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Showing posts with label winner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winner. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2022


The Annual LUXE Paris LOOK OF THE YEAR Competition is a glamorous event with the most beautiful models throughout the grid, all competing for the crown and the title to be the Ambassador of the LUXE Paris brand.  It is a tough competition of weekly themed photographs viewed by a panel of judges.

This year’s Ambassador, raised in Japan and living in Hawaii, found Second Life helped her to live out her passion and love for fashion and design. Jade Pono, a beautiful and confident model, found that perseverance and believing in yourself will one day prove that dreams do come true.  Jade will be the unique and outspoken Ambassador that LUXE Paris had looked for in the 2022 LOTY.  Come sit down at the table and meet Jade, this year’s winner.

Interview with Jade Pono

Ely Catronis (EC):  Congratulations to you on winning your title! What were your thoughts that moment when they called your name as the winner?

Jade Pono (JP): Honestly  I don't remember the details.

Throughout the show, the local chat was full of audience chats and announcements from the hosts, plus I had to follow the instructions of the show's group chat director, so

My screen was constantly flooded with chatter.

Then, just before the announcement of the winner, someone in the audience shouted "Nikki You got it! So I honestly thought that Nikkilicious, one of the finalists and a great stylist, had won.

About 10 seconds later, I remembered Mika announced my name, but I was kind of listening to it from a distance as a third party. Under those special and unusual circumstances, I was feeling a bit flustered, my feet weren't on the ground, and I didn't really feel that I was called the winner at all.

I started receiving a lot of IMs right away, and then the director told me to go to the podium by IM. Even then, I still didn't really realize what was going on.

I've been modeling full-time for almost 4 years, so when I get instructions from the director, I follow the cue and can move naturally without thinking. So I automatically walked to the podium. From that moment to the next day, I received several hundred IMs from friends and acquaintances. I was crazy busy just replying to all of those so I really didn't have time to think about what was going on...hahaha...

It's been a week today since the finale of the competition and I still can not believe what happened to me.

EC: Wow.  That is an incredible story. I can imagine the surprise. Where are you from and how did you discover SL?

Jade: I was born and raised in Japan. In my mid-twenties,  I married a local American Hawaiian man who was introduced to me through work in Japan then I moved to Hawaii. My English reading and writing skills were limited to what I learned in compulsory schooling, and my English conversation skills were almost non-existent.  Therefore, almost 100% of the English I use in daily conversation today is something I acquired naturally while living in Hawaii.

One day I found SL when I was reading an article that talked about the experiences of people doing virtual worlds. At first, I was just curious and thought I would quit when I got bored, but I got hooked on the fun of it.

EC: How did you come across your passion for fashion and modeling in SL?

Jade: I get asked this question many times but I actually don't remember much detail about how I was involved in the SL Fashion industry.  Maybe it was my fate... I will share here as much as I can remember. 

In the beginning, when I started SL, I just liked to shop and visit different stores and events.

I enjoy dressing up every day and didn't think more than that.  I don't know if I should reveal too much about my real life, but before my late real-life husband died, he had several businesses of different fields going and he was a pioneer in some of them in Hawaii. 

One of them was Haute Couture Clothing Business.  All of the clothes were one-of-a-kind and completely handmade, and he was able to run a few solo runway shows, albeit locally in Hawaii.

The store has already closed, but as a remnant of that, before my husband's death, there were always piles of posters for shows and tons of clothing fabrics in the house here and there. I am 5'4" (164cm ) tall in real life, so of course, I can't be a runway model and I can't follow a strict diet program. But I always admired this glamorous world from afar.

Then I happened to start SL, and after a while, I heard that a friend of mine was going to be in a runway show as a model, and I was interested to see there was such a thing in SL, so I went to see it. After that, I enrolled in a modeling academy.  After graduation, I participated in castings for all kinds of modeling agencies, and I was kind of selfless, and before I knew it, four years had passed,  and I belonged to more than 20 agencies.

