Thursday, February 15, 2024
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Rise of the Virtual Influencer

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Recorded at PI Apparel in Vietnam, in this session, Cameron James Wilson, CEO of The Diigitals, presents an introduction to virtual influencers and a look at some of the ways they’ve collaborated with the fashion industry. From social media campaigns and editorials to building your own digital representative, virtual influencers are a growing an exciting new way to engage with consumers and present new designs.

Cameron covers:

  1. Creation of the World’s First Digital Supermodel Studio: Cameron introduces himself as the CEO of The Diigitals and the creator of the world’s first digital supermodel studio. He talks about his transition from a fashion photographer to a 3D artist, driven by his dissatisfaction with the declining state of fashion photography.
  2. The Rise of Shudu, a Virtual Influencer: He shares the story of creating Shudu, his first virtual model, in 2017. Despite initial uncertainty, Shudu gained significant popularity, with nearly a quarter of a million followers and collaborations with major brands like Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo.
  3. Impact on the Fashion Industry and Controversy: He discusses the controversy and conversations sparked by the introduction of virtual influencers like Shudu, raising questions about the future of modeling and the fashion industry’s reliance on traditional practices.
  4. Virtual Models and Real-World Applications: He talks about experimenting with virtual models in various scenarios, including working with makeup artists and fashion designers, and blending virtual models with real-life photoshoots.
  5. Challenging Conventional Beauty Standards: The presentation highlights the importance of authenticity and diversity in virtual influencers. Wilson explains his approach to creating virtual characters that challenge conventional beauty standards and represent underrepresented communities, like Kami, the world’s first virtual influencer with Down’s Syndrome.
  6. Future of Virtual Influencers and the Metaverse: Wilson emphasizes the need for virtual influencers to have a unique voice and perspective to stand out in an increasingly competitive space. He discusses the potential of virtual influencers in shaping the future of the fashion industry and their role in the evolving metaverse.
  7. Building a Small, Successful Team: Finally, Cameron shares insights into the operations of The Diigitals, highlighting that it’s a small team comprising himself, his best friend, and his father. He underlines the importance of collaboration and adapting to new technologies in the dynamic world of fashion and digital art.

A full transcript of this session can be found here.

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