Aug 12, 2010

The Memoires of a Model: An Industries Faux-pas

OMG! Its a first time when I have such experience! =) I was at Kumaki store when some woman IM me and told me interesting things about her modelling career! And I just decided to interview her since I like to do it and she have a desire to tell the truth without any threats behind. Its an anonymous interview though so I wont tell you anything about her except she is one of established models in SL. I wanted to give her a pseudonym Natasha by name but she told me there is such model already, so she offered me to call her Alexis! ^^ Enjoy! =)



Vic Zuzu: Hello Alexis! Thank you for giving me this exclusive interview! Please tell our readers why you are here and why you've chosen to hide your identity?

Alexis: Hello Vic and thank you for your time! I discovered your blog through your profile and I've established an interest in many of the interviews that you have done. I have also found some truth to some of your blog posts, and I would like to step forward and give my personal testimonials as a MVW Grad. I wanted to talk a bit about my disappointed in the fashion world that I have found myself in. I prefer to keep my identity anonymous because my modeling career may very well be affected by my statements. 

Vic Zuzu: So I wonder, what agencies do you represent?

Alexis: I work for a few agencies such as EIMA, Glance, Dejavouge, Avenue, Boulevard. Some are well known, and others not. I'm sure that you may be able to recognize some of the more popular ones. 

Vic Zuzu: Yes. I know a few, but let's talk first of all about the fashion industry in SL. As a working model, how did you start, and what is your impression of this industry so far?

Alexis: I started with big enthusiasm since I thought everything was going to be different from real life. But after a few months in, I noticed that things in SL were drastically worse. A model becomes important only if he/she knows the right person to pander to. Since I am in MVW circuit I've had the chance to see many things, especially how models who flatter the heads at the agencies, gain a place in «court». I've seen more than one model making it in Miss Virtual World final, not because of their skill set, but because coincidentally, they happen to be an administrator's favorite. I am sure that is absolutely an unprofessional way of going about business in these agencies. 

Vic Zuzu: And what about you, have you found you're a way around this industry?

Alexis: Personally, I just have the will to continue despite the disillusions I've had. This is what is helping me; I just try to take in every piece constructive advice, consider every critic and try to improve myself. I reached a level that is higher than most models (considering my avatar's appearance and my styling abilities), but this isn't enough. I still have to see models with old and very common skins, deformed and unnatural shapes, and outfits that are not the best, step over me and other beautiful, hard working models without breaking a sweat. I've been in the public for a MVW graduation and I had to see a model with a deformed shape, somebody who had always used the same hair, and the same skin (with the same makeup) during the entire graduation process, enter directly into one of the top elite modeling agencies. Ironically you will always hear these elite agencies saying that having a very good looking avatar is not enough, since just everyone can have one. But if you accept somebody that doesn't even have good taste in making a shape and choosing a skin (practically the foundation of this industry) then how can that be a good model?

Vic Zuzu: How would you describe a good model?

Alexis: To start off, at the most basic level, a good model should have a pleasant, original and unique look, paired with incredible styling abilities. If one of these things is missing you can't be a model. Or at least this is what they teach at their academy. But it looks like this works for only some of us.

Vic Zuzu: Since you're mentioning the good fortune of «bad models», do you suspect that there is a possibility that people just pay their way into the MVW, and even into a modeling career? In other words if you have enough money, then you have it all? 

Alexis: This is what I just thought while watching how things went in Mr. Virtual World! I was shocked when I saw a model with a common skin that almost any male avatar would wear, and an outfit that looked almost like a freebie, reaching the final! But after I realized that he was connected with one of MVW backers everything became clearer. So my answer is yes, I think that if you have enough money you can make it in MVW; and it's likely that if you pay more you can also get the title. As I mentioned before, also giving plenty of attention to the agency administrators, is a good way to advance in this career. Especially to someone like Frolic Mills, I believe he is always looking for attention in SL as if he lacks it in RL. You can see that in the manner he is always sending notices in the group, it seems like a way to be at the center of everyone's attention. But then he rejects store owners from the group telling them that notices have a limit and there are too many designers. For instance, he once removed the Italian designer of Baiastice, Sissy Pessoa. I don't see how he can be very professional by removing designers from the group for sending notices, simply because he needs to use the notices to grab attention. Sadly it seems that only designers with a shop at the BOSL Boulevard, and friends from his inner circle, can send notices. Plus, generally speaking, he's not very friendly except when you fawn over him! He gives you the impression that he should be treated better than others. He doesn't accept any critic, and wants to be the only one who can do that. It's just silly models like me who makes BOSL what it is. It's our fault. 

