Monday, 26 October 2015

Bitmoji reveals more stylish clothes for your avatar

Bitmoji reveals more stylish clothes for your avatar
Sometimes technology just ain't cute.

Just look at a few of your favorite apps, one being Bitmoji. While entertaining, the messaging app, which allows users to create their own personal avatars, isn't up to snuff when it comes to the fashion department — especially if you're a savvy style snob.

This lack of outfit choices was obvious to up-and-coming fashion designer Tanya Taylor, a rising star and Vogue Fashion Fund finalist. The 29-year-old, who already dressed Michelle Obama, said she was frustrated when creating a digital representation of herself on the app.

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"I'm a big Bitmoji user," Taylor says to Mashable. "But right now, my avatar is wearing a blue dress and I would never want to wear a blue dress in real life."

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It was only after meeting with Bitmoji founder Jacob "Ba" Blackstock, the CEO of Bitstrips, that she had an a-ha moment.

"Jacob was expressing that he had this problem where his users weren't finding more of a likeness to their digital representation, a very modern problem," Taylor says. "I could offer up a solution."


The opportunity, Blackstock explains, only made sense for Bitmoji users.

"The way tech is going, we're living more and more of our lives in the digital world, and the more we represent ourselves and express ourselves digitally, the more personal style becomes an important aspect of the tech we're using," he tells Mashable. "In real life, you express yourself through the clothes you wear, and with Bitmoji we're bringing that kind of expression into your digital life."

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According to Blackstock, the app will continue to expand on its fashion options with a "big update," which will include "more designer choices for women." The brand will also update outfit choices for men as well, he reassures.

One suggestion we made to the CEO: Offer gender-neutral clothing, or allow men and women to wear outfits that go beyond the traditional gender norms. It is, after all, where fashion has been heading.

"When it makes sense," he replies.

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"Our process for creating these outfits is extremely complex," he says. Every outfit is viewable from multiple angles, fully poseable and fits several body types, which amounts to a lot of work the company's relatively small art team. "We could build every outfit for both genders and our audience would get half as many choices as a result."

Here's hoping Bitmoji becomes as inclusive as the current state of fashion, and does so quickly.

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