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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Aspiring Model, Voff Uggla- Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Staff Reporter
• Wednesday, September 15, 2010
People from all over the world join the Second Life community. Some come for the business aspect, other’s for leisure and they discover something new and unexpected.

Originally from Stockholm, Sweden Voff Uggla found herself in Second Life in early 2007 to seek comfort after her beloved dog past away. Looking to Second Life and some comfort from her loss, Voff eventually found her nitch, in the form of everything Fashion, and even found her soul mate.

With her passion for Fashion, Modeling & Photographer, Voff is a contracted model for SSMA, member of Fan Shopping Elyte Models, she models for Marissa Bruun Fashion, and is also a model/student at Bel’Lys Modeling Agency. Voff has an Associates Degree from the Fashion Institute, but is still a student there, taking the advanced runway classes at her own pace. She graduated from MVWA on September 12.
Next on the agenda is MBMA, starting September 20. She was a pre-finalist for Miss Virtual World 2011, set for April, and a pre-finalist for styling Forward, a new reality TV show with semi finals on September 18.

SLE sat down with Voff Uggla to find out more about her history, what she does, how she deals with SL relationships and what she hopes for her future here in Second Life.

SLE: Voff where are you from?

Voff Uggla: I’m from Sweden but I lived abroad for 10 years, lived in CA, HI, India, etc. So, I feel at home in SL with all the different cultures.

SLE: That is certainly one of the best things about Second Life, getting a chance to see many cultures combined in this melting pot society. So Voff, what role do you play here in SL?
Voff Uggla: My role is a model and everything that involves the fashion industry, modeling, photography, etc. At the moment, I am pursuing my career as a runway model, which is not easy, a lot of hard work and costly besides that a fierce competition with so many women that want to be models. At the castings I've been to, I think it's 99% women and 1% men.

SLE: I can agree the competition can be fierce, not just in the fashion world but in many of the competing industries here. I’m interested to know, how did you find out about Second life and do you see it as an extension of your real life or is it just a hobby?
Voff Uggla: I found out about SL in February of 2007. My 15 year old Dutch hound had gotten too old and sick, I had to put him to sleep, so I was in grief and then one day I saw a program on a Swedish TV about Second Life and decided to check it out. I had no idea what it was about, but slowly started to learn and meet people. In the first years I was working in the club business where I started out as a dancer, then hosting and further on to event planning and managing. During my first couples of years here, I had 2 love affairs that crossed over to RL. The last one was with a woman. We were together for a year and during that time we didn’t spend so much time in SL. At least I thought we weren't, but she had several alts she was having fun with behind my back. One day I caught her and that was the end of that relationship.

SLE: There are many stories that are similar to this. The realism of Second Life allows people to be what they want to be and some are not really what they seem to be. It’s unfortunate that some people would rather use deception over honesty and cause people to be hurt. So what did you do?
Voff Uggla: I started to become more involved in SL summer 2009 and that's when my modeling career started. I was handed an application from CWS, to join one of their contests. So I did, even though my laptop wasn’t compatible with SL, it only had a 64 MB video card, but I learnt the basics of modeling there. I had never thought about modeling before, it was something new and exactly what I needed after the ugly breakup from my relationship. It gave me something new and challenging to focus on.

SLE: Let’s back up a bit and explore some of the things you mentioned. You said that you came here during your grieving period over the loss of your dog. Did SL help you get through this?
Voff Uggla: Yes, it was something new and exciting and I got hooked quite quickly.

SLE: That is a good thing about Second Life, the fact that it can help people in so many ways. Sometimes in ways we least expect it. With that said I wanted to move on to the other thing you mentioned. SL relationships.
Voff Uggla: It can be very tough. I have been hurt very badly in SL relationships. People can be deceiving and lie to you.

SLE: True. It is a lot easier to be deceptive here. From multiple alts, to gender impersonators.
Voff Uggla: The most important thing is, honesty, trust, compassion and understanding. I have found that in Melly, my wife/partner. Of course we have arguments. That’s natural, but we have a basic understanding, love and compassion for each other. We are able to forgive each other and move on

SLE: How long have you two been together?

Voff Uggla: 8 months, this is a long time in

SLE : SL relationship can certainly be a challenge, but can also be a great thing to have a companion here that cares and shows support for what you do.
Voff Uggla: Yes, Melly is the one I'm the closest to in SL, she's my best friend, soul mate and lover.

SLE: What advice could you give people getting involved in a relationship here?
Voff Uggla: When it comes to relationships, take it slow, get to know each other, find out if you are compatible, if you are on the "same page". And if you want to meet in RL, make sure you know each other very well, take time to get to know each other in SL first.