Vic Zuzu: So now you don't believe in contests at all?

Alexis: I tried also other beauty contests around SL and they're all the same. I don't think I'm going to try again. Also a famous designer told me that you have to pay to reach the top of this kind of contests. 

Vic Zuzu: Really? Like who?

Alexis: I'm not telling you the names even if you had a gun. *Laughs*

Vic Zuzu: *Chuckles* Ok then, new question… Have you graduated from any modeling schools or academy?

Alexis: I have a friend that is a famous model and taught me almost everything, but now since it is necessary to have school graduations to be in shows I decided to spend money and enter in a few academies. I graduated at MVW Academy while paying a considerable amount of money, especially considering that Second Life is a game.

Vic Zuzu: Did you get any useful information that surpassed the advice that you already learned from your friend?

Alexis: Well I refined my knowledge and I got the chance to know wonderful experienced models such as Mimmi Boa, Mui Mukerji and well… that's it. They helped us a lot and always gave useful advice without giving the impression that they were better than students, they were very polite and professional. However, most other proclaimed «elites» who come to teach and share their wisdom are not very friendly at all and have a condescending manner about them (Miaa Rebane and Dancer Dallagio for instance).

Vic Zuzu: How much did the entire thing cost and what did the graduation include? 

Alexis: I can give you info from the official MVW Academy note cards they send to models who show their interest. You may pay for each session separately, but if you pay for it all at once, you will receive a 10% discount on the total price (13.000 L$ paid total if paid per session, 11.700 L$ if paid in full at once before the first session begins). 

Vic Zuzu: 13k for modeling classes? *Gasps* That is a lot! How many lessons do you take? 

Alexis: There are 5 courses called 101,102,103,104 and 105. The first 3 are about basic things like editing objects, how to move, getting judged on avatar's appearance and stuff like that. 104 courses (that can vary from 1 to 2 days) are usually made by ex Miss Virtual World like Mimmi Boa or Miaa Rebane and it's a course about «how to be a model» or «finding your own style». Class 105 is a seminar (that last 2-3 days) made by Frolic himself if you're lucky enough to find him in good mood. You basically get your avatar and your outfits judged in order to be ready for the graduation show.

Vic Zuzu: Did those lessons help you in your modeling career?

Alexis: Not really. I just learned a few tricks and useful things to improve my avatar, and developed my way to move in the catwalk. In general I think that just everyone can teach us something new, we can always learn new things. What I found to be very enlightening and interesting where the lessons with Mimmi Boa. She's the sparkle in all of the debris that is the MVW organization.

Vic Zuzu: Do you believe in fashion education in SL? Do you think models are more likely to succeed if they graduate from as many schools as possible? 

Alexis: If you are a good model and you attend at least one good academy, you don't need to collect graduations throughout SL. That's completely a waste of time and money. The need to go to different academies might be caused by the fact that in every academy there is always one or a few teachers that don't do their work well, but since these teachers are the friends of owners they get to stay there. *Smiles grimly*. Sadly this is how things work. You can be the best model in SL, but you also need to have the capacity to teach, otherwise it's just a waste of time.

Vic Zuzu: Could you describe your modeling experience at Dejavogue?

Alexis: Sure! The casting had been kind of comic, with that weird attitude that Dolce has where you don't know whether she's being rude or making you a compliment! I guess I entered at Dejavogue because Dolce was looking desperately for models to give rebirth to the agency, and I've been chosen because I had a good look and a good outfit compared to the others models. Later on though, the models from her previous agency started to come back, and they automatically became top models without any effort.

