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Toni Irwin smiling with fashion behind her.

Toni Irwin, ’19

Alumna Brings Avatars to Life as Game Fashion Designer

By Gaye Hill

Toni Irwin, ’19

Alumna Brings Avatars to Life as Game Fashion Designer

By Gaye Hill

Toni Irwin, ’19, curates fashion content for the top-ranked game Project Makeover. As a Game Fashion Designer, she works with a team of artists and designers to create concepts for each of the game’s characters as well as wardrobe and beauty options.

“While the players get to choose what outfits they want to dress the characters in, I get to decide what options the players will choose from for each character,” said Irwin. “I love this part of my job because I get to analyze the character and provide the players with wardrobe options that would make sense for each character based on what they might like as a real person.”

A typical day might include providing wardrobe references, personality traits, and background stories for each character, approving artwork by 2D and 3D artists, reviewing fashion and beauty options before implementation, and organizing fashion references for the avatar and in-game sales.

Irwin said one of the more challenging aspects is assembling wardrobe and beauty references for the avatars used by the players.

“I have to be sure to include diversity within the different genres of fashion, beauty, and cultures so that each player will have pieces they are happy to use,” she said. “I do research and stay on top of trends to make sure I am being inclusive.”

The game is much like a makeover show. Each player serves as the show’s “director,” interacting with a makeover crew and characters receiving makeovers. The player/director makes all of the decisions for each makeover, including a new room, wardrobe, hair, and makeup, all of which contribute to the character’s increased confidence at the end.

Irwin’s own self-confidence was boosted during her college years. As a double major in business administration and fashion merchandising, she said the fashion study abroad program in Paris was one of the reasons she chose to attend Meredith. 

“It really opened my eyes to the world and helped me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to,” she said.

Irwin said Meredith helped her identify her strength as both a team member and a leader. Her college experience was also shaped by the deep friendships she made.

“The friends that I met while at Meredith had a huge impact on me. We motivated each other throughout college, and even to this day, we continue to motivate and push one another to reach our goals in life,” she said. “Knowing where I came from, where I’ve been, and where my dreams will take me are what make me strong.”