EC:  Is there a person, style or brand that inspires you the most?

Jade: There is not only one person or style or brand that inspires me so this is difficult to answer.   I share one from real life and some from Secondlife. 

In real life, I love Guo Pei very much.  It is a Haute Couture brand that is a mixed style of Asian Romantic Avant-Garde.  I want to make clothes like that in SL one day.

In Second Life, as stylist and model, my greatest respect goes to Falbala Staheli (Falbala Fairey), Wicca Merlin, Hanne Strawberry Keinn, Steele Sinah, World Undercroft,  Carley Benazzi , Jeanie Waydelich, and Shantal Gravois.    I like the way they don't flatter anyone and just go their own way. 

When you are a model, you are constantly being told many things by the people around you. Of course, it is important as a professional to listen to the advice to change things, but if you let yourself be swayed by it, you will lose sight of who you are. It is the difference between being one of many models and being unique.  These people don't bend to their own style. No matter what the theme of their styling, it is easy to tell who they are at a glance. 

I have a very flexible and gentle personality outside. It's one of my personality and correct but inside of myself is actually a very stubborn and hard head.  But if I show this part too much in public, I will lose the job so I adjust myself when I do modeling.

So these people I mentioned really got my respect. They have confidence in themselves and are not afraid to be different, always speaking to the world about who they are by their styling. I hope one day to become this level.  I know it's a long road to become like this! 

Also  Morgan Incognito, Melinda Bayn, Selena Takeda,  Shiloh Mae,  Tymon Alexander have got my respect not only as models but also as human beings. They are all my true SL family.  They support me both in my good times and bad times.  I love them dearly and received HUGE inspiration from them. 

There are so many brands that inspire me in Secondlife , it's hard to narrow it down to just one, but of course, Luxe Paris and I love Ridi - Ludi - Fool (Japanese Avant Garde brand) very much.  Zibska, Heth Haute Couture and Eshi Otawara.  About Eshi Otawara, I haven't had the real experience , but I keep hearing about this brand all the time from veteran fellow models so I went to research and found out that it was a pioneer of Avant Garde Fashion of  SL...since then this brand is hooked in my mind.

EC: That is enlightening to learn all the inspiration that gave us your unique style. Now that you are wearing the Look of The Year crown, what are your plans for representing Luxe Paris in Second Life?

Jade: I would like to fulfill my responsibilities as an ambassador for this year.

First of all, I would like to do my job as a poster model for a new product. I would like to resume blogging by the beginning of next month at the latest, and actively introduce Luxe Paris products on social networks. I want to do something that will help sales as much as possible.

Second, I plan to do the Luxe Paris runway shows at multiple agencies.

Third, I plan on attending charity shows or events. I have little experience of this in the past. It's a lot of work so from now on, I should save some energy for this! 

And finally, I want to become a designer, though it is still just a dream at this point.  For the Luxe Paris competition challenge, I added sleeves and fringe to create a 1970's hippie style for the 1st challenge, and for the final formal gown, I made a cape with the Luxe Paris logo on it and added it to the styling.  I have a lot of designs swirling around in my head. But I don't have the skills to make them a reality yet, so I'll be practicing making clothes all this year. 

EC: We are looking forward to seeing your journey this year. Do you have any advice for other models who might be inspired to try for next year’s Look of the Year of Luxe Paris competition?

Jade: I felt that this Luxe Paris of The Year contest was a tough one. You are not bound for 3 or 4 months like some of the other known competitions, but because of that, each challenge is more intense.

This contest decides the ambassador of the Luxe Paris brand, which is a big difference from other competitions where you are not bound by the brand and can style your own clothes freely.

The only jewelry that could be used this time was from the sponsor, Zuri Jewelry, and they did not encourage hair accessories that would stand out more than the brand's signature pieces.

