Jax Aster: More than Mr Virtual World
Words: Josh Askari; Images: Jax Aster
Featured in The Best of SL Magazine March 2012
The Second Life fashion industry can often feel like it’s dominated by the preferences of the female fashionista: it can be difficult to find fresh, quality styles for men-let alone handsome models to showcase them. The Mr Virtual World contest, held annually by the BOSL community, is one of the few great supporters of quality male fashion, giving the best male models a platform to significantly jumpstart their career. Jax Aster, the winner of the Mr Virtual World contest for 2011, is currently one of the industry’s top male models. Setting style trends with his active blog, male fashion lovers finally have a creative role model to be inspired by……..
Prior to the Mr Virtual World competition, Jax Aster’s career was a quiet yet active one. With his outstanding styling abilities, he was able to leave quite an impression with many important people in his early days. After feeling a severe lack of work and opportunity for male models on the various runways of SL, he felt moved to venture in the world of print. “I love print,” Jax admits.” I am so intrigued and inspired by the beautiful images that the creative minds of the photographers are able to create. It never ceases to amaze me.” This passion for the printed image has manifested itself not only in his styling techniques, but also in his own rather notable skills as a photographer. Jax’s handiwork with print can be seen all over the grid: from his own professional and active blog, to some of the latest up and coming SL magazines. Even his Flickr is a piece of art, and contains images Jax has created featuring himself and other top models. From blog pictures to beautiful professional vendor shots, it’s no wonder he’s being asked to shoot for some of the biggest names in SL fashion.
His remarkable styling, crisp photography style and polite and charming demeanour soon meant that Jax was in demand, and he was contacted by MAD Image, part of the KMADD agency, and asked to take part in his first commercial SL blog, in which he currently continues participation. Here he was able to gain wider exposure and popularity, where the name Jax Aster began to form a public image, an image that has become synonymous with print and trend setting. “I prefer print because it’s lasting, there is a record,” he reveals. “Other people who are not able to attend a show or who have interest in something you did months down the road can always go back and find what they are looking for. Through print, I have been able to meet many designers as well as try many new fashion trends that I would not normally consider.”
One reason people are attracted to his persona is his ability to bring a fresh interpretation to older concepts. As a contestant in the last Mr Virtual World contest myself, I’ll never forget the moment Jax stepped out onto the stage in his national costume with a horse at his side! Most of the contestants thought only in terms of creative clothing, but Jax managed to take a big risk and bring out a prop with his outfit which (to the dismay of the other contestants) paid off in a big way. Jax takes risks in his creative sense of style… risks that so far have seemed to work in his favour.
Newly appointed as Director of the ‘MAD Agency’ (which is also part of the KMADD portfolio of businesses), Jax is looking forward to bringing his unique style and talents to the already established team. As one of SL’s most venerable modeling agencies, Jax’s appointment in January could be a sign that the agency wants to move forward and experiment with new ideas, take some risks and bring about bold changes. As Director, Jax is responsible for many things at MAD; from staff appointment to creative direction-it really is up to Jax how MAD will function in the years to come. Already he has big plans, and hints at an upcoming show.
Despite the massive changes to his Second Life, Jax says that he hasn’t changed as a person. “I am the same easy going laid back guy I was before,” he confirms. “If one thing has changed about me, it’s that I have become more guarded.” Jax admits that he’s had to re-evaluate his friends list, and realize who his true friends are, and, while this writer may indeed be one of many people who would love the opportunities such titles afford, I am not envious of the aforementioned task. So many people forget the pitfalls of fame and popularity; not only is there less free time to do what you want to do (and when you want to do it), but there is always the hidden danger of fake people, who will latch on and suck out as much glory from their association with you as possible.
When all is said and done however, the future looks like it’s on the right track for Jax. He’s moving at a pace he is comfortable with, and scheduling himself so he isn’t overworked. Committed to using his titles for creativity and the betterment of others, Jax tells me he will be participating in a Ronald McDonald House charity event in the near future, as well as collaborating with Anna Sapphire (Miss Virtual World 2012) for another charity event to be announced soon. One thing is for sure, this shining star of the male fashion world isn’t going to burn out soon.
Thank you Josh Askari for an amazing article!