Vic Zuzu: I would like to ask you directly, what are your thoughts on Dolce Enderfield as CEO of Dejavouge?

Alexis: Well, in one instance during the first show that Dejavogue had she just disappeared and came back when everything was over, leaving the models to manage everything by themselves, that to me, was very unprofessional of her. I think she's probably still learning how these kinds of shows work; the feeling that she just improvised this profession in Second Life is still strong. 

Vic Zuzu: Since the Fashion Victory blog is about men's fashion, I would like to ask you my traditional question; do you think men's fashion in SL exists?

Alexis: Yes I think it exists and it's growing quickly thanks to the wonderful new designs that Second Life offers today. On the other hand male models look all the same, many with the same skins and unnatural blue eyes. Now that, in my opinion, is boring to see.

Vic Zuzu: Thank you very much Alexis for the interview! It was a very brave of you to step up and tell us the things you have experienced in this industry! Would you like to say something to our readers at the conclusion of this interview?

Alexis: Well as you all can see this is how things work in this world! I hoped that SL was a better place in terms of this industry than RL, but it appears to be very similar or even worse at times. All I'll be spending my time and money on now are clothes, not academies, or beauty contests of that sort anymore! Thank you Vic for such opportunity and I give you my support. I know if you try to talk about this part of the modeling industry you'll a lot of people against you. Someone speaking from our positions would be seen as a menace, but the autocrats of the fashion industry in SL can only keep so many people quiet for so long.

18 comments:

  1. Im a new model here in sl, and this was great to read.

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  2. If she was so brave, she would not hide under a mask. Just saying

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  3. Well, As interesting and insightful as this interview is, it was mainly about the ass kissing at MVW and NOT the entire level of modeling in SL. I just have to say that Modeling in SL doesn't and SHOULDN'T revolve around Frolic Mills and MVW. There are much better academies/education centers for modeling around SL with people who actually CARE about the outcome of your education. Some won't even pass you without specific criteria being met. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and hope that "Alexis" continues to have a growing career. Well done!

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  4. Thank you for your comment! =) But better to say it not under the cover of anonymous mask! If you know much better academies you should announce them somehow because everybody wonder! =)

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  5. To Gabby: she wants to cover her face because she have what to say, thats why she is brave! Other people just dont have what to say, thats why they are so brave to talk about nothing! Feel the difference, and please do something with the quality of your pics on your blog. ^^

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  6. I can't stop laughing at this. You're playing at being "supermodels" in a virtual world and talk about professionalism and favoritism?? IT'S NOT SERIOUS. I enjoy Second Life as much as the next person, but oh my god anyone in the so-called "model industry" in SL needs to get a real life.

    Who polices the agencies or determined the fairness of these stupid beauty pageants? NO ONE. You get what you ask for by entering, and beauty contests in a virtual world are even more moronic and a waste of time than in real life. Go do something useful with your life instead please, NOW.

    That's MY opinion as an anonymous Second Lifer involved (somewhat) in SL's fashion scene.

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  7. I have to smile and I think its nothing new that a model had to spent much money and also that there will be always caucus. This model thing is a business and some dream to be a model. You could let too walk a bot at the cat walk which the style of the shop presents, but then would no dream more.

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  8. Vic Zuzu, leave me alone and out of your "fashion blog". I know you got your pullup's in a wad because I turned you down at DEJAVOGUE (and for the record, you originally contacted me and I told you to join the waitlist so I could get back with you at a later time...I never put you in the agency) for a multitude of reasons, one of them being your SL age (yes, your SL age...I never told you that you were too young or old in RL to work at DEJAVOGUE...didn't even ask your age).

    To my model who made the comments, I'll respond here: Why are you in my agency if I have such a weird attitude and you can't tell if I'm being rude or giving a compliment? I cannot think of a time where I have been rude to any of my models or staff. I joke around a lot with you all and most do the same back...I like to keep it friendly and fun at DEJAVOGUE and that's one way we accomplish that. If you have felt that you were treated rudely by me, well, I'm sorry and maybe you need to lighten up cause if you knew me well enough or asked others, you'd know I'd never intentionally be rude.

