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Balmain Reveals Line-Up Of Models, But None Of Them Are Human

For most fashion brands, casting well-known models in their advertising campaigns is the main key to gaining the reputation and reach required to sell clothes. Major fashion brands like Balmain works with models such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, but the latest campaign has come with some unusual models, who are not real. When I say ‘not real,’ I mean they are digital models aka ‘Virtual Army.’

However, the advertising campaign featuring virtual models instead of real ones has garnered many negative comments. Many think those models are taking opportunities away from real working models. While others actually like the experimental campaign.

 

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It was the photographer, Cameron-James Wilson who designed these virtual models, named Shudu, Margot and Zhi. However, this was not his first time to take things quite in a different direction. He has previously created the previously-mentioned virtual model named Shudu, who is claimed to be ‘the world’s first digital supermodel.’ For more, Shudu has her own Instagram account, with over 143,000 followers.

 

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On the other hand, Margo and Zhi were made in a collaboration between Rousteing and CGI artists. When talking to Refinery29, Rousteing pointed to Michael Jackson for reference of the campaign’s goal to “present diversity in the world.”

I love the fact that [Jackson] was really inclusive and, you know, that’s what I’m trying to do with the virtual reality army: different beauty, shapes, ages, and genders. This is the beginning of what it will mean to present diversity in the world.

 

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Despite Rousteing’s message behind the campaign, some people don’t see the idea of digital models as the right way forward.

“Honestly, a bit disappointed with the embrace of this digital model concept,” one commenter wrote. “@balmain really set precedent for having models of not just one type of representation, but even crossing the boundaries of different eras and even pop culture. It feels like this is a bit of an insult to that particular heritage that you guys have established over these few years.”

Another said, “Being a model is some peoples’ livelihood and they’re stripping it away from them giving it digitally generated humanoid ‘models.

“It appears @balmain is taking away paid modeling opportunities from strong women whom find it hard enough to make a living within a challenging industry (and would actually represent the brand outside of the campaign),” another commenter added. “They said this shows diversity…yet they won’t hire real models who are just as diverse. Major step back.”

 

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Some people are also pointing out that modeling opportunities for women of color are already limited.

“Yep not feeling it. Also why not support real black models who are already so marginalized within the industry rather than digitally create one?” one commenter asked.

“This is problematic,” another one wrote. “Instead of hiring a black model, the photographer created one. Is it that hard to pay black women? Also shows how much dark skin is still being exoticised by the media.”

 

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Many have also questioned Wilson’s ‘real aim’ behind this campaign.

“Disgusting, a white man profiting from creating digital non-white models. Hire real women of color instead of this b——-,” a commenter said.

“It’s no longer just art when a male caucasian is profiting off creating ethic models who had it hard already working in the fashion space,” another one wrote.

However, there are also positive comments towards the campaign. One of them wrote:

“If they want to experiment with 3D for one campaign they’re completely allowed to do so. And as an artist myself, experimenting and exploring different fields is a must.”

 

Source: Thisisinsider

 

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