Your favorite online retailer soon will no longer need live models to sell you clothes over the interwebs. Digital models are the new hot workforce which is saving retailers a ton of time and money. Swedish design firm, Looklet, has created an online styling tool with a cast of digital models to pick from. Their system lets retailers choose their model, add their clothes and then let shoppers mix and match outfits to their hearts content. Could this be the end of photo shoots and catalogue modeling as we know it?

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Looklet first began developing their online styling tool as a way to help shoppers mix and match garments on real models. They soon realized however that their tool was a huge time and money saver for online retailers. Normally, retailers spend a lot of energy, time, money and resources hiring a crew and models to showcase their clothing. But Looklet’s system can speed the process up and allow shoppers to see more views and get a better sense of the garment on a model and create outfits on the spot. They break down a traditional shoot by separating it into individual pieces: products, models, backgrounds, and other effects. Then their software stitches the elements together online for the shopper.

Fashion retailers like H&M and Vente-Privee already use these virtual workhorses to sell their wares online and soon many others are likely to follow. The virtual models are based on real models, they’re a new hybrid of real world and digital modeling. Retailers can choose male, female, body type, skin color, and hair styles to match their look. So far we’ve only seen runway-thin models, but in theory retailers could choose more full-figured women as well. The system however does displace a number of cogs in the system and could potentially put some hardworking people out of work including stylists, photographers and models.

+ Looklet