With their seemingly perfect features and lengthy limbs, models are often said to represent unrealistic ideals of beauty. While that point is debatable, there is no doubt that the latest faces to storm the fashion world are unreal – literally.
Local fashion photographer Shavonne Wong recently launched Gen V, her modelling agency, with five models – and all are virtual creations. While virtual influencers, led by popular figures such as Lil’ Miquela (2.8 million followers on Instagram), have been on the rise, it is less common to see virtual versions of what Wong describes as “blank-slate models”.
(Related: Would you pay $70 for a virtual dress?)
The idea first came to the 29-year-old during the circuit breaker, when photo shoots were not permitted. Wong, who has appeared on Asia’s Top Next Model as a photographer and who has also shot American celebrity Billy Porter for Vogue, says, “I thought about how I could future-proof my career and help to further digitise the fashion industry.”
For Wong, this is just the beginning. “In time to come, I want to have models of a good range of body sizes, skin colours and ages. My eventual aim isn’t just fashion. For example, when I figure out facial motion capture, I also want to provide hosting for virtual events. This technology has so much potential. Creatively, my biggest challenge has been trying to learn as many things as possible and all at once, as one person with one computer.”