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Balmain has a new army of models but none of them are human


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(Picture: Balmain)

You would be forgiven for thinking that the glamorous models posing for the luxury fashion brand Balmain are all real.

But the latest additions to Balmains model roster just look seriously human.

The French retailer has hired a virtual army to showcase its latest range, as envisioned by creative director Olivier Rousteing.

Among the models, who are all digitally manufactured, is Shudu – the dark-skinned model with 141,000 followers on Instagram.

She was created using 3D imaging and joined her fellow models for an uber chic photoshoot.

On the Balmain website, a statement reads: Anyone and everyone is always welcome to join Balmain armys 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.



All the clothing worn by the models were designed by CLO Virtual Fashion, a software company that creates hyperrealistic 3D garments.

To make the look, a team of 3D designers tested the fabric of each dress for weight, drape, flexibility and stitching patterns.

They then input this data into the programme and, using the dolls avatar, tailored each outfit to her measurements.

All the models were created by photographer Cameron-James Wilson, who earlier this year spoke to Metro.co.uk about his revolutionary creation.

Shudu, the tall, striking model was inspired by a Barbie doll called Princess of South Africa.

I was learning how to create 3D imagery for graphic novels and animations, and I had the opportunity to create a model however I wanted, Wilson said.

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After Rihannas cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty shared an image of the virtual doll, James animation business grew incredibly popular.

Though his designs have been picked up major outlets like Balmain, he has also faced public criticism for his work.

People condemned the photographer for using and profiting off black beauty, without having to pay a black woman for the work.



Cameron replied saying that the models are not used commercially as a replacement to real-life women.

Could this be the end of the fashion model industry?

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