Inside Lockwood — Part Two: interview with Head of Fashion, Jade How

Our metaverse continues to showcase a different narrative for the future of gaming — one built around self-expression and collaboration. With the help of our staff and players, we’re proud to be at the forefront of the issues that are most important to our entire community.

In the second instalment of our Inside Lockwood series, we interview our amazing Head of Fashion, Jade How about her rise to prominence as well as her vision for an even better future in digital fashion.

Hi Jade. First of all, it’s great for us to be able to speak to such a prominent figure in the Avakin Life story. You run the full fashion team with an array of brilliant and expressive minds. Can you tell us about the creative process of designing new items?

Woah where do I start…Okay so excitingly for us as a creative design team, not only do we look into IRL Fashion trends and releases, we get to look into an array of different styles such as fantasy, sci fi, anime inspired fashion, ultra-goth trends and regional content. So, each month we have an array of research that we start with!

For this we will ideate around specific themes we have going on within the wider art teams and then from there, we gather and individually go off on the strongest ideas and start mood boarding up colour, silhouettes, details, and general themes around a release. Once these have been approved our designers will go through our extensive archive of content in our library to see if we have any assets that could work alongside any new creations, and not forgetting our user suggestions that we archive and keep reviewing.

They then go off and work their magic with illustrating and curating a whole release or an IAP (in app purchase). This process goes through our Certification and IP process to make sure we are keeping in-line with our guidelines. They then go into art production where a 3D Artist will create and bring these assets to virtual reality life!

Sustainability is a cause you’re passionate about, and one you’ve already devoted a lot of attention to in-game. What do you envisage for the future of digital fashion in terms of continuing to build a more sustainable model?

The continuation and expansion of adopting the methods of digital prototyping within brands is super important as this reduces waste and lead time within the industry.

Maybe more of a dialogue between the business and consumer on a digital product before it goes into production would be beneficial.

I would also like to see the end of fast fashion — it’s had its time! For this we need more online social consciousness of how we can adopt a digital look rather than a one-time purchase. This is a social and environmental responsibility. I hope it’s one more content creators and brands alike will be willing to adopt, as I know there are some amazing businesses approaching this now!

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from working on digital fashion in a metaverse setting?

That you never stop learning! This is a new world and I feel privileged to be a part of the early growth, but with that comes a level of responsibility.

What would you say to any budding designers that want to dip their toes into digital fashion but have reservations about stepping away from “tradition”?

This is the way forward and oh boy does it open you up to so many exciting opportunities for the future! New generations of designers have unfortunately inherited an industry that is one of the most polluting in the world. So I would say think about ways you can be a part of that shift towards a more responsible but by no means dull experience in stepping away from the “traditional” routes.

These are exciting times indeed. But what are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?

Watching post pandemic, the elevation of digital fashion and the metaverse grow from its roots, there’s almost too much to be excited about! For me personally it is supporting my team in this exciting time and expanding the fashion verse in Avakin with more expansion on roleplay, fantastical fashions and all the fun that comes with 12 months of creating that content for our users!

Can you summarise the importance of the role digital fashion has played in the wider industry over the last year or so? And what role do you see it playing in the future, will digital fashion still be seen as a niche alternative, or do you have visions of dominating the mainstream even more?

It has kept that connection and excitement still going during a horrible year for all of us. Arts, culture, fashion, music — it’s the honey of life, right? I do see it expanding and becoming more accepted, the digital landscape is real and powerful. And as we have seen over the past year it can be a beautiful place of real creativity and passion.

I think we are seeing a generation mould naturally, so yes I believe it is here to navigate its way weaving between the alternative niche lands and the mainstream — which is where it stays special!

Thanks to Jade and Philine for being such great interviewees! And while that marks the end of our fashion month interviews, we’re not done with our Inside Lockwood series yet. Who’s next? Well you’ll have to wait and see — but you won’t want to miss what they have to say!

We’re Lockwood Publishing, leading independent developers and creators of Avakin Life.