I thought that hairstyle, makeup, and poses were very important to stand out from the other contestants and to catch the judges' attention.

I feel that it is very difficult to get to the top unless you can attract judges one rank higher than that and make them want to copy your styling. 

For example, it is said that it is taboo to raise one's hands and show one's sides in a formal gown on the runway, but if you get too caught up in this rule, all the poses will fall within the safe line, and it will be boring to watch. I recommend incorporating one or two poses that challenge the viewer until the very last minute.

I think we should always evolve and keep changing, and to do that, we should always challenge ourselves.

Also, I highly recommend and suggest for you attend all the seminars during this competition that Ponchituti Boucher from One On One Modeling Agency and Naar Rexen from In-Nova Agency offer to the finalists. These seminars will help you a lot and are worth it for all the models. 

EC: As a model, are there other fashion-related events that you see yourself getting involved in?

Jade: Yes.  I am involved as a model and blogger manager for a charity event called I Say No Event Benefit to Rainn (ISNE), which is directly connected to the Real Life Rainn organization. This is the third year.

Another project is The Powerhouse Collective which shines a light on minorities in every sense of the word, models who are talented but not getting out in the public eye for various reasons.  I am a Co-Owner of the agency.  So far we have created several video shows. Next month we will do our first show with an audience.

EC: Besides Modeling, is there anything else that you enjoy?

Jade: Some of my friends are videographers and they sometimes invite me to perform in their dance videos.  We are usually dressed up in mini-skirted kimonos, belly dancers, K-pop, or other costumes (Cosplay type) and dance with a few or a large group of people.

EC:  Thank you for the interview today. It has been wonderful to meet and talk with you. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

Jade:  First I would like to say my sincere gratitude to the owners of Luxe Paris, Mika Palmyra and Paris Skytower, and also all the judges of the competition and staff.  Because of them I am here and have the opportunity for this interview. 

I must confess that I have done a fair amount of work over the past four years.  It was not unusual for me to be working two shows on the same day, rehearsing for the next show, and shooting poster models for designer products.

Before this Luxe Paris contest, I had participated in several other contests, but the results were not so good. More than once, I wondered why I was not recognized for my hard work and why I was not getting any results. So I've been in a ' Zen '  mood these past few years.  Zen mood means I just do my own best and not think about anything other than that. 

So I came to the Luxe Paris of The Year 2022 contest this time with the stance of doing my best and not expecting any results. 

So I could not believe they chose me as a winner. I can't really feel it.

So, if there are models who are struggling with the lack of results in the contests, I really understand the pain and struggles that they are going through, and I want to encourage them from the bottom of my heart.

It could be tomorrow or it could be a few years from now that you get results. In my case, it took 4 years.

Once you get the results, all the hard work and underachievement until then will be nothing. So please don't give up, be optimistic that you are on the way to a bright future, and just look forward and do your best.

Additional Information

LUXE Paris Look of the Year Grand Finale LIVE:

LUXE Paris has found its new ambassador: JADE PONO WINS! ~ The SL Enquirer

Preferred Contact: Jade Pono

Facebook :

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Winner of the 1st Squid Game Tournament in Second Life! Meet ᴇᴍᴀᴢᴀ ʟ. ᴠɪʟʟɪɴ (forgis)

On Saturday, October 23rd at 12 pm SLT, players anxiously waited in the bunk room as guards and VIPs suited up for the first Squid Game in Second Life. As VIPs observed from behind a glass window sipping wine, players started the first game of Red Light Green Light, where the first eliminations took place. Game one wiped out nearly all players except the remaining few that moved on to the next round; The Honeycomb. 

Players choose their dalgona candy tin, equipt with a timer they begin clicking away to free their selected shapes. The VIPs and live stream viewers watched on in anticipation.

Next came the tug of war game with four players remaining.  Each side tugged the ropes as the embattled team inched closer to the edge only to pull back in retaliation bringing the other team to the edge. It was an intense round and then two fell to their virtual deaths leaving 2 remaining players.

