Everyone is welcome in Olivier Rousteing's #Balmain Army, a brand committed to diversity. The latest extension of the #Balmain Army includes CGI models (computer generated imagery). Rousteing worked with Cameron-James Wilson, the CGI artist and photographer behind Fenty Beauty's controversial Shudu model.
Controversy surrounded Shudu when she made her debut in March of 2018. With social media saying the unknown Shudu was just a little too perfect, Wilson explained to the clamoring crowds: ""Basically Shudu is my creation, she’s my art piece that I am working on at the moment. She is not a real model unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models of today. There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models, so she represents them and is inspired by them. Obviously some models like Duckie (Thot) were definitely big inspirations for her as well."
Refinery 29 has followed the story from its inception, writing: "This did not sit well with people, who believe Shudu represents a lot more than one man's digital art project. The news of her non-existence has triggered an online backlash, with people quickly pointing out how problematic it is that she, a Black woman, was created by a white man and "hired" instead of an actual Black model, a demographic that remains underrepresented in the fashion and beauty industries."
We will add that the CGI models now join sex robots as idealized female creations of the male mind. It's an interesting philosophical consideration in the evolution of fashion and female models.
Shudu now joins two Balmain-exclusive, digital supermodels Margot and Zhi.