    For your information, I was not desperate for new models. I was holding a casting for new models like a lot of agencies typically do, wanting to add new models to the current team. You weren't just chosen based on your 'good looks', but a variety of other things, although if I knew then what kind of attitude you have, I wouldn't have chosen you.
    As for the former models coming back...I only brought back in a few former models and some were brought in as top models, some were not. Those that were had the experience and training to have top model status.
    Then in the summer, I did a few castings..and then sent personal invitations to several models in SL to join the agency who I have heard of/seen before/know of their experience and/or training. Some of those were brought in as top models, some just models.

    The show you are talking about...that was the Spring show and if you were in the show or even audience, you would have known that SL had been giving us troubles at that time, including severely massive lag, nothing rezzing, etc. The sim had to be restarted which didn't solve the problem and then right at the start of the show, I crashed and could not get back online for around 2 hours.
    I was very proud of the models in that show for running it like they did in my absence. I admit without hesitation that there were several flaws and lack of preparation with some things, but all in all, given the circumstances, it went alright.

    I do have RL experience with this...which again, you would know if you knew me.

    Please leave DEJAVOGUE.

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  9. I am a SL model and I have to agree with what Alexis is saying. Not just the really good models reach the top, but also the ones who are not so good at modelling but are good at brown nosing the right people can make it. And they usually make it much faster and in an easier way.
    I have been in a few pageants myself and I have never heard about money involved to get to the top...so I dunno about that.

    And to the anonymous who laughs at us models, please let us be! Do we hurt you in any way? I personally love modelling, it's a passion! Some have the passion of building, others go clubbing in SL, we model and as it's something we're passionate about, it hurts when we see injustice!

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  10. I agree about the MVW comment. I received many compliments about my look on 2 of the call backs and yet i seen other models get picked wearing everyday gowns. I also heard from a very reliable source within MVW that is all up to frolic who gets in.. mainly his friends.They tell you to be different,daring but then when you do a frolic ass kisser gets picked over you wearing a blah gown? I myself have given up on all contests ectt..All the hard work is nothing unless you know someone sad but true.

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  11. Riveting interview. You have to admire this girl for coming out in the open and speaking her mind about the industry. To those who would support her plight I would say that you do have to be prepared to enter into a virtual world that is as unfair or worse than the real one. Its a lot about who you know, not what you know, and its up to you on whether you want to run with that sort of crowd or not.

    And, For those who scoff at her testimonials, I have this to say...Her views may seem like a grain of sand in a vast desert of opinions, but she is one more voice to that of many who experience what she has, and she is adding to a growing group of people who are going through the same motions. It makes you think...if it is all a delusion, then why are more people lending their voices to the issue?

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  12. Thank u Luna for your comment! It was just exactly what I think about when met a model who just have what to say! =)

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  13. Leave you alone Dolce? O_o I heard it somewhere... Aw yeah! Here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc Try to ask your best friend Frolic to make the same video and I will leave you alone because of a huge shock! =) You are just no one to put me down so why I need to be care of that shit you wrote about me on AgencyReport and now here? =) I like how you wrote it though, you definitely have a talent to such things! ^^

    Anyway, when you sent a notice with this interview and your comments through Dejavogue group your models started to IM me with a support! =) I was like WOW! =) I guess everybody wonder what did you write there:

    "Just recently, a self proclaimed professional stylist and male fashion blogger, Vic Zuzu of the Fashion Victory blog, interviewed a model from several agencies, including DEJAVOGUE. The entire interview is in the notecard attached and I encourage you all to read it. Also, the model who was interviewed has two choices. Choice one...you leave DEJAVOGUE on your own without a word it's history. OR, I will remove you and make sure your name is passed around with this blog to the appropriate people".

    Its really soooo funny! I just cant stop to laugh when one of your models told me that the witch chase has started! Heheheheh. I like how you write - self proclaimed professional stylist and male fashion blogger - of course it is you who can proclaim me! =)

    And your group chat about me was hysterical! They even didnt know who is Vic Zuzu and whats going on! Ahahahahahaha.

