Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Change to our LE.LOOK! exhibit

In conjunction with the launch of our "Gen-X" skins, we've changed our exhibit at the super stylish LE.LOOK! designer sim from "The Fae" to "Gen-X". We'll also be downsizing our special event center for "The Fae" at our main store soon into the skins and shape areas, so come and check it out while it lasts if you haven't already!

Happy New Year from Zanzo!

NEW "Gen-X" skins @ Zanzo!

Zanzo is proud to announce our new men’s range of skins titled “Gen-X”. Capturing a suave mature adult look, “Gen-X” skins are highly detailed and comes in four shades: Milk, Cream, Cappuccino, Latte.

Each pack you buy has TWO skins in, one with natural chest hair and the other smooth. We’ve also categorized the fourteen skins into three parts: Essentials (shaved and facial hairs), Dark Soul (emo and goth style), and Urban Renegade (flawed, scarred, battered, bruised skins).

At $900L, they continue Zanzo’s policy of high quality stuff at good value, pricing our skins lower than much of the market does. There are also fatpacks, each with a 20% discount. Come and see, we have demos AND eight fully optimized shapes for the range! Here’s a selection of them...

Monday, 29 December 2008

Zanzo and satellite stores

Satellite stores are an important part of any brand in Second Life, because they give you (usually) smaller outlets than your main store in places that attract people that might not normally know about your brand.

We've had many and closed many. It usually takes a great location or great deal for us to stay at a place. The longest lasting Zanzo satellite store has been in Undercity, which was actually the host of our first real "main store". It typifies everything we could want from a satellite store: a good price for a good prim amount, an interesting build, a shop right near the landing point, and visitors that fit one of our main buyer demographics (teenage avatars).

We're in the process of letting a bunch of satellite stores expire, as at this point we can afford to be more picky. But we can never pass the chance of interesting deals. Here are two of our latest outlets!

This one is at Juicy Boardwalk, which is a major hotspot for female shoppers. Few gals have their finger on the pulse of female fashion in SL like Gogo, who owns the Juicy sims and has a popular blog, and we were one of the first to grab a store in Juicy Bella Plaza. When this died due to the Lindens' new Openspace pricing, we were one of the few stores there given the option to move to Juicy Del Mar. We did but our location wasn't as well placed there, as the sim was already largely occupied, so we let it expire. Then, a few days ago Gogo sent out a notice to her group as she does, announcing a rare premium spot with a "first come, first served" policy. I rushed there along with about five girls (more were to follow) and somehow grabbed this gem, right on Juicy Boardwalk, right by Juicy's main store. Not bad, eh?

Yesterday, I was invited to one of my favourite shopping hotspots, the uber-charming creators pavillion, a Japanese sim. I'd spoken and exchanged gifts with the owner Hiroyuki a couple of weeks ago and asked him to let me know when some space came up, and he did. I managed to get this tiny little store, which only allows 20 prims, but this is a hard place to get in, featuring some quality designers like Arai and AOHARU. Speaking with Hiroyuki in a mix of my poor Japanese and his translator-assisted English, I agreed on this spot. We can't get much in there, but in places like this it isn't so much about what we'll sell, but rather being part of a lovely setup and contributing some of our style to it. With a few more prims, Dru and I would love to decorate the interior like we did at Juicy, but alas...

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Zanzo nominated in Vain Readers' Choice Awards 2008

I just found out earlier today that Zanzo is up for an award in the Vain Readers' Choice Awards this year. We're up for the "Best Kawaii Wear" award alongside some pretty cool stores like Aoharu, Sn@tch, and Barerose.

This is pretty big for us considering we only launched in April. Voting is over so we can't bribe our friends to vote (kidding!) can only wait and see if we come anywhere close to winning.

Hopefully next year we can get ourselves in other categories. While we lack our defining mature adult range right now - something we're confident our Gen-X skins will change - I think our skins are of excellent value (none even hit L$1,000, a considerable rarity) and excellent quality, which keeps improving with each new release.

