Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fuck your Exclusives

So I'm a Belleza mesh body girl.
It isn't that I don't like the Maitreya body - I do. It's perfectly lovely. I even bought it. It's delightful... on others. It's just not for me.

And when I see an item for sale somewhere and it says "Exclusive for Maitreya", it says to me that this designer doesn't want my money.

What an odd thing! I have money, I want to spend money... but you don't want my money?

I don't quite understand what's going on. I know there are politics involved and I've read a few things here and there about the mesh body creators not giving out developer kits to every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants one.
I imagine there's a lot of "I'll give you my kit but you have to agree not to use so-and-so's kit."

I'm not sure why the designers are agreeing to this blackmail, if that's what's happening.

In my mind, there are 3 viable choices for the women's mesh body - Belleza, Maitreya and Slink. I know there are many others, but I count those as the big three. There's another popular one, but I don't include them because I think their method of doing business is scammy as fuck.

I don't know any of the creators behind those three bodies, other than a couple chats with Tricky Boucher of Belleza. I hear lovely things about Siddean Munro, but I've never spoken to her. Until the Venus came out, I was head over heels in love with my Slink hands and feet but don't need them anymore with the Venus. I don't even know who the creator is behind Maitreya... Onyx something-or-other?
I've read some troubling things, though. I have no idea what's true and what isn't but let me be very clear... I don't care.

I don't care.

I. don't. care.

Whatever politicking is going on behind the scenes, I don't give one single shit... except it's inhibiting my ability to spend money.

And I like to spend money.

I'm not a fashion blogger, I don't get freebies or gifts. I buy everything I have.
It makes absolutely no sense to me that the mesh body creators aren't handing out developer kits left and right. Sure, I sort of get that they want to maintain some quality control because there are some shitty ass clothing designers out there. But so what?! If people want to wear shitty clothes, let them. Money is money, right?

I probably should have tried to speak to some of the folks making these decisions before posting this. Tricky, Siddean, Onyx. And maybe some of the designers, too, to try to find out what is going on. Especially those who are designing the exclusives.

But again... I don't care.

I just want you to make clothing for my particular mesh body. And the other ones, too, so we can ALL spend our money and fill the pockets of the designers so they'll keep creating for us.

By designing exclusives, you're cutting out entire segments of the market that want to give you money.
And if one of the mesh body creators gets shitty about it and doesn't want to give you a kit because you won't agree to be exclusive, fuck 'em. If enough designers stand up and say no, well, that's going to be money out of the pocket of the body creators... few people are going to buy a mesh body that they can't shop for.

If it hits them where it counts, they'll stop demanding this exclusive bullshit. 

I'm getting sick and damn tired of going to event after event after event with my lindens clutched in my lovely mesh hand and not being able to spend them because of items designed for one particular mesh body. Why the hell are event organizers allowing those designers into their events unless it's an event specifically for that body? If your item isn't designed for the wider audience, stay the hell out of events.

Since you're so damn exclusive, your exclusive customers can go to your exclusive store and buy your exclusive items.
And I know it's a pain for the designers to have to create all the different sizes for all the different mesh bodies... but you know what? If you do, I will pay for it. Up your prices, if that makes it worth your while. When I find something that fits my body perfectly, I'll spend the money to get it. In several different colors even. Sometimes I'll spring for a fatpack if it's something amazing. So go ahead and charge what you feel is fair for the work you put in.

I want more clothes. I WANT MORE CLOTHES.

It's really that simple. I want more clothes and I'm willing to spend the money to get them.

Tricky and Onyx need to stop holding their developer kits hostage. I don't include Siddean in this because I've not noticed it so much with Slink. Just for shits and giggles, I tried to apply for a developer's kit from Belleza because I wanted to see what was involved in the application and agreement designers have to sign. But you know what? APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED.

What? WHAT? Why? Why the fuck are applications closed? In fairness, I checked out Maitreya and Slink, too. Maitreya and Slink both seem to have applications open but both make it clear that not everyone will get the kit.

What I really don't understand is why there even needs to be an application. Just let designers have the damn kits. 

Again, as a consumer, I don't give a single shit about the reasons. I just want to buy things. ALL THE THINGS.
The consumers are the losers here. Followed by the clothing designers. A couple of mesh body creators are holding all the cards.

And that's a damn shame, when the SL economy isn't exactly booming like it was a few years ago. These people are purposely inhibiting the market for their own selfish reasons, be it artistic or simple greed. 

But it's going to bite them in the ass. In the short-term, they may think they're doing the right thing by holding their developer kits. But if they're in it for the long haul, they are simply going to have to accept that there is, and will always be, competition. That's the beauty of the free market. 

There will always be those who choose the buy the cheapest things... or, that's all they can afford and that's fine, too. Not everyone has the pocket money to spend in SL on clothing. But in the same vein, there will always be those who will pay for quality. 

The mesh body creators are simply going to have to let up. The crappy ass clothing designers are already out there half-assing it by trying to make clothing without the kits. This just makes it look worse... the clothing looks shitty on the body and, in turn, that makes the body look shitty.
This dress... god. How many "designers" have bought this template, re-textured it and slapped it on the MP? I tried a couple demos and it looks awful - at least, it looks awful on me. And there seems to be hundreds of them.

And that makes the body creators look shitty because their logos are all over it. Since I can't find the original template maker's name on any list of official designers, I'm assuming he's just winging it without any official kit.  

So release the damn kits and let people figure it out on their own. I won't buy something without a demo. If it looks like crap, I won't buy it. Eventually, that's going to separate the wheat from the chaff. The bad designers will get left in the dust by the good ones... and the body creators will come out on top because more people will be buying their bodies if there is more selection in clothing. 

What can we, as consumers, do about this situation? I'm certain that any of the big creators would be most happy if we switched to their bodies simply because of the availability of clothing. 

I'm not going to do that. I love the way the Belleza Venus looks on me and I'm not going to be pushed into wearing different bodies like I wear different shoes just so I can wear something from an "exclusive" designer. 

I suppose all we can do is yell and hope they listen. 

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