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Virtual Models Opportunity Must Be Seized By Luxury Brands

Virtual Models Opportunity Must Be Seized By Luxury Brands


Digital models seduce the biggest luxury brands and shake their human counterparts.

By Luxus Plus


It was in August 2018 that Olivier Rousteing, the famous artistic director of Balmain unveiled the names of the three models chosen to join the ranks of his “Army”.


A selection of prestigious muses including, among others, Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian.


But Margot, Zhi and Shudu, the three lucky ones, did not celebrate the news with champagne, and for good reason: these models are virtual models, invented from scratch on a computer.


This skillfully orchestrated buzz may seem anecdotal, but it is the symbol of a movement that is shaking up the world of modeling.


These digital models have a major advantage in a data-hungry world: their subscribers. On Instagram, Miquela Sousa, undisputed star of digital influencers, has 1.7 million fans, when Shudu is close to 200,000 subscribers.


What panic brands, ready to do anything to seduce the “digital natives”, this generation born with a laptop in their hands.


Rihanna was not mistaken in betting on Shudu to promote her make-up brand. The photo of the virtual star wearing a Fenty Beauty lipstick made a splash on Instagram, ensuring good visibility for the brand.


Since then, the virtual model has “posed” for Vogue and carefully selects its partnerships, from Ellesse to Oscar de la Renta


Its real gains fall directly into the pocket of its creator, Cameron-James Wilson.


This American photographer has since created The Diigitals, an agency representing seven virtual models including the intriguing Galaxia, an extraterrestrial with perfect measurements and blue skin.


Today, the one to whom all eyes are turned is the very influential Noonoouri: a digital doll that capsizes the fashion planet, from Dior to Lanvin, passing through Prada, Balenciaga or Versace.


This star with 300,000 subscribers, however, almost never existed. “I tried to find investors for more than seven years, says its creator, graphic designer Joerg Zuber. Everyone demanded that she be sexier, at Lara Croft. It was out of the question!”.

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It was ultimately with his personal funds and encouraged by Carine Roitfeld, the popess of fashion, that he launched Noonoouri alone in February 2018.


A winning poker coup: luxury brands are fighting today to establish partnerships with this adorable digital muse.


A success which owes nothing to chance, according to Joerg Zuber: “It is not just an avatar. She has a real personality. She is a digital person but with a very human soul. She has values, an ethics: she’s vegan and anti-fur. “


Noonoouri has been the first virtual model since September to be represented by IMG Models, one of the most prestigious agencies in the world.


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