The latest fashion trend is not what you’re wearing, but who, or what, is wearing it.
An android named Erica created by Hiroshi Ishiguro, was unveiled in the December 2017 Vogue issue. This is exactly how those movies about robots taking over the world begin.
It’s scary how real Erica looks. When Erica was featured on Vogue’s Instagram, it didn’t even cross my mind that the model in the picture was anything but human. She models, she speaks and she even has her own Twitter account.
Artificial intelligence is a technological advancement that can be used to create pretty wonderful things. Life can certainly be easier when you can ask Alexa what the weather is like in Bali or badger Siri with questions about her love life. But there is no place for robots in fashion.
It would be a mistake for brands to jump on this bandwagon. Human models connect with people, and that is what sells clothing. Especially in this age of the Insta model, the human interest and connection people feel toward the models are so important to promoting a brand.
Models promote a lifestyle that goes along with the product. People see them wearing it and want it because they want to be like them. Plenty of people want to wear the same Marc Jacobs perfume as Kaia Gerber, but people will not aspire to be like a robot in the same way.
The implementation of robot models would not only be taking models' jobs away, but it is also a gateway to start replacing people with robots in every field. Models are present on TV, billboards, in magazines — everywhere. This could influence other industries to invest in artificial intelligence and eliminate jobs.
Including robot models is a giant step back for the fashion industry. Models have been confined to very specific, unforgiving parameters with regard to their skin color, body type and overall look and even personality. The industry has grown much more inclusive in the past years, and having robot models would undo all of that. This is apparent in the way that Erica was made.
“The principle of beauty is captured in the average face, so I used images of 30 beautiful women, mixed up their features and used the average for each to design the nose, eyes and so on,” Ishiguro said.
This artificial intelligence is now defining beauty standards with artificial beauty. The definition of beauty has finally been widened, and the invention of the robot model will close it right back up. Flaws are natural, flaws are relatable and flaws are human.
Zoe Stitzer is a freshman studying journalism news and information at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you think you agree? Let Zoe know by tweeting her @zoe_stitzer.