Read time: 1 strong coffee
This is a weekly newsletter brought to you by a former fashion editor, aka me, Lina. I will cover digital wearables and their role in gaming and fashion.
The Wearables Daily feature and acknowledge all industry talents and tell their stories.
Hi all! Bringing you the very special 30th newsletter today. Just wanted to thank you all for sticking around and giving all your feedback. I have recently been thinking a lot about how to grow this newsletter without playing a hardball game with words like co-founder, CEO, catalyst, or constant GMs. I feel content speaks louder than your title, and I try to stick to what I do best - create content. It is an interesting journey filled with ups and downs, but I don't think We Are All Gonna Make It. I know we already did, but we need to keep going.
ANYHOW! There would be no metaverse without people in it. People are all this is all about. And today, I just wanted to share an interview with Melanie Arakaki - UX Lead at the Decentraland Foundation. This interview started a long time ago, and during the time I got to know Melanie, not her answers to my questions but also from her social media. When we first had a call with Melanie, I was drawn to stylish bright pink hair - I had always dreamed of having pink hair. Later on, with her social posts, she gave me insights into her life (not to sound too creepy!), and I knew she was a fascinating person to follow. I will publish this whole interview as an article later, but I want my subscribers to read it first!
In addition, today, I wanted to highlight some projects that the metaverse community is working on right now. Hope you will find not only inspiration but also will connect with people who are building the metaverse today.
Rozy is a famous young South Korean influencer with over 154,000 followers on Instagram, who doesn't exist in real life. Korea's first digital influencer, Rozy Gram, dropped her debut collection on DressX. Virtual fashion brand #OHROZY presented party looks that users can get on DressX by submitting their pictures to receive a party looks back. "Fancy outfits end up as one-time use and lead to environmental pollution.🙅♀️Virtual fashion is eco-friendly🌱 because it doesn't require fabric or factories🏭, and there is no waste such as packaging🗑.", says virtual influencer Rozy on her Instagram post.
Ready Player AI
A cross-game avatar platform Ready Player Me launched a trial of generative AI avatar creator. "The avatar outfit customization feature is a project of Ready Player Me Labs, a new division focused on testing new ideas," said Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Ready Player Me has partnered with over 6,000 apps, games, and virtual world developers. In addition, they have established partnerships with major brands such as L'Oreal, Adidas, BMW, Calvin Klein, New Balance, and more to bring mainstream fashion and technology companies to the metaverse. The company has raised a total of $72.5 million in funding.
Try to create an avatar here: https://labs.readyplayer.me/avatar
For me, NYX is the most unexpected band to enter the Web3 ecosystem.
NYX cosmetics launched GORJS - the world's first beauty creator DAO inviting a community of Web3 creators, 3D artists, and beauty makers to create the future of digital beauty. Through the application of decentralized governance, GORJS will empower the community to shape the future direction of the DAO with their work, ideas, and votes.
The mint was delayed and went live on February 2nd.
Creators across the globe can submit proposals in hopes of kicking off the development of their personal NFT projects, and token holders vote on which artists and proposals should receive funding.
Anyone can receive tokens by minting an Access Pass and/or GORJS-affiliated artist NFTs (those launched through the DAO).
The FKWME Access Pass mint sold out and is now only available in the secondary market. It was at the price of 0.19ETH and a supply of 1,000.
Interview with Melanie Arakaki, UX lead @ Decentraland
Tell us about your background and personal story, Melanie.
I have a degree in graphic design but previously studied fashion design for a few years. Even though I loved fashion design, I decided to switch to graphic design after I started my first job at a tech start-up.
Back then, in 2013, there were too many barriers in the fashion industry regarding career opportunities and supply chains. That is why I chose to study graphic design instead. It was the closest to interaction design we had in Argentina, and it suited me better for my role at the start-up, which I enjoyed a lot.
Thanks to that job, I realized I could use my design and communication skills in the tech industry. Technology was and has always been a part of my life. Both my parents studied engineering. My younger brother is a game developer, and my partner, Mija, is a software engineer. But for some reason, before working at the start-up, I had the wrong idea that you had to be an engineer to work in tech.
