Aitana, an energetic 25-year-old pink-haired lady from Barcelona, gets week by week Private messages from big names asking her out. Yet, this model isn’t real. She was made by her designers using artificial intelligence (AI).
Aitana, the first Spanish model created by artificial intelligence, was born in the middle of a difficult period.
Last summer, Rubén Cruz, her designer and founder of the agency ‘The Clueless’, was having a difficult time since he didn’t have numerous clients.
“We started analysing how we were working and realised that many projects were being put on hold or cancelled due to problems beyond our control. Often it was the fault of the influencer or model and not due to design issues,” Cruz said in an interview with Euronews.
So they chose to make their own powerhouse to use as a model for the brands that moved toward them.
They made Aitana, an enthusiastic 25-year-old pink-haired lady from Barcelona whose actual appearance is near flawlessness. The virtual model makes up to € 10,000 every month, as per her creator, but the average amount is close to € 3,000.
“We did it so that we could make a better living and not be dependent on other people who have egos, who have manias, or who just want to make a lot of money by posing,” says Cruz.
She makes over € 1,000 for each advert, and has as of late, become the face of Big, a sports supplement company, and as if that weren’t enough, she uploads photos of herself in lingerie to Fanvue, a platform similar to OnlyFans.
In only a couple of months, she has figured out how to acquire more than 121,000 followers on Instagram and her photographs get millions of views and responses. She even gets private messages from VIPs who are uninformed that she is definitely not a real individual.
“One day, a well-known Latin American actor texted to ask her out. This actor has about 5 million followers and some of our team watched his TV series when they were kids,” says Cruz.
“He had no idea Aitana didn’t exist,” he adds.
Every week the agency team has a meeting to create Aitana’s life. They decide what she will do during the week, which places she will visit and which photos will be uploaded to feed the followers who want to know about her.
Be that as it may, there are no photograph shoots, no closet changes, but just a blend of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and design specialists who use Photoshop to make it feasible for the model to spend the end of the week in Madrid, for instance.
“In the first month, we realised that people follow lives, not images. Since she is not alive, we had to give her a bit of reality so that people could relate to her in some way. We had to tell a story,” says the graphic designer.
That’s why Aitana, unlike traditional models whose personalities are usually not revealed so that they can be a ‘blank canvas’ for designers, has a very distinct ‘personality’.
She was created as a fitness enthusiast, determined and with a complex character. On her website she defines herself as outgoing and caring.
“A lot of thought has gone into Aitana. We created her based on what society likes most. We thought about the tastes, hobbies and niches that have been trending in recent years,” explains Cruz.
In the wake of breaking down trends, they understood that oriental culture had become extremely Europeanised lately, so they attempted to catch this in her pink hair and gamer side.
Aitana has been such a triumph that her creators have proactively made a second virtual model called Maia, “somewhat more timid”. The names were not picked indiscriminately either, both contain the abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Interestingly, the office has been immersed with demands from brands needing their own customized model.
“They want to have an image that is not a real person and that represents their brand values, so that there are no continuity problems if they have to fire someone or can no longer count on them,” says Cruz.
There are also cost savings. When the agency, which used to work with real influencers, realised what they were earning, they found it “anomalous”.
“Kim Kardashian makes a million euros for an Instagram photo and she doesn’t cure cancer. Nobody earns a million euros for uploading a photo to a social network, it seems absurd to me,” he says.
The agency believes this could help bring down market prices and give a boost to small companies that cannot afford big advertising campaigns.
However, the initiative is not without its critics. Many are concerned that the unrealistic perfection of the models could influence the younger generation to become obsessed with achieving such perfection.
There is also criticism of the highly sexualised image of the models created. To which the agency responds that they are simply following the aesthetic already created by the real influencers and brands themselves.
“If we don’t follow this aesthetic, brands won’t be interested. To change this system, you have to change the vision of the brands. The world in general is sexualised.