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  • Writer's pictureKamla-Kay McKenzie

4 Tips to Stay Relevant in the Modeling Industry: Don't Get Replaced by AI or CGI Models

As an agency-signed model and modeling coach, I am always keenly aware of how highly competitive the modeling industry is. Between signed models just as beautiful and skilled on camera to the emergence of social media influencers taking away some of the bookings from the models who once dominated the market, AI (Artificial Intelligence) models are now adding to list of potential hires.

With the rise of AI which now has the capability to create a digital rendering of a model that rivals that of a human in terms of visual beauty, real models are starting to feel the added pressure as brands try to save money in the hiring and production process.

Brands, such as Pacsun and Levi Strauss & Co (Levis), have come under scrutiny for their use, or desired use, in AI models for their campaigns instead of hiring real models to further meet their branding needs. Levis announced they would be partnering with which is a digital fashion studio that builds customized AI-generated models. They announced that this partnership would allow them to increase the number and diversity of their models essentially by creating AI models in various sizes, shapes, ethnicities etc.

These desired changes have been met with backlash understandably by those in the fashion industry and everyday consumers who see this as a way to dismiss true diversity measures by avoiding the hiring of real diverse and ethnic models. Levis has since come out to try to clarify their statements in hopes to minimize the backlash but the use of AI models is said to still be in their future.

While the changes may come with discontent and adjustments by brands as they roll out campaigns, AI models will not entirely replace real models anytime in the near future by major brands.

Shudu AI model in diamond necklace for Vogue Australia
Shudu Digital Model. Visual artistry by Cameron-James Wilson, styled by Philippa Moroney and Erica Matthews, Vogue Australia, September 2018.