reality?
Maddox: I was a complete and utter freak when I first started. I made my clothes on the first day out of my RL artwork and I looked like a giant troll appearance wise. I wore Linden Lab default hair – I think it was a green mawhawk.
Once I met Sky my first SL friend who was very appearance conscious, we shopped together endlessly and she thought me everything from camera controls to adjusting hair and prims and where I can buy cool clothes. Only when I purchased Dante skin form Naughty did I change my shape and got descent look which I continued to redefine over time.
Q: What motivated you to become a creator? When and what was the first product you ever created?
Maddox: Being in Second Life for the first 6 months reminded me of my childhood and school years. I was overwhelmed with how vast this world was, how much there was to see, do and learn and I had no idea where to start. So I started with myself and what I had passion for in my Real Life and that was photography.
Working as a Second Life photographer I often came across clients that did not look good but wanted to have beautiful photos, so to achieve this I had to help them make lots of adjustments to their body (appearance) and what they were wearing (style). Eventually people were seeking my advice and help for their avatars look good instead of coming for photos so I decided to make business out of it.
I created brand called MADesigns which initially specialized in creating avatars & looks (shapes) and over time with a help of my partner Kirk Claymore and our creative team, MADesigns has become full blown virtual enterprise — KMADD Enterprise.
Q: While most designers try to differentiate themselves, buying entire sim for their own store and brand, you decided to use Kmadd city to help others, creating one of the biggest and most visited place for male avatars to shop and as a side result, becoming one of the most influential and person in the Fashion industry, Did you expect this result from the start?
Maddox: You are too kind, thank you.
When we opened KMADD City we had quite small product range and since fashion has always been at the heart of our business (since we sold styled shapes) it made sense to invite few designers that we admired to join our sim. Fashion for men was greatly neglected and quite small when we decided to put spotlight on it, so to give men what women have had for so long – a great place to shop – not only helped our customers but provided us with an opportunity to get to know these great creators.
Because we filled this niche, we hoped KMADD City would be a success.
Q: Because you needed more prims, you closed down Kmadd city to get it reorganized, now that it is reopen, and now is basically only your store. Does this mean that the idea of one stop fashion center for men will no longer exist?
Maddox: As KMADD City has grown, so has KMADD as a brand. Originally, MADesigns only had male shapes, but now caters to both male and female clientele — offering shapes, hair, skin and eyes.
Due to the natural progression of our business and desire to improve the shopping experience at KMADD (which was extremely laggy before renovations), it was a good time to make changes that would be beneficial to all.
This reopening marks a completion, but more critically, heralds another beginning. New KMADD is the place where all our businesses for the first time come together under one roof, making every aspect of KMADD Enterprise more accessible.
Fashion has always been at the heart of KMADD and it will continue to be so once again in new and exciting ways even on our new KMADD sim.
Here are just some of the things we have planned for new KMADD:
TIMELESS WARDROBE — classic pieces for men that will withstand the test of time and provide them with good basics that they would be able to successfully mix and match. These will be carefully selected by MAD Image Stylists.
EXCLUSIVES GALLERY — exclusive male fashion items only available @ KMADD
NEW RELEASES — new fashion releases from hundreds of stores all in one place
Our KMADD City designers are still in KMADD City group and will receive our complete marketing proposal during December which will outline initiatives we got planned for new KMADD. It is natural to make your own business a priority and ensure that your customers are not impacted when they visit your store. This is why our compact, low lag format and projects that will keep fashion at KMADD fresh and exciting were better alternative to lag/prim intensive mall.
Q: Kmadd designs offers many product, shapes, skins, hair styles, eyes, poses and even texture packs and photo frames. What are we to expect from you next?
Maddox: We like to make things that are lacking in SL or we feel particularly passionate about, that’s the best way to ensure your success in Second Life.
So far, everything we have done had to do with appearance, therefore after we have settled in at our new sim we will most likely work towards making our own skin line as this would give us more control over how our characters look. This will be a time when we really start redefining the KMADD look.
Q: I know that you are one of the many content creators who got copied a lot, on the ideas of vendor pictures, on products, how do you feel about content thieves? What do you think should be done to prevent it from happening?
Maddox: No one and I mean absolutely no one that copies your work can ever be successful in any shape or form. I have been here long enough to see that and I take great pleasure in that knowing.
As every creator in Second Life, MADesigns has fallen a victim of copybotters who justify their actions by Second Life being “just a game”. What they do not understand is that crime can never be justified and they as common as your local thief that steals car stereos.
If I had an ability, willingness and time I would teach them how to make stuff first then let them experience how it is to be robbed by someone, so they can develop faint spark of conscience which would prevent them from ever doing it again.
Linden Lab is slowly moving towards approved viewers which could resolve some of these problems. At least our new work will be protected eventually. It is frustrating and sad, but it is reality in RL and so in SL.
Finally, thank you Maddox for making time in your busy schedule to have this interview with me. And I am looking forward to your future creations.
Maddox: You are very welcome and I thank you for the opportunity.
And that was this week interview with the always fashionable Maddox Dupont. I hope you all will be here next week for another great interview.
Until next time,