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Meet the first Kiwi digital human fashion model

Meet the first Kiwi digital human fashion model

Credit: UneeQ

Using our platform, it would be possible for a brand to create a one of a kind digital human that can model their clothes, and then converse with customers face to face on their website about fashion as well as assist them in making purchase decisions

Jody Boshoff, UneeQ

New Zealand businesses are increasingly tapping digital humans to be the face of their digital interactions with customers.

This week, Kiwis will see a digital human take on a new role - as fashion model.

As part of New Zealand Fashion Week, an AI-powered digital human will model the autumn/winter 2020 collection of fashion label Salasai.

Salasai worked with local AI company UneeQ (formerly FaceMe) to create New Zealand’s first digital human fashion model.

“We are exploring the integration of digital human tech into the world of high fashion,” says Jody Boshoff, marketing director at UneeQ.

“Digital humans offer the chance for brands to embody themselves in digital human format,with unique personas or appearances, for a huge variety of applications,” Boshoff tells CIO New Zealand. “These range from website, to stills and AR runways around the world.”

“Using UneeQ's platform, it would be possible for a brand to create a one of a kind digital human that can model their clothes, and then converse with customers face to face on their website about fashion as well as assist them in making purchase decisions,” says Boshoff.

“A digital human model can work around the clock 24x7 to build brand loyalty and trust across platforms with customers in settings they feel comfortable with,” she says.

UneeQ digital humans have EQ (‘emotional quotient’), says Boshoff. They can understand and respond to users with empathy and emotion. They function beyond ‘knowledge intelligence’ (IQ) only to build a personal connection with the customers they interact with. 

Boshoff explains using their platform, businesses and creators can design digital humans to embody their brand and bring the human touch or ‘EQ’ back to a digital world. “This is something a form, website or chatbot can not do,” she adds.

New Zealand’s first digital human fashion model, however, does not have a name.

“She is not based off an existing person and was styled uniquely for this shoot, with inspiration images provided by Salasai,” says Boshoff.

By integrating styled photography with AI software, the digital human fashion model concept aims to explore the future of fashion imagery, she says. 

The making of a digital ‘influencer’

Salasai has had successful runway shows in previous New Zealand Fashion Week events.

“This year it is about changing delivery, and operating in the digital space that we rely on year round,” says its founder and designer Kirsha Whitcher. 

The designs will be shared via Salasai’s Instagram, Facebook and EDM channels.

Perth-based Whitcher and Kelly Taffard of Salasai operate 5,300 kilometres apart. They communicate through Skype calls and digital moodboards.

With ICT being key to their markets, sales, distribution and administration decisions, they thought of a digital-only campaign that can reach thousands and feature cutting edge technology.

Victor Yuen, creative director of UneeQ, says the company is “thrilled to be demonstrating the power of digital influencers”. 

Boshoff, meanwhile, reveals that UneeQ is also working on another application of digital humans “to make fashion more accessible”.

“Imagine what’s possible now.”

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Tags avatarfashionAIdesign thinkingfuture of workStartupcentennialMillennialcreative suitechief marketing officercxCIO and CMODXCIO50martechdigital designfuture workplacedigital humancollaborationartistsvisual artistsSalasaidigital talentJody Boshoff

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