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Genies is launching Genies Studio, which lets creators craft their own avatar fashions.
The company is releasing the first set of digital fashion tools that will empower creators and designers to create their own fashions for their “metaverse avatars.”
With the launch of the tools, Genies will enable more people to participate in the economy around its digital avatars, which have been used by celebrities to make online appearances even when they are unable to do it in real life — something that happened a lot during the pandemic.
With the tools, creators will be able to change the color, pattern, and texture of any item they own –whether built from scratch in the Genies Studio or purchased from other creators in the Genies marketplace, dubbed the Warehouse.
For now, Genies is hand-selecting creators who can sell in the universe. But those interested in being sellers can apply or get in contact via the DIY pop-up events Genies is doing.
Genies said more tools are on the way. Digital fashion is just the first step in the company’s vision towards avatar ecosystems.
“Our priority has always and will always be about giving ownership to the creator, so that’s why each digital fashion item you create is an NFT (non-fungible token),” the company said.
Genies acknowledged that some “people have a hatred towards NFTs (tech bros scare us too lol). They’ve been used in completely wrong ways. NFTs are how we can ensure that creators get paid and recognized for their original designs. From the first creation, to the very last collab, you are able to see who created, owned, remixed, and sold each individual piece of fashion. This means you, the creator, actually own your digital creations when you buy them…. And by the way, we also hate how environmentally unfriendly NFTs have been thus far (yuck), so that’s why we are using Flow, which is the most environmentally friendly blockchain around.”
Some of the first approved creators include sgicreator, illumitati, and kat rose. Genies’ studio app is now live. New drops are expected to happen two to three times per week. Users can buy full collections or individual items from creators and use Genies Studio DIY tools to create a derivative collection to eventually sell on The Warehouse (this will be rolled out in Q4).
This functionality allows users to fully customize collections they have purchased from the DIY/creator community. Each item is sold through Genies’ digital marketplace, The Warehouse, further empowering the intersection of NFT technology and culture.
SGI Creator, a 3D fashion and multidisciplinary designer, and Illumitati, the fashion photographer who recently blew up with her “Make Instagram Great Again” call for action to her one million followers, are a few of the first highlighted creators that are releasing their collections in The Warehouse.
Tati is another member of the first drops – Known professionally as @Illumitati, Tati Bruening is a photographer who rose to fame capturing stunning personal portraits of some of TikTok’s most recognizable stars.
The company recently announced full ownership and commercialization rights to all users, giving talent and creators monetary and ownership benefits of their Genie avatar ecosystem creations. They can use them however they want and reap 100% of the creation profits. In Genies’ ecosystem anyone will be able to become a business, a creator, a logo, a brand, a destination, a character, or all of the above.
Genies raised $150 million in funding in April 2022, fueling its mission of empowering humans to create their own avatar ecosystems.
I asked if Genies would let creators build brand-related avatar fashions.
The company said in reply:
Today, any user can use Genie’s tools to create digital fashion lines, but they first have to apply to be an approved seller here, in order to sell digital collections in this first MVP beta stage of The Warehouse (our new online marketplace).
In phase one of the Genies Studio app rollout, the creator tools are somewhat limited in what you’re able to do, due to the fact that this is our BASIC foundational tool set. We’re only just scratching the surface of the tools that we’re going to be releasing every four weeks.
Where we are today within the web3 space, it’s common that anything that infringes upon IP is subject to take downs. With that being said, the only sellers Genies is approving in this phase one rollout are the ones that believe in our key virtues of the marketplace, which is around commercialization and DIY collaboration.
We believe that the future of digital fashion is collaborative and that the current laws of IP are outdated. In order to protect branded IP–like the Gucci G–we will soon be releasing new capabilities that allow a creator or fashion designer to select different checkboxes that can be applied specifically to their collection. This way, they can select that region on the wearable itself and restrict certain capabilities like “do not edit,” so that users aren’t able to edit that specific logo or detail from within the app.
I also asked about the emphasis on fashion.
From the beginning, Genies has always believed that avatar ecosystems will be the mobile apps of web3. We break down avatar ecosystems to four main components: avatars, avatar fashion/collectibles, avatar spaces, and avatar experiences. This is a very ambitious, long road journey and for each of those four components, we’re coming out with non-technical tools that allow users to manifest their ideas within each of those components.
Considering our target demographic, which is the “cool kids of the internet” as it relates to Gen Z, are obsessed with this form of expression through fashion. We think that fashion is a great entry point for people to start accessorizing and expressing their own online identity and a foundational layer for avatar identity.
The company said the opportunity of Genies is “monumental.” I noted the company has competition in game from Ready Player Me. But Genies has not prioritized gaming as a market for its avatars, despite the huge popularity of avatars in games.