I also tend to think our shapes fill several niches, as while many male shape stores offer the typical 7'0"+ big men, we offer a huge variety from little kids to said massive men. We've often wondered if catering to all avatar ages will keep us from ever entering the posh, high street-dominated "SL mainstream" if we're indeed destined to ever reach it, but its something we refuse to change and always will do - everyone, no matter what their avatar appearance or age, has a place in SL and we intend to give all of them something of interest.

Monday, 22 December 2008

New "Skinny Briefs" @ Zanzo!

We released some new underwear yesterday and they are pretty hot! Called "Skinny Briefs" they are low-rise, super tight briefs that come in 15 different styles. The most basic of them, suitably titled "Old Skool", are modeled in the photo above by our 18-year-old emo brat, Pete, who agrees they are really comfy despite being a tight fit! Only $60 each and like with other undies, we offer a 50% discounted fatpack!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Zanzo presents "Gen-Y" skin range!

After lots of planning and work, we've finally released our "Gen-Y" skin range. "Androgyny" has been a hit among younger avatars, but not everyone wants flawless perfection, thus the arrival of "Gen-Y". Detailed, realistic, and authentic skins for teenage and young adult avatars, these will help fill a gap that has been long left open in SL.

The range offers four shades - Milk, Cream, Cappuccino, Latte - and each range has six options: Bare, Freckly, Blush, Light Eyeliner, Heavy Eyeliner, Dense Eyeliner. Each box features TWO skins - smooth and pubic hair versions. If the range is as popular as "Androgyny", we may introduce a bunch of concept skins. We're also thinking of adding a "Femboy" range with the same style, for those boys who like a feminine touch in their avatar.

Anyway, please come and try out the demos at our store and grab one for just $900L (20% discounted fatpacks available!) if you like 'em! We again reshaped the skin and shapes area today to try and accomodate our growing stock, adding a second floor to the skin area and giving it an amusement arcade feel.

Oh, and to go with the new skins, we've released eight fully optimized shapes. Here's a few of them. :]

Monday, 15 December 2008

Touching up the main store!

We've been touching up our main store a little. Trying to make it more attractive, better themed, and easier to navigate.

Some of our older skin ranges like "Androgyny", "Nekoism", and "Machismo" were starting to look outdated just plastered on walls, when we have the much more stylish "Frat Boy", "Bishonen", "The Fae", and "Madame de Pompadour" displays. So we've overhauled the backgrounds a little and themed them a little better so that now the men's skin area looks a little less factory-like.

As for the male shapes, well they were all packed together until now. We recently closed our teenage area "Midnight" as skin ranges were just being repeated there, so it was sort of redundant. Instead, we've merged them in with the adult shapes and now we've categorized our shapes by what skins they are optimized for. They are still ordered by age WITHIN those categories, but many people want to know quickly what skins the shape looks best with, and this helps.

Pink Bubble is probably our most popular sub-brand, yet the store was bland in comparison to Union 82 and Kakkoii!. So we've given it a big overhaul, made it way cooler, and added a second floor to it. Hope you like it!

One of the issues we're having to tackle at Zanzo is that we only have around 5,000 prims to work with and limited space. We're now having to be a lot more prim and space conscious. In January, "The Fae" exhibit will be downsized, freeing up a lot of space and prims for new projects. Like I said in my last post, we hope we can reach a stage in time where we can upgrade to a sim or half-sim to allow our product range to grow without too many worries.

Zanzo joins the LE.LOOK! sim

We recently had the honour of being invited to be part of the new LE.LOOK! sim. LE.LOOK! is a new high concept, very exclusive project to bring together many top designers from around Second Life. Its pretty amazing that we've been given the honour of display our stuff alongside the likes of Aitui, Aoharu, Damiani, Find Ash, Truth, and UncleWeb Studio - the sort of places Dru and I love to shop at and who now we can show off some of our stuff alongside with. A lot of effort and money has and is being invested into the project, justifying rental costs that not every designer could afford.

We are privileged enough to be at the front of the men's skin area on the men's fashion wing of the sim. We made a special display of our Fae skins, featuring a select range of makeups (and basics) from what we believe are our highest quality skins yet. We don't expect enormous sales, as this range is very much niche and specialty, but we hope it can show people what we can do.

