Thalia Heckroth is probably more familiar to fashionistas for her blogging and extraordinary photography and videos. She is one of the photographers who has experimented and pushed the boundaries of Second Life® photography and video by exploiting the lighting and other settings to their fullest. She recently turned her talents to clothing design, launching a new and successful brand that specializes in minimalist modern classics.
It’s Only Fashion: What was your first day in Second Life like? What made you stick it out through the learning curve?
Thalia Heckroth: The first day I landed in Orientation Island and felt immediately at ease. I didn’t experience a learning curve for anything other than wearing shoes. I deleted the shoe bases for a while until a good friend of mine told me shoes were useless without it. LOL.
IOF: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in Second Life? Most exciting? Silliest?
TH: Craziest: Deleting Ciudad de Mexico sims when I was determined to focus in photography, video and content creation. Most Exciting: My first SL video. Silliest: Trusting the wrong people. I thought transactions would happen just like in RL. I lost my time and money, however I turned it into an opportunity and soon after that happened, I created The Magazine SL.
IOF: When did you begin creating? What was the first thing you made. Did you save it? Did it work?
TH: The first mesh clothing item I created was a shirt that I still keep somewhere in my inventory. The modeling was good but the texturing needed a lot of work, especially with materials because I didn’t want shiny latex like effects.
IOF: How did you choose your store name?
TH: I see branding in general as something important and wanted to link it to whom I represent inworld, so I copyrighted the brand and that was it.
IOF: What is the most challenging part of being a creator in Second Life? What is most rewarding?
TH: The most challenging is the amount of time you need to invest in RL in order to learn.
Patience is a must as well as practice. The most rewarding is seeing my creations out and about in world. I’m very proud of my blogging team, they are the best. Everytime I see my work featured in their posts I still get as excited as the very first time.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
TH: I get inspired by all sorts of things. From a song, to a person…even a moment. One time I cut one of my RL jackets just to see how it was constructed. The process involves a clear vision of what you will create. From the model to the colors, to the way you present it in world.
IOF: How do your first and second life design aesthetics resemble and contrast with each other? How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who is your customer – the person you are thinking of when you design?
TH: They are one and the same. I wanted to create in SL those items that I wear in RL. I pay close attention into minimalism because that’s my taste. Less is more. My customer is a woman who loves a polished, chic look and is ready to take over the metaverse.
IOF: One of the challenges of creating is Second Life is dealing with IP theft and the DMCA process. Many of those problems are due to flaws in the DMCA legislation itself. What changes within the control of Linden Labs that you would like to see?
TH: It is essential to always copyright your creations and have the paperwork to prove it. The process is very simple to do, the downside is, it costs. However, with that alone, Linden Labs takes action. I can’t complain because my experience with LL has always been excellent.
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
TH: The process of creating has taught me about patience. I’ve met wonderful people in RL
from SL, friends I cherish and respect.