Balmain’s Latest Campaign Features Only Virtual Models

Balmain introduced some new models to their army and they’re not even real.

The fashion house enlisted virtual models to model their latest campaign.

“Anyone and everyone is always welcome to join Balmain army’s growing ranks – they need only share our bold spirit of adventure as our new virtual icons, Margot, Shudu and Zhi who mirror the beauty, the rock style and the confident power,” Balmain’s website says about the recent campaign.

The only virtual model who has their own following is Shudu. Shudu has over 140,000 followers on Instagram. Her bio claims that she is the first digital supermodel in the world. She was featured on Fenty Beauty’s Instagram after she posted a photo of herself wearing one of the lipsticks.

The CGI model had people confused, believing she was real.

“Basically Shudu is my creation, she’s my art piece that I am working on at moment,” photographer Cameron-James Wilson told Bazaar in February. “She is not a real model unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models of today. There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models so she represents them and is inspired by them.”

Olivier Rousting, the creative director, worked with Wilson to create the two new CGI models exclusively for Balmain. The models Margot and Zhi model alongside seasoned CGI model Shudu. The 3D garments were created by CLO Virtual Fashion and they were recreated to mimic the latest collection.

“I created the virtual reality army in the same way that I’m creating my collection,” Rousteing told Refinery29. “I’m really obsessed with music and what I really love about it are the icons [who brought the sounds to life].”

Rousteing specifically mentioned Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Tina Turner and Prince. He said that those music icons influenced how Margot and Zhi were created to look.

He said that Zhi is modeled after Bowie. “She’s the one pushing the agenda that David Bowie did in the past, he told Refinery29. Zhi is a Chinese CGI model with short shaggy hair that Rousteing described as “very rock-and-roll.”

Margot, on the other hand, is modeled after a quintessential French girl. She’s got cut cheekbones and a chocolate brown lob.

Do you think other major fashion brands will start using virtual models?

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