Like the real ones: can virtual supermodels press out living models. A PHOTO
Source: Air force
Popular on Instagram virtual models - characters drawn on a computer - have increasingly appeared on the pages of glossy magazines and in advertising campaigns for fashion houses. Regular models worry that it is difficult to compete with digital characters, because they can change, do not age, do not get tired and may not care about their appearance and shape.
Shudu, the first virtual supermodel
In April, British photographer Cameron James-Wilson drew 2017 using a computer graphics virtual black model Shuda and started her Instagram, tells Air force.
Shudu has perfect skin, a model figure, the same painted boyfriend and more than 140 thousand followers on Instagram. Her account profile states that Shudu is the first digital supermodel.
At first, users wondered if she was a real Shuda woman or a robot.
After Wilson admitted that Shudu was a computer image, he was accused of racism. Outraged commentators wrote that the white photographer had found another way to make money off black women.
This fall, Shudu began to go beyond Instagram. Virtual model began to take off for glossy magazines and in advertising campaigns of famous brands.
Shuda appeared in the September issue of the Australian Vogue. She, along with other virtual models, has become the face of the Balmain brand's advertising campaign.
Mikela - model and DJ
American startup Brud could argue with Wilson about who created the first virtual model. In 2016, Brud - a company specializing in robotics and computer technology - invented Mikela. According to the creators, Mikela is as real as singer Rihanna.
According to her Instagram account, Michele is 19 years old. She lives in Los Angeles, calls herself a robot, supports the Black Lives Matter movement and records music tracks. The love of music is easy to explain: the head of Brud is producer and DJ Trevor McFadris, who has worked with Katy Perry and Chris Brown in the past.
Michela has over a million subscribers. Time magazine included its computer image in the list of the most influential people on the Internet.
Together with Michela, Brud collaborators created two other virtual models - a couple of Bermuda and Blauco.
According to Techcrunch, in 2018, Brud was able to collect investments from major US venture capital firms in the amount of 6 million dollars.
In February, Michela officially announced her collaboration with the fashion house Prada. In September, she appeared in the British and American Vogue.
Cameron James-Wilson, who created Shudu, painted two more models specifically for Balmain's advertising - Zhi and Margot.
From Shudu's Instagram profile, you can get to the official website of the digital models agency. It works like the site of a standard modeling agency - there you can look at models, their pictures, and also contact the owners of the agency and agree on the participation of computer images in advertising campaigns.
On the site in the “Models” section, in addition to Shudu, you can find a girl named Bren. It is noticeable that Bren is not as thin as her colleagues in the agency.
Wilson says that he is not trying to replace real fashion models with virtual models.
“This is my way of being creative. We live in a world where everything becomes fake, so I wanted to create a fantasy that would become real, ”says the photographer.
Olivier Rousteing, creative director of the Balmain brand, called virtual models “dream girls” and emphasized that their presence in fashion magazines would add variety to the world of gloss.
In an official statement, the company said: "The virtual army of models is a reflection of beauty, confidence and strength."
"They don't even need to go to auditions"
The appearance of virtual models in the advertising campaigns of well-known brands caused alarm in the model community.
“It's really scary to compete with non-existent ideal women. Any clothes will fit them perfectly. Plus, they don't even have to go to auditions, ”British model Louis Stone, who works with L'Oreal and Adidas, told the BBC.
The creators of black virtual models are criticized for occupying a niche that is not so widely represented in the modeling business anymore. Instead of Shuda, real black models could take part in advertising campaigns.
Many critics also point out that virtual models can negatively affect consumers.
“The message of Balmain's digital model campaign is very unrealistic. This can negatively affect people's self-esteem. Many of us are already going through difficult times because of social media, which is shaping the standards of beauty. The popularity of virtual models can only worsen the situation, ”he said.