Shudu, Margot and Zhi are three new faces in fashion, and they’re not real

For its Pre-Fall 2018 collection, high-fashion giant Balmain proved itself to be at the forefront of the industry by introducing not one, but three computer-generated models, two of which are (virtual) people of colour.

Famous for its bold and elaborately embellished designs, Balmain typically casts major celebrities, with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Rhianna having graced their campaigns in the past.

Photo: Balmain Pre-Fall 2018 campaign @balmain

Margot, Shudu and Xhi were announced as the new ambassadors for the French fashion house, helmed by designer Oliver Rousteing, last Thursday.

To come up with the new campaign, Rousteing collaborated with Cameron-James Wilson, the British photographer who created Shudu, the controversial model for Rhianna’s Fenty Beauty dark skinned range.

Shudu joins the Balmain Army alongside fellow virtual models Margot and Xhi, who, according to Balmain’s press release, are meant to reflect the brand’s “unfettered celebration of inclusion”. 

“When my team and I saw the first generation of CGI models, we told ourselves that if this was the way the world was going, we wanted to ensure that diversity plays a strong part in that future,” Rousteing wrote, adding that his “new, alternative and virtual Balmain Army… mirrors the beauty, rock-star individuality and confident power that we’ve seen on Balmain runways and in our campaigns.”

In an interview with Refinery29, Rousteing said that Margot was the “French girl of his childhood dreams,” while Xhi is “a Chinese beauty with a really short haircut.”

Will this signal the end of IRL models? Watch this space…

Via Page Six.