    [08:12] Dolce Enderfield: I hope you all understand my position on wanting the model that Vic Zuzu interviewed, out of DEJAVOGUE.
    [08:12] Roe Woodford: What happened?
    [08:12] Roe Woodford: Hi everybody
    As said another your model - and now the lick ass techniques from the other models :)
    [08:13] JEZZIXA Cazalet: the blogger could have written the interview him/her self too
    [08:13] Roe Woodford: Hada!!!!
    [08:13] JEZZIXA Cazalet: role playing the model
    [08:18] JEZZIXA Cazalet: why would the blogger ask specifically about Dejavogue
    [08:18] Roe Woodford: do you want me to answer?
    [08:18] JEZZIXA Cazalet: <------smells something fishy
    [08:21] Roe Woodford: theres your answere right there
    [08:21] Roe Woodford: some people are so sick and twisted and jealous and hateful
    [08:21] Roe Woodford: period.
    [08:22] Dolce Enderfield: The blogger, Vic Zuzu, doesn't like me, after I turned him away from DEJAVOGUE because he's only like 3-4 months old in SL and I was warned about him by other leading fashion professionals.

    Another IM from your model: leading fashion professionals O_o uhm... Frolic? XD

    And most of all I liked this message for you Dolce from your group chat:

    [08:28] Soulful Dreamscape: Dolce, this is the very reason I don't read the blogs. I do my job and move on. They are only trying to get to you. You know who you are, you have nothing to prove to anyone!

    Sounds like: «Dolce stop crying and complaining, since if ur conscience is ok u don't need to justify anything! Just work and don't bother too much about comments». Very wise! And you behave yourself like a child! CEO of the modeling agency is a child! =))

    [08:31] Soulful Dreamscape: Even if I hate to say this. its only a game ( but we are the ones typing.) so its real. Don't take this fool that cant even give their real name. Come on Dolce, We come to Sl to be what ever we want to be. How does anyone have the right to tell me who, what or why we are here? They pay our bills?
    [08:31] Roe Woodford: hell no they dont
    [08:32] Dolce Enderfield: Oh Soul, I was only joking.

    What a nice BIG joke: comments on my blog, comments on AgencyReport, comments on Facebook, notice through group, group chat, IM to friends! ^^ Yeah! I believe u Dolce! =)) And you like to repeat that u dont like drama?! Come on! =)

    I absolutely dont know how can you ruin any others modelling career by means of your silly threats since you just ruined yours one! =) So long… um… what was her name?

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  14. As a new model I thank the young lady for coming out, it's the job to reveal all parts of the modeling world, reveal every aspect of it so the next person does not make the same mistake. I believe there are two sides to every story and as a good writer it is the duty to find the truth, reveal the truth no matter how ugly it is, no matter how well the truth hides herself. I work for several modeling agencies even some of the listed ones in the post, some things I agree with and others I am still on the wall about time will tell, but I think no matter what, this interview will shake the modeling world and notify other Ceo's to get there shit in order because people are watching. Let's lead by example people.

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  15. Vic you know by not leaving Dolce alone you are now harassing her, and that sir gives her grounds to contact Blogspot and get your little "fashion" blog shut down

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  16. Me? Harassing her?! =))) I saw her only at once and I don’t care about her at all! ^^ At my blog I write only about me and my impressions, and it was she who harass me by posting crap about me in different places! Its sooooo funny that’s why I decided to share it with everyone who come on MY blog! =)) I think I give her a feeling of her self-importance somehow since me is just me and she is gather all evil power against me just because she is too stuck up to admit she is just no one for me! ^^ Never thought I worth it, so I need to appreciate her! Hehehe.

    Contact blogspot? I guess you meant blogger or Google! ^^ Yeah! I already can imagine that conversation!

    Google manager: Google support center! Hello! My name is Anna, may I help you?

    Dolce someone: Oh hi! My name is Dolce and I am famous CEO of Dejavogue modeling agency! And…

    Google manager: Sorry, you said Vogue?

    Dolce someone: No, no, no! I Said D. E. J. A. vogue, its a modeling agency in Second Life!

    Google manager: um… Second Life?

