On Your Toes: Give us a thumbnail sketch of who you are and what you do.
Eponymous Trenchmouth: My name is Eponymous Trenchmouth and I've been in SL since November 2005. At that time there was very little in the way of shoes for men and I introduced my first shoes - the crepe-soled "Jeepers Creepers" - in February 2006. Since then I've introduced many men's and women's shoes, although recently I've begun specializing in men's shoes, where I see much more room for new styles and ideas.
OYT: What kind of things are you working on at the moment?
ET: At the time of writing, I'm working on men's slippers!
OYT: It's a commonly-held belief that men have fewer decent options in Second Life where fashion and accessories are concerned. What's your take on that?
ET: Thanks to people like Ben Vanguard at SLMen and Ryan Darragh at Men's Second Style, attention has turned to the world of men's fashion. This has inspired designers, like myself, to focus our energies on creating the best products for Second Life's diverse community. I see SL as a place where people can experiment with their "look" without spending tons of RL money. For this reason, I like to push the design envelope a little, to introduce new styles and ideas. Hopefully this will rub off into RL, and we can get away from the ubiquitous and boring jeans and sneakers.
OYT: How does your own creative process work?
ET: My designs begin in RL on a yellow pad, where I doodle away my ideas. In SL I begin with the shape: I try to make my shoes as lifelike as possible, though given the ugly bulges on our avatar's feet, this does require some concessions to the shape. When I'm satisfied with the shape, I begin working on the textures in Photoshop. I've developed a technique that allows me great control over the placement and size of details like stitches and seams, and using Photoshop's Layers, I can create different colorways quite easily. Nevertheless, this is a time consuming process and on some shoes, I have uploaded over 100 textures before I'm satisfied that the shoe is as good as I can make it.
OYT: Which shoes from your own work are your personal favorites?
ET: If I could buy my black suede Oslo elastic-sided boots in RL, I'd be a very happy man.
OYT: What kind of advice would you give to men who want to make good decisions for footwear in SL?
ET: 1. Always try the Demo version before you buy.
2. Unless you're going barefoot, reduce the size of your feet to 20 or less. (I hate to see feet poking through the side of a fine shoe).
3. Make sure you wear the shoebase with the shoes.
4. If you want to wear boots under your pants, don't bother wearing the leg portions.