I am grateful and feel lucky to have found my voice in UX because it encompasses many fields I am interested in: technology, design, communication, and psychology. Moreover, this year I found an extra layer of meaning to my job by working within a community of people building together, which is very different from working at a traditional corporation.
How did you find Decentraland, and what is your story of starting working with the Foundation?
I got referred by an engineer I met at a previous job. I had some rough ideas about what Decentraland was, primarily through MANA. Before the first interview, I did more research on it and entered the World, but I didn't understand much. I wanted to learn more about it, so I decided to give it a go. I had my first interview with a product manager from the Foundation, and this person instantly inspired me and made me realize this was completely different from what I used to do. After a few weeks, I continued with the interview process and got an offer. The Web3 industry was out of my comfort zone, but I fell in love with the mission and purpose of Decentraland, and I wanted to be part of it.
What would you say is the biggest challenge for Decentraland right now?
I think that the biggest challenge is to onboard and attract new people to the community. And from my point of view, this requires at least three things.
First, better performance and stability are essential because they are barriers for anyone but are especially critical when making a first impression.
Secondly, it's necessary to share Decentraland's mission and values more actively and loudly so more people can understand its differentiator against other projects/metaverses. The idea of a virtual world owned and built by its users needs to be accompanied by evidence demonstrating this is not just a nice slogan but something happening for real. One great way to do this is by sharing stories of community members who are already creating and building together. It is hard to introduce people to Web3, but emphasizing its benefits and values, like transparency and self-governance, might justify the effort of learning something new.
In third place, the barrier to creating content in Decentraland, especially scenes and experiences, needs to be lowered as much as possible. I think Worlds and land rentals have enabled more people to build, but the tooling also needs to be improved so people with less technical knowledge can create content. The Decentraland Editor is a key part of this and will gradually simplify things even for non-technical people.
There are many other areas of improvement, especially from experience. Still, in terms of priorities, the things I mentioned before are the ones that, from my perspective, need more focus and effort.
Are you a digital fashion lover? Please share your favorite creators with us!
Absolutely! IRL, I am an absolute fashion junkie, so it was natural for me to start collecting digital wearables. I have Leo all over my birth chart, so I really wish I could wear wings and shiny auras in real life, LOL.
Some of my favorite creators are Doki, SoultryDubs, Supernina, and MetaJewels.
And what are your hobbies IRL?
I love drawing and illustrating, but it takes work sometimes to find the time or the motivation. That is why I recently partnered with a friend who is a 3D artist, and we hope to launch our first collection of wearables in Decentraland soon. It will be like my childhood dream come to life.
I also enjoy reading a lot, mostly non-fiction. I am really into behavioral sciences, cognitive psychology, and philosophy. I know it sounds boring, but our mind is my favorite mystery. My current book is Kindred by Rebeca Sykes. Aligned with these topics but edgier (and funnier) are psychedelics. The last book I read on this is How to change your mind by Michael Pollan, and I recommend it to everyone.
I often play video games with my partner and friends. When I was younger, I mainly played RPGs (my favorite game is Chrono Cross), but my guilty pleasure is Dota 2. It can get very competitive and toxic, but I love how strategic it is.
Last but not least, I enjoy traveling a lot, especially when it involves hiking and being surrounded by nature.
Interesting and worth checking
#1 community article
#2 metaverse event
MEW is excited to announce "Day ONE: The 1st Metaverse Event for Motion Creators”.
FEB16-17 from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am (EST). @decentraland -90;60.
A groundbreaking event that shows MEW's enduring commitment to supporting artists and getting the recognition they deserve.
— MEW (@mew_ltd)
Jan 30, 2023
#3 digital wearable of the week
#4 competition of the year
Buy & sell on Droffo to win 200 MANA!
Tables re-set after each 100th buy!
More information: droffo.com/competition
— Droffo (@Droffowear)
Jan 30, 2023
Disclaimer: I have to say this - this is not financial advice! 🙈