    Dolce someone: Yeah! Its a… um… in general its a game…

    Google manager: um… I see. O_o Could you wait a minute? Thank you.

    Behind the conversation: Bella! Pick up the second phone I have a psycho here! Could be funny! =)))

    Google manager: Okay, back! So could you describe your problem please?

    Dolce someone: There is a fashion blogger Vic Zuzu by name who use your service and...

    Google manager: … Zuzu? *giggles*

    Dolce someone: Yes! Vic Z. U. Z. U. and he harass me, please do something!

    Google manager: How he harass you? He threatened you?

    Dolce someone: um… nope. He just harassing me. He wrote bad things about me on his so called blog!

    Google manager: Did he use indecent words?

    Dolce someone: um… no. I just don’t like what he wrote about me, its not fair!

    Google manager: *giggles* okay! Could you tell me your name?

    Dolce someone: I already did it! My name is Dolce like Dolce and Gabbana you know?

    Google manager: … actually Dolce is a man and he is gay.

    Dolce someone: WHATEVER! Just do something with Vic Zuzu! I cant sleep!

    Google manager: … um, okay! Thank you for your calling! We will try to solve your problem! Good bye!

    After the conversation: Bella it was epic! Hahahahhaaha. Like that psycho on the last week who wanted to kill his dog! Aw yeah! Lets go to lunch, fuck am tired!

    Oh Gabby, ur so silly! ^^ My blog is only two months and already much bigger than yours one since you already spend here much more time than on yours so called «blog» so don’t envy me and drink a cup of tea or smell cocaine or what are you usually doing while posting your silly comments idk and relax! :Р

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  17. Technically if you really read the interview questions he is asking, Vic is not harassing Dolce at all. His questions are neutral and are asking the opinion of the interviewer.

    These two questions are the closest that Vic Zuzu comes to even referring to Dolce.

    (1) Vic Zuzu: Could you describe your modeling experience at Dejavogue?
    (2) Vic Zuzu: I would like to ask you directly, what are your thoughts on Dolce Enderfield as CEO of Dejavouge?

    He is not prompting this person to give any answer against or for Dolce, or even adding his own opinion. This is not in any way a form of harassment, and the person he is interviewing is choosing to mention Dolce.

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  18. Thank you Luna! =) I just dont understand why people make rumors based on their personal incompetence! ^^ Even Mimmi Boa found some time to write me a letter where she is telling me that she never payed for the MVW. I suggested her to write a comment here but since she didnt do it because most of the time she is busy I am sure she dont mind if I post her letter:

    "Hello Vic, i dunno what's in the air but i heard you are thinking and me and the others winners of payed to win. I hope this is not true and not coming for true from you because everybody knows MVW is a totally fair competition. MVW is "THE" SL Fashion event and, trust me, the organization doesn't need the poor money of the pageants and neither they are too silly to risk the face and their reputation. I don't know who told you those idiots things but is really better to talk with who was in the contest and hear what's really back the contest to know how is structured this imponent and huge event. Nobody payed and nobody was unfair. And BTW... Mimmi Boa never payed anything to reach something neither in SL and neither in RL i'm skilled enough in my both lifes to be a winner without compromized. Sincerely, Mimmi Boa".

    Its funny because I didnt put any bad words about Mimmi on my blog ever and still somebody told her something and that somebody most likely a person she trust. Its all sounds like - Oh! I heard you said am bitch! So I wanna let you know bloody mother fucker that I am blah blah! - I just dont understand why Mimmi Boa need to prove something to me? O_O I mean we not even friends! Everybody knows she is outstanding model and very kind person, and I know its true since her interview and our nice conversations! But its all sounds like she and many others people just not so confident and not so sure about that "THE" contest and fashion industry in SL at all since their attitude most likely incompetent. Why? Because of infantilism! So called professionals never talk in a mature way. And I mean not a friendly attitude but behavior. If you have any problems with me, please IM me and tell me what you dont like. Everybody do it in modern world when they want idk a compromise, a good relations, a successful business etc. In SL as I can see so called professionals just generate rumors, gossips, silly comments on different sites. ITS SOOOOO FUNNY! =))

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