FRI Showcasing at PDMA Global Conference

It’s been a while since we’ve posted. Gosh, we’ve been busy! So much going on at FRI this summer. Just wanted to pop in and share our excitement about an upcoming event this Fall.

Fashion Research Institute was selected by the Product Development and Management Association to showcase our work with Virtual Runway(TM) and Black Dress Design Studio.  The PDMA is hosting the 34th Annual Global Conference on Product Innovation October 16-20th in Orlando, FL.

One of the keynote speakers is Janet A. Carr, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Customer Engagement – Coach, Inc.  I can’t wait to see what she has to say about innovation and fashion !

I’m personally excited that I’ll also get to see the infamous Dan Pink speak. Okay, not as excited as the fact that we were chosen to showcase, but certainly a close 2nd.

For more information about what we will be presenting, visit And wish us luck on going after BEST OF SHOW !

Nolcha Fashion Business Conference, Speakers Announced

We’re excited that the Fashion Research Institute will be represented at the upcoming Nolcha Fashion Business Conference on May 20th in NYC, NY. This conference caters to independent fashion designers, retailers and related independent industry businesses; providing one full day of industry expert-led interactive panels and thought-leadership discussions with those who define business strategy in the fashion market.

I’ll be taking the stage at 12:30 to talk about Virtual Worlds and Social Networking.  Learn how fashion fits into the equation with 3D modeling, virtual runway shows and virtual fashion pieces that can not only save money, but make money. Also learn about how social networks fit into virtual worlds as an additional marketing tool for your independent business.

Early bird registration ends in just 2 days, so if you’re in the NYC area, make sure you pick up your ticket fast !

Presenting at FashionCampNY 2010 Saturday, February 20

Virtual goods are hot, and 3D is even hotter!

In this 45 minute presentation, new methods of marketing, sales and development using 3D will be showcased.  You’ll learn about a sizzling new way to showcase your work using 3D in a 24 x7 virtual fashion show. Pick your models, pick their looks, pick your runway, and then select the outfits, garments or accessories you want to’s that easy.

Want to go deeper? How about easy-to-use product demo stations, where your buyers can interact with your product offerings, changing colors and patterns.

Want even more? Your buyers can purchase your product directly from the runway; look at tech packs, or anything else you want to show them.  Your buyers are overseas or not easy to reach? No problem. If they have a web-enabled or mobile device, they can get actual videos of your product.   Join us for this visionary approach to marketing your product, and be at the forefront of trend. CEO Shenlei Winkler presents “Virtual Fashion, Real Money” in this 45 minute demonstration at FashionCampNY.

Fashion Camp is a free, volunteer-run, 2-day barcamp-style conference with workshops and presentations focused on current topics in fashion, technology, and innovative marriages of fashion and tech, including fashion tech/wearables, fashion eCommerce, and fashion2.0.

FRI’s Student Interns, New York City, and Fashion Week

Almost every fashion design student wants to at least visit New York City, the fashion capital not just of the United States, but also the world.  New York is where fashion is happening, particularly during one of our legendary Fashion Weeks.

This particular Fashion Week is a little different: this is the last time New York Fashion Week will be held in the Tents at Bryant Park.  The next time the designers and models come out, they’ll be further north in the City.  We confess to being a bit sad to seeing the tents go, although we are sure the Bryant Park grass is breathing an enormous sigh of relief.  What excites us about this particular Fashion Week is that our student interns from Buffalo State University will be joining us here in the City.

Our big project for this semester is to develop their senior collection both as physical garments to be shown as part of the senior runway show and as virtual avatar apparel to be shown in virtual runway show.  The theme of the senior show this year is Runway 3.0, and we’ve been tasked with adding various sorts of technology to their garment collection.  We have agreed to serve as consultants in helping with the technical design aspects of the physical garments as well as with the development of their virtual garments and their virtual runway show.

As part of the physical prototyping, we’re taking our students on a day-long sourcing trip to New York’s garment district, there to locate textiles, trims, closures, and other useful things.

We have also arranged for them to volunteer at a Fashion Week designer event sponsored by Nolcha, where they will have a chance to be exposed to an industry event, to meet other students and of course, to mingle with designers and other industry insiders.

