Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Cat is out of the Bag...

Yep, I can finally talk about this it seems :)

Some of you may already know about this, but Jake's Club has now expanded into the all new Jake's Club Resort, featuring a beautiful new Mall and an Amphitheatre for community events and Agape Men's Store is proud to be a part of it! We've got a beautiful new 450 Sq meter store there and if I do say so myself, it really looks wonderful!

The new location will feature all of our great shapes as well as the new "Agape / Signature" series of shapes designed around... Oh wait, I haven't mentioned that part yet, have I (hehe)? Well, now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag as they say, I suppose I should mention this. You may remember that earlier in the month I'd blogged about the shopping experience a friend of mine had when I sent him over to Signature Skins for a "Blaze" skin. Since then, I've been in contact with Mr Spad and he has graciously allowed me to design a line of Male body Shapes around his fantastic skins. You've really got to see these to believe them!

The "Signature Series" shapes are designed around three specific skins from Mr Spad's collection - "Blaze", "Rage", and "Vain". You really owe it to yourself to check these out. The shapes themselves have not yet been released, but you can check out previews of them at our Jake's Club Resort, Gaytown Mall, and Warehouse Plaza locations; or better yet, head on down to Signature Skins and try out demo's of the skins themselves. You will be amazed at the level of realism Mr Spad has achieved with these skins - and once you've worn them with one of our new shapes, well... I'll be surprised if you wear much else for quite some time (I think you know what I'm talking about here ::grins::).
The Shops at Jake's Club Resort is currently in "Soft Opening" mode, but watch for the "Grand Opening" announcement to appear sometime next week. We have a few more announcements to make over the next few weeks so keep watching this spot for updates!
See you soon!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The sound of Silence...

Well, it's been pretty quiet around here these past few says, hasn't it? This usually means I'm working on something :) In this case it just so happens that I'm working on several things at once. Eight things to be precise, but they're all inter-related (sp?).
Unfortunately I can't talk about them just yet, but soon (very soon) I'll be able to spill the beans about at least one of them. Trust me, this is going to be very cool. All I can say right now is that part of this announcement involves 5 new Male Body Shapes I've been working on (one of which is pictured here).

It's really hard for me to keep quiet about this because it's pretty big (to me, anyway) and involves LOTS of prims... Oops, shouldn't have let that part slip. OK, I'll shut up now; but keep watching this space. I really think you're going to love this...

Soon, very soon...

PS: It's just come to my attention that there is something ELSE going on! OMG... Can't say more now (I'm under SLNDA), but soon I'll be posting more on this as it happens. Stay tuned...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Romeo's Best Kept Secret

Nestled away in a corner of the Aussieboys' hangout on the Romeo sim lies a little Agape Men's Store location. It features almost all of our great Men's body shapes (which is no small feat considering this is our smallest location).
So if you happen to be Sim-hopping on the Mainland, be sure to stop in and visit. The Mall features lots of great shops including Pillow Biters, Dinzeo Design, Xcite!, and 'N4RS...

The store can be found here:
See you soon (and be ready for our next big announcement :-)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


No picture with this entry. I just wanted to take this opportunity to mention an awesome example of an SL content creator helping their customers to solve problems. Recently a friend of mine went to Signature Skins for one of their "Blaze" skins (which is very hot IMO). Basically what happened is that once he bought the skin, the SL asset servers ate it. I'm sure many of you know how frustrating that can be.

What did he do? Well, to his credit he didn't freak out. He went through the usual steps one should take in order to try and retrieve the item. He used the search and filtering functions to make sure the folder/skin was not still in his inventory somehwere. He also cleared his cache and re-logged, hoping that this might bring the item back. When it was clear that his purchase was really, truly gone from his inventory, he took a deep breath and proceeded to write a calm factual non-accusatory notecard detailing what had happened and sent it off to the creator, Simple Spad - including the details of his transaction from the LL web site.

By the time my friend had gotten home from work yesterday, Mr Spad had refunded the purchase price of the missing item and my friend was able to TP over to Signature Skins and re-buy the product that SL had eaten... and I must say he looks pretty damned good. So Kudos to Simple Spad of Signature Skins! Not only are his skins pretty awesome (and reasonably priced), but he takes the time to help out his customers when SL has a hiccup. This alone makes a world of difference and we are pleased to be able to recommend this vendor as a place to shop.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bad Hair Day

Recently I've been seeing an interesting new hairstyle floating around the clubs. Admittedly it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it evoked the 80's for me and looked cute on the AVI's I saw sporting it. The style is called "Silvio 2" and it's available from a content creator whose shop is fairly famous for its (ladies') creations. I won't name any names here, but hopefully someone attached to the store / hair will see this and fix the damn thing. Look at this hair...

As if shopping for good hair / skin / clothing as a guy in SL is not bad enough, try doing it as a blonde some time. You tend to run across things like this. Can you see what I'm talking about? Would you pay almost L$300 for something as bad as this? Are you filled with outrage? Probably not, but this *is* bad hair any way you slice it. Of course the Demo picture in her shop shows the hair from the other side (and in black) so not everyone will get treated to this example of shoddy craftsmanship - at least not right away. Oh, also... the hair is scripted resize (which I hate) and the store is one big 'no script zone' for your convenience.
Caveat emptor, baby...

