Today, I would like to introduce you to two very talented designers: Constanza Volare and Isobel DeSantis. Constanza is a dress designer with a fondness for bold colors and rich, shimmering textures. Her Dresses harken back to the golden age of Hollywood glamour – but with a contemporary twist. Isobel makes some of the finest shoes I have seen in SL; delicately crafted with amazing details and a range of color choices to match nearly any outfit.
Sebastiaan Vollmar: When did you join Second Life?
Constanza Volare: In my profile it says November 2006, but I really logged on for the first time in January 2007.
Isobel DeSantis: On January 1st 2007. I’d heard about Second Life for a while and knew it was going to be really addictive – and I was right!
Sebastiaan Vollmar: What kinds of things do you enjoy doing here in your free time?
Constanza Volare: Well nothing beats a shopping trip, but I also like to go dancing with friends lately:)
Isobel DeSantis: I’m partnered in SL (we met on our very first day) and we love working on our house and land. ! We go dancing at places like Bogart’s and also some of the smaller clubs where we can chat to people as well. And of course I shop a LOT. A great deal of my shoe creation is done in world and I tend to lose all track of time when I’m designing!
Sebastiaan Vollmar: When I visited your store, I saw that you have a great variety of dresses, gowns and shoes. Do the two of you work alone or do you like to collaborate on some of your designs?
Isobel DeSantis: Constanza makes all the dresses and I make the shoes. We have 2 stores; Constanza’s store in Emilia and mine at Flagship Stiore. In the past I’ve designed shoes specifically to match Constanza’s clothes and although we continue to work together, in the future we will both also be working with other designers.
Sebastiaan Vollmar: How long have you been creating clothes?
Constanza Volare: I’ve been designing for 9 or10 months.
Isobel DeSantis: I started designing shoes in April 2007. My first “teacher” was Natalia Zelmanov in her blog http://www.mermaiddiaries.com, then I took some in world classes. When Connie and I met up again and she showed me her first dress design (I believe it was called Magic), we came up with the idea that I would make shoes to match and the Dream dress with Diamond Dream shoes were our first collaboration.
Sebastiaan Vollmar: The clothing you make is both frisky and glamorous. Where do you get the inspiration for your clothes?
Constanza Volare: Well, fashion magazines, sometimes totally random objects or graphic elements, textures I see. It depends on the day, I guess.
Isobel DeSantis: Connie’s dresses are often the starting point of my designs. I also get inspired by fabrics, vintage shoes, natural shapes and RL fashions. Basically the shoes I make are those I wear (or would like to wear!) in RL as well as SL.
Sebastiaan Vollmar: If you had to chose and favorite gown or outfit, which would it be?
Constanza Volare: Hmmm, well my favorite ball gown is “celestial” at the moment… but there’s a new release coming up and I think one of those will win! As for casual wear, my favorite now would be ‘Unique!” (Its hard to pick a favorite… I don’t really put for sale things I don’t like a lot.)
Isobel DeSantis: That’s a tough one! From the new ranges, either Inspiration (skirt 1) in Pink with Silver Diamond Dream sandals for an ethereal look or Oceanic in Red with Charismatic shoes in the Red/Navy combination for a punchy, fun outfit. My favorite shoes are probably Salsa – I love the color combinations!
Sebastiaan Vollmar: Do you have any tips for new designers starting out in Second Life?
Constanza Volare: Practice a lot! Make as much as you can and be constant.. if it doesn’t work right away, it will in time… and don’t be afraid to ask others!
1) Never put anything out for sale that you’re not totally happy with; learn your craft, be a perfectionist and your own worst critic. There’s a reason I haven’t put out sculptie shoes yet; very few designers have mastered the limitations of LOD (level of detail) and too many of the ones I’ve bought look dreadful as soon as you cam back a few meters. My sculpties are on the way but until I’m 100% happy with them I’m not going to ask my customers to spend their money on them.
2) Listen to your customers – to what they don’t say (and don’t buy!), as well as what they do. Ours have always given fantastic support and ideas and they really know how to have fun!
3) I believe we create what we focus on, so believe in yourself and your success and ignore the people who tell you that you can’t do it.
4) Above all, have fun and be yourself – an original, not a poor copy of someone else.
Sebastiaan Vollmar: Sounds like a successful business model to follow. Thank you ladies for speaking with me today.