Virtual Swimwear Models Are The New Runway Sensation

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Virtual Swimwear Models Are The New Runway Sensation
September 22, 2020
Beach Bunny Swim presented a fluid collection showing Resort ’21, but also presenting many best selling pieces from their current season during Paraiso Miami Beach at the SLS South Beach.
 PHOTO CREDIT SIMON SOONG

 

In less than a generation, technology quickly moved from a fashion show facilitator towards a tech-based fashion show. To fully prepare for a digital fashion show experience, brace yourself to watch virtual models take over the runway. Today, how a brand decides to handle technology is simply an outside indicator of a company’s internal structure. In fact, a fashion brand coming of age during this period might be attracted to the idea of partnering with savvy technical creative companies and programs to build a modified culture spurred by the American - designed “Let’s roll attitude”.

 

 

Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the technological risk became reality at Miami Swim Week. Swimwear presenters hadn’t the choice to stay idle but rather were pushed forward in a rough and ready manner. With limited luxuries and hard work, there is an opportunity to help the industry envision new ways to support the swimwear industry overall. More to the point, technology is an important and much-needed platform for the swimwear marketplace.

 

"It was a beautiful thing to witness technology and fashion merge ogether during Paraiso Miami Beach. As we enter into this dawn of this new normal, technology came to save the day for these designers to be able to show their collections digitally - in real time and across all different platforms from Instagram TV to YouTube and other web based portal’s.

 

We were a part of the first augmented reality fashion show collaboration between Lavie by CK and The Diigitals. What a unique way to view a collection, especially during times when social gathering are prohibited. While it’s very useful for right now, I don’t think we will ever be tired of our Linda and Naomi moments on the runway.

 

The digital aspect of Swim Week made it possible and for us to convey the brands looks and story to editors around the globe that we’re not able to fly in for Paraiso Miami Beach. It allowed us to bring it to them and to further enhance Swim commerce"-Nick D’Annunzio, Co-Principal at TARA, Ink. public relations.

 

This year Paraiso achieved outstanding success in presenting Miami Swim Week perpetually influenced by advancements in technology. More to the point, it is a legendary turning point in the way business is now conducted. Limits remain, however.

 

The Diigitals are utilizing the rising accessibility of new technologies and taking the first steps into a new frontier of digital exploration. Within this collaborative hub, they demonstrate the potential of 3D fashion modeling and showcase its applications for innovative brands. The new era in creative seemingly erase the boundaries between real time reality and the digital world. Leading the charge into this new synthetic landscape is Shudu, the enigmatic and technical muse who's inspiring a new generation of artists. In a sense, she is the first of a generation but I assure you there will be many more like her in the years to come!

 

Let’s back track. In April of 2017, a new model-being stepped onto the world stage. A mysterious model named Shudu appeared on Instagram and she had the world wondering who she was and wehre she was from.? Shudu quickly attracted thousands of followers who wanted to know more about her identity. In short, she was a digital fabrication created by a young fashion photographer named Cameron-James Wilson, an art project to inspire him in a new virtual medium. After this revelation, Shudu became a social media phenomenon.

 

As the story goes, Shudu's creation was almost accidental. It started as an experiment while Cameron was trying out 3D modeling after becoming frustrated with his latest hobby, hand-painting Barbie dolls. It’s from these dolls that Cameron gained his inspiration to create Shudu. Cameron brought Shudu into the world, with no idea about the impact she would make. Now Shudu has is creating new ways of storytelling with designers brands.

 

“Today, with the help of social media and technology, people are inspired by fashion more than ever before. The Collaboration between Lavie by CK and The Diigitals is not only a step forward for the fashion industry, but also a window into how the future of fashion weeks will look like. It will be a perfect balance between digital, and in person experiences. This edition of PARAISO Miami Beach is probably the most consumer-oriented event we’ve done. Creative energy and efforts put towards the shows reached not only press, and industry, but consumers as well” Natalija Dedic, Creative Director Paraiso Miami Beach. 

 

Los Angeles based designer, Claude Kameni of Lavie by CKdebuted her first swimwear collection on August 20th, 2020. Claude was motivated to produce a swimwear line that reflected the current global desire to travel again. Reflecting on the majestic waters surrounding the West Coast of Cameroon, Claude placed a modern spin on traditional African fabrics with unique prints and colors for a bold finish. 

Agua Bendita Reveals Their 2021 Resort Collection During Paraiso Miami Beach at the SLS South Beach.
 PHOTO CREDIT SIMON SOONG

 

On a separate but equal note, the future of fashion can be summed up in one word; sustainability. These days, consumers are well aware of the apparel industry’s carbon footprint. Since a long time ago, fashion brands lost its sense in the pursuit of massive profitability. Thankfully, American consumers are being reeducated about fashion brands that are simply out to make profit whereas others are aiming to create sustainable efforts. These are simple adjustments in the apparel business nevertheless they are adjustments made with tremendous relevance and maximum impact. 

 

Do Good Swimwear is one such company. The swimwear brand not only helps to recycle ocean waste by using regenerated nylon from discarded fishing nets, but also plants several trees with each purchase.  In addition, it donates a portion of sales towards charitable organizations that help empower women living in impoverished countries by helping with school supplies, loans to start business and funding/ therapy for victims of trauma and abuse. 

 

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cameron-James Wilson CEO at The Digitals about how just one 15 second shot required two days work digitizing the swimsuit, why he thinks that philosophy is what attracts business partners and why he believes that 3D will always remain an option for those who want a very detailed and bespoke luxury experience!

Cameron-James Wilson
 COURTESY OF PARAISO

 

Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about what strengths you think are most important and relevant to develop an online first ever fashion show for Paraiso Swim Week in Miami - and incorporate " tech models"

Cameron-James Wilson: As one of the most innovative fashion companies in the world it was important for us to showcase some of our research from the past few years of working in the industry. Although we can produce incredible still imagery we had never really tackled a much longer animation prior to this. The end result may only be a minute, but that minute represents 3 months of work from many different people; all extremely talented in their fields. Just one 15 second shot of Shudu required two days work digitizing her swimsuit, a custom motion captured fashion walk put together by a team at Daz3D, a week of fine tuning the scene and lighting and 36 hours to render the first of many drafts. It was only natural to work with Lavie by CK, who we’ve collaborated with in the past. I am fond of their designs. Moreover, they’re a breath of fresh air in the industry with a viewpoint so incredibly needed and valuable. I also believe your work is strongest when the whole team appreciates each other and respects each persons talent and skill. The energy between everyone on this project was amazing. In fact, we kept one another updated via Instagram DM, where almost the whole concept and design was conceived. After two weeks of rendering all the shots, they were pierced together and edited by Tracer Ital. Claude (Lavie by CK founder) had picked out the music almost two months prior to the video being edited. Henceforth, we had a great idea how the finished video would come to fruition.

Joseph DeAcetis: What creative input did LAVIE by CK Swim deliver to you for this project. 

Cameron-James Wilson: We share such similar inspirations, it’s hard to tell how much input either of us have. We were so aligned before even starting that the concept behind the collection was a perfect fit for what I already had in mind. 

Joseph DeAcetis: Did you design the tech female models? What was your inspiration during their creation? 

Cameron-James Wilson: All of the models were designed by us and they each have quite personal inspirations. Shudu, my first model, was inspired by one of my favorite fashion models as well as my favorite Barbie. Dagny was inspired by my love for a strong actress. Brenn helped me confront my own body image issues and helped boost my self confidence by showcasing her stretch marks. Finally, an unnamed model code named Aspen, was inspired by my favorite comic book Sheroes.

Joseph DeAcetis: How has it been received by journalists, retail buyers and influencers - please respond with factual and detailed response 

Cameron-James Wilson: It’s only been a few days, so it’s hard to fully gauge the response. Honestly, I don’t over analyze the work I do. I do it because I want to, because it inspires me and because I enjoy it. Not necessarily to sit and worry about how it’s received. I think that philosophy is what attracts our partners.

Beach Bunny Swim presented a fluid collection showing Resort ’21, but also presenting many best selling pieces from their current season during Paraiso Miami Beach at the SLS South Beach 
 PHOTO CREDIT SIMON SOONG

 

Joseph DeAcetis: With the onset of COVID-19, do you believe that this will be the way fashion will be presented in the future?

Cameron-James Wilson: I think it is definitely one of the ways in which fashion will be showcased. Although I believe that e-commerce will very quickly be dominated by machine learning and models created by AI programs, 3D will always remain an option for those who want a very detailed and bespoke experience. In my opinion, 3D will be a luxury.

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