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This will be the first of my posts about one of my body shapes. I thought it would be appropriate to start with one of the first created, the one I named "Nick".
Originally I wanted to create sort of an 'ethnic' shape - one that evoked an attactive man of Mediterranean descent... Not specifically Greek or Italian, but one that could kind of go either way. When he was finished I spent a few days kicking around names until Gil finally decided that "Nick" would be best.

One of the things I wanted to do was focus on his nose and eyes, to give him a classic, yet rugged look - to make him beautiful, yet approachable at the same time. I wanted to stay away from the doe-eyed 'prettiness' that is so cliche and give him a friendly face that ordinary guys could relate to, yet find attractive. The not-too-full lips and squarish jaw line finished off the effect that I was going for. Once I had rounded his features a bit to make them less extreme, I knew that I had achieved what I was going for.

Next I chose a skin from Millage Valenti (approx L$2000 - I'm doing this from memory here) with a nice tanned texture that gave his facial features more depth without looking 'painted'. The triangular highlight area around the eyes, nose, and cheekbones worked perfectly to bring out the angularity of his face without looking harsh. Also, ths skin has some nice body highlighting that gives him a bit of a wiry muscularity that looks very male without making him look like a gymrat. The skin also includes a facelight that while good for photos, contains too many prims for use while travelling about the grid. As we all know, the SL client is only capable of rendering a total of 6 light sources. I believe that this facelight has a total of 7.

Once "Nick" was named and ready, I had to dress him for his photo shoot. For this I chose clothing from Brutal Gear. In keeping with my initial concept for the body shape, I chose something that would give him a masculine, yet comfortable lived-in look. I can't remember the prices off the top of my head right now (although I do promise to be more precise about this in the future), but the "Tread" tank top was under L$100 and the "Rebar" jeans were about L$125. Nick's Hair is from "Truth", and the color is Raven I do believe. This particular style goes for about L$250 and more than one shade of black is included.

The "Nick" body shape is available at all Agape Men's Store locations and sells for L$500 No Mod/Copy/No Trans. Both regular and "0" size feet versions are included as is an Agape (1 prim) facelilght and Styling Card.

So yeah...

Well I suppose that I have a bit of catching up to do now that I'm here. Where to begin? Let's see...

I opened my first Agape store last Summer in the mall outside of Romeo Reardon's Club Athens on the Thesoloniki sim (Unfortunately the store, the mall, and the whole Sim are no longer there). I started off with just 4 shapes (LOL), but I was damned proud of my little storefront and would spend hours just shifting things around, trying to make things look a bit interesting, but once I had a few more shapes under my belt it became clear that I'd need to expand. Soon after that an opportunity became available to open a location at Gaytown Mall.

John and Gully were in the process of renovating and expanding the mall, so I jumped at the chance and ended up with a wonderfully huge space with windows on 3 sides that would prove to shape the "look" for the other stores that were to follow. Even though the mall and that store have been redesigned yet again, Gaytown Mall is still my favorite location to date. I consider it to be my 'mainstore' even though I don't really have a 'mainstore' in the conventional sense.

Other stores in other malls would follow, leading to a total of five stores and one vendor Kiosk over at Impulse Isle. I've met a lot of interesting people and learned a lot of interesting things over these past 7 months (wow, it seems a lot longer sometimes) and I do have another new store in the works, which looks to be a very interesting place. I guess you could say I'm sort of addicted to opening shops; however after this new one opens I believe I'm going to just settle down for a while and concentrate on expanding my line. I'm in no hurry, and the slider combinations are infinite, so I can just focus on making you look as good as possible. See you at the malls!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Greetings and Salutations!

Hi there! My name's Zim Gunsberg and I'm an avatar in the Virtual World called Second Life.

I'm not a Fashionista by any means, but I do have a better than average eye for what looks good. I'm also the owner of the Agape Men's Store, where I sell male body shapes. Yeah, that does sound kind of strange, but this is a Virtual World we're talking about here - You can pretty much be anything you care to be. Face it, guys like looking good; and more often than not, they'd prefer to do it without having to spend an arm and a leg.

When I first got to Second Life I was pretty overwhelemed with all the choices available. I was also overwhelmed by the sheer amount of custom content available for women and the scarcity of good custom content for men. I thought, "Do guys not play Second Life? I see other guys here. They must get their clothes somewhere? Where can I find some cool stuff?"

After getting situated, I made it my mission to make my AVI look as hot as I could (hehe, that's me in the pic up there); so I dragged my buddies Gil and Trent around with me to just about every shop I could find and tried on as many things as I could until I thought I looked reasonably hot. This was back when the club DevilInside was the hottest gay nightspot on the Grid. I'd actually plan my outfits before heading on over, just waiting to show off the clothes and hair I'd found, and to see what everyone else was wearing (Shout outs here to Karmelle and Trent and Hartmann and Gil and Willi and Clarkie and everyone else; you all know who you are - and you all looked FAB... all the time! Muah!)

At this point you're probably wondering about my fashion creds. Trust me, I have none - other than visiting London in the 80's and having worked in the Theatre as a costume and scenic designer for 12 years (that's IRL, btw). So do I "know" fashion? No, but I've got a good eye for what looks 'right' on the male body. Being a homo helps a lot (wink wink), but don't let that scare you off if you're a straight guy reading this.

Everyone deserves to look good. Everyone. Agape is an unconditional love, and that's what my store and blog are all about. i'm not going to tell you how to look, but I will present some interesting ideas and images here, and hopefully you may walk away with something useful (or at least have been entertained by my scribblings). Hasta la proxima...