Are digital models going to replace real models?

With diversified appearances and low cost, digital models question real models' future in the fashion industry.

The fashion industry has had a new generation of models created by computers, which are "digital models". Appeared on Instagram, Brazilian-American music pop star Miquela Sousa, aka Lil Miquela has attracted over 1 million followers since 2016.



Her image is so perfect that many people were skeptical of her authenticity. However, it turned out that this fashion girl was actually a product of digital technology. After only over 2 years, the "musical artist" now has 1.3 million followers.




Since then, digital models have become more and more diverse, becoming a new force in the fashion industry. Typically, Shudu, the world's first digital supermodel, has doubled her followers after just four months of joining the social network.

Shudu is a product of technology by artist Cameron James Wilson. This dark-skinned girl is stunningly attractive with striking looks and glamor, just like class supermodels. Many question the existence of Shudu when looking at her picture.



Shudu's image is a black woman from South Africa. According to Wilson, Shudu can totally replace a real model. He is Shudu's first representative who does almost everything, from posting caption to choosing the right hashtag to attract followers on social networks.

Wilson used Daz-3D software to create his digital model. The creative process requires countless meticulous details. According to the artist, it was originally a simple mannequin, and then the designer had to use creativity and technology to create vivid lines on the face, the body of the virtual model. This process could take up to two or three days. The last step was makeup and choosing the skin color. They even added blemishes on her skin to make the model as natural as possible.


To choose Shudu's skin color and make-up style, Wilson had teamed up with Sir John, the stylist of many celebs such as Khloe Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen or Beyoncé. Based on Sir John's sketch and the texture of Shudu's face, he began dyeing the skin, creating a look and makeup for the character.

According to Wilson, the most difficult part of creating Shudu was her eyes. The eyes reflect the soul and human emotion, so he had to use reflective light to brighten Shudu's eyes. In addition, he also had to change the details regularly to make sure they would look truly real.


"When I felt that too many people thought she was real, the debate was gone," said Wilson. "I felt it was time to lay the facts on the table. I think this new technology is exciting. It's polarizing and opens up debate and that’s the point of any art, and I’m absolutely proud what I created is doing that. "

By: Quinn Abrams

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