We will be doing a lot of in-depth exploration of the technical design aspect of their collections: they need to finish this project with us not only with the mirror collections (physical/virtual), but also with a completed ‘story’ for their portfolio.  And of course, we expect them to put together a report about their experiences, which will be blogged over on Professor Elaine Polvinen’s Virtual Fashion blog.

Oh, yes, and while they are here, we’ll make sure we at least stroll past those big white tents.  We don’t have time to take in a show, but we can at least take in the energy!

ScienceSim Land Grant Program Presentations Scheduled

Please join us on Saturday, January 9th or Sunday, January 10th for a presentation about the land grant program in ScienceSim.  Details about participation in this program will be presented and information about applying for a parcel with be provided.

The times and locations are as follows:

Saturday, January 9th, 7 am PT/10 am ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

Sunday, January 10th, 10 am PT/1 pm ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

Sunday, January 10th, 4 pm PT/7 pm ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

If you cannot make these events, you may visit our regions in ScienceSim or in Second Life (Shengri La Hope) for more information, or send a request through your organizational email to admin at fashionresearchinstitute dot com.  Please note we cannot respond to requests from noninstitutional addresses.

Sneak Preview of Settlement Land in ScienceSim

We’ve started preparing ScienceSim for the coming land program in support of our work to develop a formal organization for the use of OpenSim for education, science, research and data visualization.

Here are some shots of our team in developing the regions – we’ve added a special mall of base content, including an array of prefab buildings, seamless tiling textures, landscaping, and other useful things.  We show here the new mall space along with the bridge through the pace leading to the land program regions.  Kansas North and South (aptly named), Alaska North and South, Dakota North and South, and Oregon North and South have emerged and merely wait urban planning before we can enable settlement.

We’ll announce the details of the land program later this week, but the over view in brief is we’ve been asked to administrate the land program through our research collaboration with Intel Labs.  We’ve been provided with 18 regions, which have been divided into 1/4 region parcels.  Each parcel can contain about 8,000 prims.  The regions will be awarded for a six-month period to educators, scientists, and researchers who wish to explore using OpenSim for their work, but who have not yet managed to have a presence in OpenSim.  These regions will be provided for six months, with the program scheduled to end June 30, 2010.

The best part – there’s no charge for the parcels. The ‘catch’? We provide the land and a range of premium, original content; settlers need to provide their own sweat equity.

If you represent an organization which you’d like to bring in to try OpenSim out, please watch this space for announcements for presentations about the particulars of the program.

Towards the Future: A Foundation to Support OpenSim in Education, Science, and Research

Fashion Research Institute CEO Shenlei Winkler will be speaking Friday, December 11, at 1 pm ET at a MICA Professional Seminar in Second Life.  The title of the talk is: Towards the Future: A Foundation to Support OpenSim in Education, Science, and Research.

Fashion Research Institute has been working in OpenSim since Fall 2007.  Winkler developed the well-known Shengri La Spirit region, the first OpenSim region that broke the artificially imposed prim limit of Linden Lab’s Second Life platform.  Shengri La Spirit is currently hosted on hardware provided by Intel Labs, and is available for the interested public to freely visit in the ScienceSim grid.

The ScienceSim grid is hosted by IEEE and ACM, and it was created as a presentation grid for Supercomputing 09.  ScienceSim itself is the result of multidisciplinary teams of collaborators working on various educational, scientific and data visualization projects. The efforts of the teams working on and in ScienceSim has left a lasting impression on the OpenSim code base, with multiple performance code patches contributed to the code base.  In tackling the challenges of preparing the various projects being developed on ScienceSim, the collaborators also created a rich repository of data and knowledge.

This repository offers appreciable insights into using the OpenSim platform for an array of educational, scientific, and research purposes, and it should be used and built upon to create offerings that other educators, researchers, and scientists can use as they expand onto this platform.  It is from this basis that the proposal was made to develop a formal foundation to support OpenSim for use by educators, researchers and scientists.

Please join us on Friday, December 11th at 10 am PT/1 PM ET in Stella Nova in Second Life for this initial proposal of a foundation to support OpenSim in education, science, and research.