October 7, 2010

aDiva also aThiefa?

As a follow-up to my rant about my treatment at the hands or typing fingers of AnneJoy Paine (the owner / designer for "aDiva couture" in Second Life), an anonymous person pointed me to doing a Google search on her. Wowee! I found a number of references to AnneJoy as either an outright content thief or certainly, a blatant copier.

Both Nicky Ree and Blaze Columbia filed DMCA actions against AnneJoy. In Nicky Ree's case, Linden Lab forced the takedown of a number of outfits from the aDiva store. I don't know what happened with Blaze Columbia. Here are two linkies that compare the works.

Blaze Columbia vs. AnneJoy Paine

Nicky Ree vs. AnneJoy Paine

I wonder if her slavish minions know the history here? What makes it more interesting is that I own one of Blaze's gowns he says was copied, "Celestial" (and it's gorgeous), plus I'm pretty sure I have Nicky Ree's "Julia" dress somewhere in inventory.

DISCLAIMER - I'm not implying in any way that AnneJoy is engaged in any sort of copying now. I wouldn't know.

October 2, 2010

How not to treat a customer in Second Life

Warning -- this is a rant about something that happened to me in Second Life today.

Does "aDiva" mean arrogance or are you simply a Paine?

I don't like writing blog posts like this because it can come across as petty sniping. However, I'm soooo annoyed with how I was treated by well-known designer, AnneJoy Paine (aDiva couture), that I had to say something.

First, to be clear, AnneJoy is a very good designer. I have bought several of her outfits AND even paid the $250L to belong to her group. I also blogged about one of her outfits that I won last year during Halloween (read Blood Red Bitch). So this is in no way any dissing of her design skills. Rather, it's how she treats a customer who dares to question her in any way.

Today, AnneJoy sent out a group gift -- a cute mini-dress with matching garter stockings called "Virtue & Vice". Here's the outfit as it comes from the box. As you can see, the stockings end well above the ankle. Normally, when I see garter belts and stockings, I think stilettos or pumps. Which made me wonder, hmm, how should you wear this?

Running through my inventory, I tried almost every boot imaginable. All the ankle boots were too short and showed the skin. All the calf boots just looked clunky.

So, being curious, I went into the aDiva couture Grou Chat and asked a simple question...here it is from my chat log:
[2010/10/02 15:24]  Snickers Snook: Hi the new group gift is yummy but the stockings end above the ankle. Any suggestions for how to wear them? The outfit doesn't look right with boots. ^_^
A few suggestions popped up on boots which were fine when AnneJoy herself jumped into the conversation with a small wall of text about how boots would be great and that's what I should do. So then I said....
[2010/10/02 15:29]  Snickers Snook: ahh well when I see garter stockings, I always think and feel heels ;)
At this point, the conversation took a weird turn with Anne telling me I need to learn about the difficulties of SL and their "templates". Here's the rest of the chat log (for the record, I moved a couple of lines around that were chat delayed on my end).
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: and learn about the difficulties of sl and their templates ;)))
[2010/10/02 15:31]  Snickers Snook: Well since a stocking layer wasn't included, you could combine the undie and stocking for one continuous set right?
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: i would suggest
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: then
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: and you can complain
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: as you prefer
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: yes
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:31]  Snickers Snook: just a suggestion not a complaint Anne
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)))
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: i thnk you should start design yourself
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: to make things like you want them
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: or pay for a gift
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: and I also blog about fashion
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: including your items now & then
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: but I will find something that looks cute in my inventory :)
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: and I've always been very favorable toward them
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: (And yes Anne, I have designed fashion items too)
[2010/10/02 15:33]  AnneJoy Paine: i am pretty sure there are lots of designs which are better then mine ;) just try them
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: sigh
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: ok
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: I know when I've hit a sore spot here
[2010/10/02 15:34]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:36]  Snickers Snook: For crying out loud, I made one little comment suggestion -- I've bought many aDiva items full price.
[2010/10/02 15:36]  AnneJoy Paine: snickers
[2010/10/02 15:36]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:36]  Snickers Snook: forget it
[2010/10/02 15:39]  AnneJoy Paine: yes and save some space for upgrowing designers like Snickers ;)))

Kicked out of the aDiva couture group

Right when I said "forget it", AnneJoy kicked me out her group but chat continued to run and I picked up the one last snarky line from her. In between all of this were comments from group members varying from "you're wonderful Anne" to a couple that told Anne to lighten up. I also got two private IMs both saying they thought Anne had gone over the top and one saying I was wrong to criticize a freebie. However, when I told them I had been booted from the group, all expressed outrage. Remember, you have to pay $250L to belong to aDiva couture in the first place.

So here's the real issue. Does a pixel clothing designer really believe she is so good that she can never take a customer comment without acting like she's been personally insulted? Or is it insecurity? I have dealt with many designers and yes, I design clothes too. Virtually ALL of them treat customer comments as valuable feedback -- in fact I can't remember EVER having a response like this from any other creator. They either take the time to explain why they did something the way they did or the tell me it was a good idea or suggestion. But not AnneJoy. Sad because her designs are generally quite good.

Now as to the stockings, YES, you can connect the garter portion to the foot by using the underwear layer and the socks layers together. I've done it myself and I have several pairs of pixel pantyhose. :) Even if my design was a freebie, I think I would still make it versatile enough to allow for boots OR heels.

Oh and I finally found some boots in my inventory that looked "right" with the outfit so to be 100% fair, here's the end result. Pretty cute huh?

P.S. If you think I was wrong here, let me know. I welcome honest criticism. :)