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Virtual Dov
The first real-world store to open a virtual store in online game Second Life is American Apparel, the T-shirt company that has taken a stand against sweatshops by paying its U.S. factory workers relatively high wages. Set for a mid-month launch, the virtual store will offer 20 familiar American Apparel items for avatars, including the women’s jersey polo dress. The company will charge a token sum of about $1 per item. “It’s really not about the money,” said Raz Schionning, American Apparel’s director of Web services. Rather, it’s a testing ground and a form of advertising, said Mathew Swenson, American Apparel’s content adviser. Will there be a virtual Dov Charney, the boundary-pushing company founder who once masturbated in front of a reporter? “That would be great,” said Schionning. “We’ll see if he can make an appearance.”

Jet Set
Luxury cell phone maker Vertu has added a travel-theme phone to its line. The Vertu Constellation is made of the same ceramic material used in the Space Shuttle, with a gold or stainless steel finish. The microphone port resembles a propeller and the leather back features tiny screws similar to the grommets on airplane wings. A quad band connection works in more than 210 countries and the phone offers real-time flight tracking, a real-time currency converter, a world clock, world weather and a 24-hour concierge service for booking restaurants and theater tickets, and sending gifts. The phone comes in black, tan, chocolate or pink leather. It will be available in September. Prices are not yet set, but will start at less than Vertu’s current opening price of $4,900.

Small but Pretty
This innovative camera uses two flat lenses to zoom without a bulky protruding lens. About the size of a business card and less than one inch thick, the Kodak Easyshare V610 also features antiblur, a resolution of 6 megapixels and Bluetooth for wirelessly sending and receiving photos from other nearby Bluetooth devices such as cell phones and computers. It retails for $449.

Crafty is the place to buy and sell unique handmade items such as reworked vintage jackets and appliquéd skirts, including this $25 Conjoined Bears Birthday Skirt from Anda Lewis of Stopsandstarts of New York. Still in beta, the site already has more than 12,000 sellers. Its Alchemy feature allows buyers to request custom items.

This story first appeared in the June 14, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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