Balmain Has A New Army Of Models—​And They’re All Digitally Created

Can you tell they're not real people?

Balmain has introduced a new gang of supermodels—but, they’re not real. This season, creative director Olivier Rousteing has opted for a “virtual army” of digitally manufactured models to wear his newest collection.

“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,” says Balmain’s official website.

Related article: The Top 3 Digital Instagram Models You Should Totally Follow

The lifelike models were created by photographer Cameron-James Wilson, who famously created Shudu in 2017. The clothing is “styled” by CLO Virtual Fashion, which creates hyperrealistic, 3D garment simulations.

Shudu is known as the “world’s first digital super model.” Her Instagram page has almost 140,000 followers, and she’s already been featured in campaigns for Fenty Beauty and editorial shoots for Women’s Wear Daily and Cosmopolitan.

Related article: Beyoncé And Balmain Collaborate On Charitable Merch Collection

The popularity of virtual models is definitely on the rise. Lil Miquela, a character created by Trevor McFedries and Sara Decou as a digital art project, has over 1 million followers on Instagram and models high fashion looks, along with promoting multiple charitable organizations to help bring awareness to their causes.

She mad. New @openingceremony diary entry up. Link in my stories.

A post shared by *~ MIQUELA ~* (@lilmiquela) on

Balmain’s Rousteing is known for his edgy style and focus on bringing the French fashion house to the forefront of the digital age. “We need to change. We need to push boundaries. We need to talk to the new generation. We need to make fashion relevant,” he said in a video for the New York Times last year.

Earlier this year, Rousteing created “My City of Lights,” which is a virtual reality experience and headset to help people understand his creative process. In a promo video for Balmain, he says he wanted to help “bridge the gap between fashion and technology.”

Related article: Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing On The Upcoming Documentary About His Life

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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