Following in the footsteps of Louis Vuitton, Fenty Beauty and Lil Miquela, French fashion house Balmain announced a group of CGI models as its new ambassadors on Thursday.
The brand, helmed by designer Olivier Rousteing, is famous for its bold, elaborately embellished designs and typically casts major celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian or Rihanna in its campaigns.
But the latest additions to Rousteing’s so-called “Balmain Army” aren’t actually real.
To come up with the new campaign, the designer collaborated with Cameron-James Wilson, the British photographer who created controversial dark-skinned Fenty Beauty model Shudu.
Shudu joins the Balmain Army alongside fellow virtual catwalkers Margot and Xhi, who according to the brand’s press release are meant to reflect Balmain’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.”
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