Balmain Virtual Army

Balmain Engineers Army of Virtual Models for FW18

After a tumultuous relationship with a certain reality TV family Balmain said, f*ck it let’s just build our own models this year.

Balmain debuted the newest addition to their Balmain Army, three virtual models, Margot, Shudi and Zhi. They are computer generated and have no DNA but appear French, African and Chinese.

Rather than searching the globe for the perfect model, or paying a reality TV family that is already oversaturated in the media, Balmain has opted to design the perfect three models. The virtual models suffer none of the effects of anorexia or plastic surgery addiction, and work for free. They have no opinions about their own hair, and they never, ever get older.

Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director at Balmain, told Refinery 29, “I’m really obsessed with music. And what I really love about it are the icons.” Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Tina Turner and Prince, all had an influence on the virtual models’ looks. He basically designed his own ideal women, but we can’t decide if that’s more sexist than objectifying models, or less.

Glittered leather Balmain Baby Box bag

Zhi here was inspired by Bowie. She models the Glittered Leather Balmain Baby Box Bag ($1,971.56), which has the iconic lightning bolt design on glittery calfskin with a chain strap. The entire line is inspired by music, such as the Glittered Velvet Crop Top ($1,155.43).

The Balmain fall 2018 collection is available via their official online boutique.

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Elizabeth de Moya has contributed to DJ Mag, DJ TechTools, LA Weekly and Thump (Vice). She has a BA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley.