Model Agency Launches a New Line of Avatars in the Metaverse

BY Jex Exmundo

September 07, 2022

The Alpha:

  • Art-driven model agency Photogenics just announced the upcoming launch of its very own avatar division. Thanks to this, models currently signed with Photogenics can now opt to have “avant-garde, photorealistic avatars” of themselves created for use in the metaverse, according to a press release shared with nft now.
  • The underlying technology powering the creation of these 3D avatars is spearheaded by Nina Hawkins of Lilium Labs, along with 3D filmmaker Sage Morei of Horizon Lab.
  • Photogenics’ avatar division is set to launch with 13 3D avatars of models currently under its wing.

Why it matters

Although seemingly worlds apart, professional athletes and models share one significant thing in common: they can only perform at the highest level for so long. Just like how the careers of professional athletes rarely exceed two decades before their bodies break down, models similarly face relatively finite careers. But not for long. Through Photogenics’ avatar division, models may finally have a way to overcome the physical limits of their careers.

“Unlike us […] our avatar never sleeps and never ages. […] Your avatar can retain your legacy even long after you retire and with it all that you have worked so hard to build,” said Hawkins and Morei in a joint statement regarding the avatar division’s launch. Aside from offering its models a new way to preserve their legacies, this initiative also illustrates Photogenics’ awareness of the state of the world. Everything’s going digital. “As trailblazers in the industry, we wanted to create this opportunity so that our industry doesn’t fall to computer-generated talent,” said Photogenics founder Nicole Bordeaux in the press release.

What’s next

The computer-generated talent Bordeaux hopes to compete with might come from an unlikely source: VTubers. Short for “virtual YouTuber,” VTubers have been gradually gaining popularity toward the turn of the decade. Today, the internet is brimming with content featuring individuals decorated in virtual cosplay — with this style of content commercialization happening at full force.

Although the realms of fashion models and VTubers might seem far apart, should the popularity of this growing niche of content reach critical mass, what’s stopping some of the biggest brands in fashion from featuring a VTuber model in one of its campaigns? We’ve already seen countless past crossovers between anime and high fashion — Gucci and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure teamed up as far back as 2013.

With Photogenics’ new avatar division, the profession of modeling may have a new strategy to maintain its relevance in our increasingly digital world. “The tools may be different, but the eye is the same,” added Hawkins and Morei. “It’s reassuring that this new discipline isn’t looking to replace the traditional way but rather to augment it. Now, we can create limitless campaigns across borders and time zones without the strings attached to offline production. Uniting talent, agency, and avatars, the technology at hand is a powerful tool to propel the industry into a new virtual era.”

But wait, there’s more:

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