When you think of an influencer, I’m sure you imagine a close to a perfect looking girl (or guy) seeming to be living their best life (traveling, events, partying, etc.) and advertising products, as documented through social media. It’s easy to forget that they’re real people like us, probably going through the ups and downs that humans experience daily.

However, most people usually don’t follow influencers to see those aspects of their lives; they follow them for a mini escape from reality, one where life just looks perfect. And what other better way to experience this than following the new wave of these influencers: CGI ones.

Scrolling through the Instagram user ‘lilmiquela’s page, it’s hard not to do a double take before realizing, yes, in fact, she is an AI model. From magazine covers to campaigns, to editorials and collabs with companies like Vogue, Wonderland, Prada, UGG, and more, she’s taken not only the internet world but the industry as well by a storm.

Balmain has also played into the idea of CGI models, with having three digital models being the face of their campaign in 2018. One of them, Shudu (a creation by British photographer Cameron-James Wilson) is claimed to be the world’s first digital supermodel, after appearing in multiple editorials as well as being featured on ‘Fenty Beauty’s Instagram. Although Shudu’s gained a large following, digital models can be controversial as they essentially portray unrealistic beauty standards (I mean, they’re literally not real) as well as take the spot for real women, especially POC, who are trying to achieve that level of success.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for AI models, and how much they actually will take over the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle world.