SLE: That is good advice. Thank you for sharing such a private side of your personal SL with the readers. Now going back to fashion, you mentioned stumbling upon fashion after a few years, so who is Voff? Can you describe your avatar’s style and what you do here?
Voff Uggla: Hm.... well I'm still in the process of finding MY style. It takes me forever to dress these days, specially finding and combining the right colors and accessories, personal style is the most difficult to define. Atm I'm pursuing my career as a runway model which is the most difficult and challenging of the model jobs that are available. As a new model I'm at the bottom of the ladder, working very hard to climb up, step by step.

SLE: The perks of the Fashion Industry have to be good. Don't you get any freebies for your model jobs?
Voff Uggla: Well you get to keep the outfits but they're not always "my style", you don't get to choose the outfits for a show, the event coordinator does that, then it's up to me to style it and select poses to make them shine even more. Some agencies pay their model, SSMA pay their models quite well.

SLE: What are your goals in the fashion industry?
Voff Uggla: To climb that ladder, to be able to make the best I can to represent the many talented and creative designers in SL. I work hard and try to do my best to make the designs shine even more, even for small fashion shows, I'm a perfectionist.

SLE: Who inspires you most in the SL Fashion World?
Voff Uggla: Mimmi Boa and Kay Fairey from MVWA. Anabella Ravinelli and Sparkie Funizza at Fashion Institute. They're great models and instructors, both "schools" are very good and I highly recommend them.

SLE: Have you been in any pageant or won any titles?

Voff Uggla:  I only consider contests that are judged by an unbiased jury. I don't participate in contests/pageants where you have to pay for votes or need public votes.

SLE: So what are some of the things you like to do in SL, besides Modeling?
Voff Uggla: Well apart from all the things you have to do as a model, I love photography and spending time with Melly, just hanging out, talking about our days, sometimes partying, but mostly my SL life revolves around modeling and fashion. It’s not so easy; it's very challenging to be a runway model. That’s why I like it.

SLE: What are some of the challenges runway models face?
Voff Uggla: First, you have to learn how to master the runway. It's like learning to drive a car. It takes some time; all runways are different, so you always have to find out new ways to do it. Another aspect is, finding the right poses and accessories for the outfits that's been selected for you, and that you have to pay for yourself, it can be very costly and time consuming. Then you have to fit the outfits to your shape, adjust every little prim perfect, when that is done you have to select the poses, combining them in a way that makes the outfit look great when u walk and pose. I always try to find the most natural movement when I combine poses and make sure that no body parts or hair pierces the fabrics of the outfits.

SLE: How much have you spent so far for your look?
Voff Uggla: I have lost count, as a model you need to have a variety of skins, hairstyles and accessories, and you always have to buy new poses, depending on what outfit you will wear. You don't make money being a model; you have to spend quite a lot of money. So it's not a "job", it's an expensive hobby that you do because you love it and have a passion for fashion.

SLE: Where are your favorite places to shop?
Voff Uggla: For poses, Manifesto, Miamai and Gabriel (Agapee). For Skin, I love Belleza. I am kind of attached to it. It’s my default skin, but also Redgrave and I'm trying skins from other creators as well. For hair, I shop at Tukinowaguma, Amacci, Razor, Truth, Tiny Bird, Bliss, Vanity, 3636 and others.

Voff Uggla: As for clothing designers, I have so many, difficult to mention them all here, but some are big names like Bliss Couture, Azul, Donna Flora, TTF, Son!a, etc. I also buy from less known designers. By the way, I love the Maitreya shoes and the BAX boots.

SLE: What do you see for the future of SL Fashion?
Voff Uggla: In general, I think it will grow bigger and bigger.

SLE: Is there anything you feel needs to change?

Voff Uggla: Well Swedish as I am, I believe in equality. I liked it when Evane removed the tag "top model". The fashion industry can be very ugly at times. There is so much envy and jealousy, but you also meet so many nice people.

SLE: Are you a freelance model and looking for jobs?

Voff Uggla: Yes and no, I have a contract with SSMA, but I'm also a model for MBF Models, FSE Models and a model/student at Bel'Lys I would like to be an Evane model; I have so much respect and trust for Mimmi Boa and her agency is highly respected by all designers.

SLE: Do you have any advice you would like to share before we end this interview?
Voff Uggla: Never enter a contest/pageant where you have to pay for votes or need public votes to win.

Extracted Reader comments from SLE 2010

Prissy Price
SEP 30  •  I am a Fan of Voff, her professionalism and approach to the modeling industry is refreshing.
Colby Pevensey
SEP 16  •  I am a huge fan of Voff. Her hard work, dedication and persistance through adversity speaks for itself.


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