H&M using “virtual models” for online advertising

H&M Virtual ModelsPhoto: H&M

H&M, the giant Swedish-based retailer has recently started using computer generated models and “attaching” a photo of a real model’s head to it for some their swimwear and lingerie online advertising.  The “electronic mannequin”  or “virtual model” has a carefully sculpted body and can be manipulated to match the color of the model’s head.

We do think that a virtual model can be used in a virtual fitting room scenario where customers pick an outfit and it is displayed on a virtual model of the size the customer requests. This helps solve the problem of “I like that dress but how would it look on me?” Most agree that it would be impractical to have photos of 12 different size live models  for each outfit.

Our question is, “why not just use photos of live models” ? We don’t believe H&M is intentionally trying to harm the employability of live models but that may become one of the resultant outcomes of this practice.  We think it best to just “keep it real”.

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