We've come along way since our little store in Diagon Alley earlier this year. Not only have we made more products - far more than we ever imagined - but the quality of our work has improved massively. We now have a big following, lots of new customers, and we continue to grow. We're hoping to get to the point sooner or later that we can buy our own full 15,000 prim sim for our store and maybe some other projects.

Our growth and quality improvement is the reason that we have two new skin ranges in development that follow up on two existing ranges.

The first one is "Generation Y", a new range for teenage/young adult avatars. "Androgyny" has been our best selling range, as it offers a flawless, beautiful look for avatars in a world somewhat starved of non-mature looks for avatars who aren't kids, but don't want a fully mature adult look. "Generation Y" will offer an alternative style look. Very much a teenage style skin, but less "perfect" and more "authentic", with lots of subtle details on the face and body. We'll offer four shades, the basic ones - pale, medium tan, heavy tan - along with a new Asian style pale. The variations will be Bare, Freckly, Blush, Light Eyeliner, Heavy Eyeliner, and Dense Eyeliner. Each pack will come with two versions - smooth and pubic hair. Depending on if the range catches on, we might add special concept skins. This range is well in development and should be out in the not-too-distant future.

Coming up in early 2009 is an untitled second range of full adult skins. "Machismo" is our only mature male adult range, but again we've learnt so much that we can now offer a different, more refined and authentic style of skin.

We're really hoping next year can be big for us, as we've only just scratched the surface of what we can do. Please keep supporting us and send us any suggestions you have!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Zanzo @ Lil Punks Teen Fashion show today!

Zanzo will be part of Lil Punks' Teen Fashion show this weekend (12th-14th of December), beginning at 2pm SLT. We decided to display some of our "Kakkoii!" outfits that have been very popular among avatars of all ages, young and adult. They are funky, stylish, and should fit in with the hip teen concept well. Not only do we have a stall there to show off our goods, but we'll have several models flaunting a select range of them. Many other cool teen fashion designers will also be there, so come and have a look, it should be fun!

Here's a SLurl for you to jump right there.

Friday, 12 December 2008

New "Concept" jeans @ Zanzo!

We've released a new line of jeans at the Union 82 area of Zanzo's main store. We've titled the line "Concept" as we gave each pair of jeans a special concept/theme and each has a nice low-rise fit. $118 per pair, mod/copy/no xfer, come and check 'em out!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Three new lucky chair items @ Zanzo!

Three new items in the Lucky Chairs at Zanzo, not on sale in the store!

The first is a pair of our Chunkies sneakers that are all chunky and cute!

And secondly, two unlisted skins from our fae range, one for guys, one for girls.

Come and check out our two lucky chairs, each containing different items from the other.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

8 new Pink Bubble tees @ Zanzo!

We've doubled our range of Pink Bubble tees at Zanzo that have been so popular in all their kawaii uber-cuteness. Eight new designs mean sixteen tees in total in the PB area of our main store, and they are just $70L each!

(The bottom row is the new lot, the top row the existing lot)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

"The Fae" @ Zanzo!

The gate has opened at last on Zanzo's special exhibit that we have been working on for about three (grueling) months now. Titled "The Fae", this offering was created with several things in mind.

Shopping is one of the coolest things to do in Second Life. In this world, we have the chance to look -exactly- how we please at a low cost. But often, shopping is a repetitive experience and there is little more to it than teleporting to a store, grabbing what you want, and leaving.

At Zanzo, we put great effort into presentation. You may have noticed how we theme so much, to the point that we sub-brand our products in special areas. We think shopping should have a certain ambience to it in order to make it more than a point-n-click experience.

"The Fae" is our most ambitious attempt to do that yet. It is a story-driven area where, yes, you can buy things - skins, shapes, and eyes - but you can also immerse yourself in an environment created to enhance these products. We have developed a concept and tried to put a new spin on a popular race that has many stories.

We hope you enjoy "The Fae" and would love your feedback and suggestions on it.

- Theodore & Drusus