powershoppingShopping great in Second Life is something that takes a while (or a really patient and fashion conscious friend) to master.  Most of this is because Second Life is really not like the First Life – and we realize this because of the things in the first life we take for granted: media (television, radio, the internet) and organized shopping areas.  In the Real – if I want to look like a GQ model, I know where the high end mall is, and I just drive there, or order things online from retailers and designers I trust.

In second life, those tools just aren’t there and often have to be greatly accentuated by tools in the first life.  Although we can now access internet media in-world, these are still nothing more than a portal back into the first world, and there’s still the problem with organization.  Fashion blogs help a lot – and are still relied on by many fashion conscious residents – but, we’re still quite reliant on the skill, the retail-establishment awareness, and the activeness of any blogger in question.

SL Search is essentially the “yellow-pages” of SL (and about as useful when looking for high-end fashion).  Fashion Hunts, fairs, and update groups fill in the gap, but again, they’re not as instant as those “shopping pangs” might dictate.

To combat this, we at fantôme have come up with a more useful tool, something to assist the fashion conscious male to shop like a fashion blogger! (after the jump)

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Men’s Shopping HUD – Men’s Fashion Edition

I remember my first “hunt” … I was really excited to get started, looking for clues and freebies, but the best part was finding new places to shop.  When I started SL, there wasn’t a lot of quality clothing options for men, and these new ways of exploring SL’s commercial venues was a great way to match motivated shoppers with eager retailers.


I also enjoy the fashion fairs as well, but often, both can be lagged out – making it difficult to move, especially on weekends.

To combat “event-related” lag, I’ve created Shopping HUDS for Men, and our latest edition matches men with lindens to spare with those that make the HOTTEST clothes in SL.  One touch of a button takes you right to the mainstore of SL’s most creative designers – no more waiting, no more sorting through tons of blog posts to find out where everyone’s shopping.

We’ve also released HUDs for Men’s Hair, and Men’s Bodies (skin/shapes) … and if you look around the store, you might even find a … well, I can’t talk about that until next week!

Check us out inworld or online!

Shopping HUD … Men’s Body Edition

Looking good doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time.  The best way to find the sexiest body possible isn’t by having your girlfriend IM the cutest people she can find in the club (you don’t really want her doing that, do you?) or having that fashion-challenged friend of yours drag you to the freebie dumps … it’s by using fantome’s MEN’S BODIES shopping HUD and letting it do the hard work for you.

Simply click any of the numbered buttons, and be instantly transported to one of Second Life’s top-ten hottest male skin/shapes vendors in SL!  Whether taking that journey to those or the dozen other vendors listed in the enclosed notecard, you’ll just be a teleport away to the avatar of your dreams!

Available online, or directly in SL!  We don’t make the best bodies in Second Life, but we DO show you where it is!

Introducing … Shopping HUD, Men’s Hair Edition

As we mentioned last week, shopping in SL can be difficult for a variety of reasons, and although there is never a shortage of opinion on where to find good fashion products for men, there is an enormous shortage of unbiased opinion.  Hunts, fairs, SL classifieds, and even blogs rely on the promoter’s relationships with content creators, and the content creator’s willingness to participate.

That’s complex, and you – the shopper – don’t really care about all of that (and neither do we).  You want access to best stores NOW … and so, we introduce another avenue to make that happen for you …

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New Product for Fall

So, summer’s over and we’re back working on new innovations for shopping in Second Life.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a new product aimed at cutting through the veritable molasses that is shopping in Second Life, but rather than just spit it out, I’m going to sit down with a dear friend (who’s polishing her interviewing skills) and roll it out the old-fashioned way …

MT:        So, Phantom, thanks for interview … I guess I should start this out by asking about your current projects leading up to this.

PR:         Well, I started SL in late 2007, and shortly after getting my bearings, I started a little shop called “SLBest,” and the purpose was to create something akin to Consumer Reports for SL markets.  I was very fortunate when a friend opened a club (that was rather popular for a while), and I was able to set up shop right outside of his door.  While it didn’t pay for my car note, it was successful enough to pay my SL expenses for some time.

Eventually, when LL started discouraging the use of their name in branding, I changed the name to “Phantom’s List,” and eventually I weaved the product into my blog, “Phantom’s Republic,” which was also very successful for some time.

MT:        But, that’s not up anymore, and you were gone for a while.  Tell us what happened.

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Vanity Fair

Being out of fashion journalism for a several months, I was delighted to rejoin right in the middle of Menswear Fashion Week 2012, a two-sim affair underwritten by SL fashion giants, Siren Productions, MENstuff, AVENUE, KMADD and Secondnights.com.

Using the SLURL from the secondlife.com website, I landed directly in a small shop called (PDA) where I got to sample several still-poses amidst of various male avatars plopping in behind me at the rate of one every 15 – 30 seconds. A few of them were slightly distracting and helped make an otherwise underwhelming display a tad more interesting. It also served as a reminder that much of the male fashion market is bloggers themselves (who would require such poses) … and not the thousands of male avatars requiring emergency makeovers.

Deciding to circle around, I hit the KMADD shop immediately … and I was immediately impressed. When I had last seen their mainstore, it was an artistic impression to behold, almost overwhelming their famous shape kits and hair products. Just visiting the shop at MWFW, I made a mental note to revisit the store … impressed that it seems that they’ve enlisted the help of some of their more popular bloggers in putting the styling cards together.

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