Covet Fashion is embracing the diversity of female beauty by changing its virtual models so that they have different body shapes, sizes, heights, skin colors, and facial features.
Glu Mobile’s CrowdStar division has been working on Covet Fashion as a free-to-play mobile game for nearly four years, enabling fashion enthusiasts to create their own fashion looks and then enter them into fan-rated competitions.
In the past, you could only choose mannequin-like females with six different racial characteristics and a single body type. But the team listened to fan feedback and worked to add a total of 50 different female types over the past year, said Blair Ethington, senior vice president and general manager of Covet Fashion, in an interview with GamesBeat.
The developers re-imagined the game to embrace all forms of beauty at a time when women are speaking out about the importance of how they are represented in fashion and supported by their peers — because beauty comes in all forms.
“As we have gone through this amazing process of having a game lasting for so long, we realized how much of an impact we have on women’s lives,” Ethington said. “We can’t single out one standard for beauty. It comes in all sizes and colors and shapes.
It’s important not to follow a lot of the same stereotypes as to what is beauty. You see beauty in yourself and in the app, and associate it with other models, and those that don’t look like you.”
Beginning today, 50 new models will be featured in Style Challenges where the community of nearly 3 million women will style them for holiday parties, red carpet events, and more.
Covet Fashion had to enlist the help of their users, partners and the broader fashion community to inspire every woman to feel confident in their own unique way and embrace the beauty of those around them.
“The tech that had to go into to enable this is quite intense,” Ethington said. “Covet Fashion has added 50,000 garments over three-plus years. And we had to take all of the garments and morph them so they fit all the different bodies. That was a huge undertaking.”
While Covet Fashion is introducing virtual models that are representative of women around the world, this is just the beginning. There is no perfect answer for everyone, which is why the platform is calling it “Evolving the Standards of Beauty” to showcase that this is an ongoing process. Gaming platforms, fashion brands and society as a whole need to continue the discussion of celebrating all women in a positive and empowering way, the company said.
As part of this initiative to build confidence and appreciation for all forms of beauty, Covet Fashion spoke with their community of users about the power of compliments and helping them overcome their insecurities.
Covet Fashion blends elevated aesthetics, real-world fashion, and a strong emphasis on community feedback that keeps millions of users coming back.
“We use it for empowering messages,” Ethington said.
Covet Fashion isn’t yet letting users choose bodies or models with each style challenge. Rather, it launches challenges with randomly selected models, and everyone has to compete in that particular challenge using the same model.
“We wanted to take away any judgement people have about which body is better and which race is better,” Ethington said. “All the focus is on the styling choices.”
Each 2D model is selected and drawn on its own. Each body is hand-done.
When you create your own profile in the game, you can choose whatever facial features and body features you want. But you don’t use that personal avatar in the gameplay challenges.
The technology was complicated. The team built a 3D mesh to take the garments and modify them to fit on the 50 different models. The images are then rendered in 2D.
Covet Fashion collected more than 30,000 responses to surveys on the changes. It tested them both with user style councils. The company also held a breakfast with influencers who are passionate about body confidence issues.
“They are overwhelmingly excited about this feature,” Ethington said. “We built it with our community.”