The Marbles game was intense! Spectators watched on as the two remaining players methodically went back and forth for the win. Winners moved on to the glass bridge where they were timed, The last round ended quickly with Emaza (forgis) giving a final push for the win.

Her grand prize was 7500L, the ability to fly at the next tournament, an invitation to be a VIP, and an exclusive interview with The SL Enquirer.  Emaza shared her excitement and some advice for the next-round players.

Interview with Emaza

SLE: First and foremost, congratulations on being the first winner of Squid Games in Second Life! Can you share with our readers a little bit about yourself like what do you do in Second Life and how did you discover Squid Games?

Emaza: My name is Emaza or Mazi for short. I just started creating on Second Life, so I spend most of my time doing that or with family. I got into squid games the same as everyone else! The Netflix show. When I first saw the sim and that there was going to be a tournament I got excited and decided to enter.

SLE: We were excited to see Squid Game too! So, what were your thoughts at that moment when you realized you won the first-ever Squid Game in SL?

Emaza: Honestly. I was confused because I knocked my opponent out of the platform and then I died. I thought that I had done something wrong but one of the moderators told me they shot me for a faster teleport lol.  

SLE: Well that’s one way to do it lol.  I have to say as a VIP it was intense watching each game. Can you share with our readers your thoughts and maybe some tips for the next tournament’s players? Starting with Red light Green Light, nearly all the players were eliminated, what advice would you give?

Emaza: There isn’t really much advice I can give for all of the games honestly, but For red light green light take off all Flexi hairs, physics, and moving components and pay attention to the light !. 

SLE: That’s perfect advice! The next game was the Honeycomb, did you have a strategy?

Emaza: I didn’t really have a strategy, I just chose a shape and followed the rules. I will say this much. Your clicks have to be well-timed. Each shape has a different amount of clicks, some have more clicks than the timer itself so the best way to beat it is to calculate how much time you put between each click AND DON'T CLICK TOO FAST!!


SLE: I hope the next players are reading this. Your advice is helpful. I have to say tug of war was very entertaining to watch. You came very close to the edge but you fought back!  Some say there was cheating involved by one of the players letting go of the rope but in the end, you and your teammate reigned supreme! What are your thoughts on that game?

Emaza: There was cheating involved but it had nothing to do with the rope being let go. What happened was the other team started pulling BEFORE The Frontman said go so that’s what they were referring to when they said someone cheated. In the process of me trying to help my teammate get the rope back to our side, I lagged and it threw me off the rope. When I tried to get back on it wouldn’t allow me to and my teammate fell. I let The Frontman know what happened and he said my teammate gave her life for me to continue and allowed me to go on. 

SLE: That was very noble of her to do. After those poor players dropped to their demise, you carried on to play the Marbles game. I wasn’t sure what was happening since we can’t see players’ HUDS. Did you have a strategy for that?  

Emaza: I didn’t compete in the marble game because there were only 3 of us left by the time we reached the game. I didn’t participate because there were only three of us left so the Frontman told me to sit out.

SLE: That makes sense. I got a little confused. With the bridge game, the rules had to be modified with a timer for two players remaining. The Frontman Jim Kirk did a great job of making it possible for you to make it to the last round with an opponent.  The final game went quickly as it seems you simply walked over and pushed her off the platform. Overall what are your thoughts on Squid Game! In Second Life? Do you have any words of encouragement for the next round of players?

Emaza: I think bringing Squid Game to SL was a brilliant idea and I had fun being a part of the experience! The last thing I expected was to be in the final two and DEFINITELY didn’t expect to win. I would say for the next round of players to stay focused, alert, and play hard.

The tournament was topped off with an afterparty featuring the K-Pop Band BlackPink Tribute. The Squid Game Team, VIPs (sponsors), players, and fans were in attendance. Congratulations again Emaza!


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