There has been a lot of talk over the creation and use of “virtual African models”. These computer-generated fashion models come in many races (and alien versions too) but the “black” (I prefer African) ones seem to have rubbed people wrongly, the most. The general consensus on multiple social media comment boards seems to be, “Why isn’t this company using real “black” models instead of creating “unrealistically-shaped” 3d fashion models?” A few days ago, one Instagram user even went on to say; she prefers to see her clothes being advertised on a real person. If you need a bit of a backstory on what this article is about, you might find the next 5-minute video very helpful in getting you caught up with the topic on hand. (If we are still on the same page here, feel free to skip ahead to the next passage).
At the beginning of the video above, those 3-D designers (Caley and Michelle) that are seen measuring and recreating all the garments, made me fall in love with their work process. I never knew all the little processes that went into recreating a virtual fashion outfit. Since the day Wilson created Shudu (at the beginning of 2017) some amount of criticism keeps on coming, as many continue to feel that the use of 3d-fashion-models is taking away food from “real models” who need those same jobs. In an Instagram comment on this issue, Shudu’s creators had this to say, “When a brand uses Shudu they also work alongside one of our real model muses. No one is passed over, we have sure of this.”
Today’s heading of “When life imitates art” came after watching the interview below where one of these real model muses said, “She first saw Shudu and thought wow, this is amazing!” After a while, she (Misty) and Shudu’s creators commenced doing projects together, including one they did for Ellesse (images featured below). Some will justifiably argue that; a muse comes before the birth of an idea. We are not told much about the inspirations behind Shudu’s look, but she has worked with models like Alexandra Maleek, with whom some shared similarities can be seen. Unless it’s just my mind playing tricks on me. Do I need glasses now? The good news here seems to be: in the interview below, Misty the muse is both extremely happy and paid for being the “body double” for Shudu, she even went on to compare it with how someone does the voice acting for animated characters. She and Shudu are said to work hand-in-hand. Here is the virtual interview that Noir Reinassance had with one of Shudu’s muses:
Shudu alongside Misty
In the shoot with Ellesse, the muse and Shudu are seen in photos wearing different 90’s-styled sporting gear available from Ellesse. Here is the real-life model, followed by Shudu. I have to commend the technical team behind the creation of Shudu, and shall continue to stand on the sidelines watching how this new frontier will continue to be handled. I can only imagine all those thoughts and comments that are bugging you about any of the stuff in this article, please… I’d love it if you wrote it all in the comments section below. Don’t forget to follow @visuallyafrican on all social media platforms. Enjoy the images below, until next time!