Misty Bailey stands in to model as Shudu for Ellesse.
‘’I’ve been a fashion and editorial model for 10 years. I first started modelling in Jamaica, then I moved to the UK to build my portfolio with reputable people in the fashion Industry. After a year of hard work, I was established enough to become a full time model and got signed to Oxygen Model Management. I’m a very creative person I love singing/song writing/music producing/performing and building my brand. (Misty The Brand). What drives me to be successful is firstly making my dad and family proud. Being able to provide for myself and live my life without struggling financially and inspiring others to never give up on their dreams.
I first encountered Cameron through Instagram. He saw my photos one day and thought I look similar to Shudu. We planned for a year on working together on some cool projects and Ellesse stepped in as our first opportunity to do so. My initial thoughts on this were “WOW this is incredible!” I’m excited to be shooting as Shudu and I’m grateful to Cameron and the Ellesse team for the amazing opportunity.
Shudu’s every single detail is designed to perfection. I love the concept of a digital supermodel. It’s definitely thinking outside the box, and she opens up opportunities for black models in the fashion/beauty industry that look similar to her.
On the day working as Shudu with Ellesse was amazing, the whole team were very friendly, supportive, professional and well organised. We had stylists, videographers, photographers, make-up artistes, marketing managers & Cameron on set as a part of the creative process of shooting and becoming Shudu.
I felt accomplished after we wrapped up, like I’d made everyone involved very proud. Before we started, I was nervous and anxious but as the day progressed that all faded away.
The digital model revolution is very creative and definitely ahead of the curve. Technology is influencing fashion in a major way making it easier for stylists, brands, designers, photographers and others to create exciting new and innovative projects. The best outcome for me participating in this experience was working with the brand. The reaction from the team was amazing, they were all pleased with the final outcome. I felt like I had become part of the Ellesse family. This then led to the opportunity to Dance and model at their partnership conference for their New campaign out in 2019, which wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of Shudu. Thank you so much!
Misty stands in to model once again to embody Shudu getting ready for the Red Carpet for the BAFTA awards.
''Shooting at the Savoy Hotel stepping in as Shudu for the day as she got ready for the Red carpet was truly amazing! We shot in an incredible suite with an amazing river side view of the London eye and the beautiful city landscape. I enjoyed my experience embodying Shudu once again. There was a amazing and supportive team and together we created some beautiful poses to portray Shudu's elegance, it really felt like a dream.''
''There are two ways Wilson can create images of Shudu. The first is fully 3D – but here he says the problem is that many fashion designers don’t have 3D computer generated versions of their garments, so to dress the model effectively you need to shoot on a real model and then merge the images together. “It makes Shudu probably one of the most ‘collaborative’ models. A combination of lots of people rather than just one. I find that really, really interesting,” Wilson explains. “The models convey some of their personality to your character, almost like someone playing a character in a film.”
Wilson has a small roster of “muses” he uses to act as a stand in, including Jamaican model Misty Bailey who is signed to D1 Models in London. Bailey originally discovered Shudu on Instagram, “I was like: ‘Wow, this is amazing!’ At first, I obviously thought she was a real person, but then I realised that this is digital. I posted a picture of myself wearing swimwear from a shoot I did, and Cameron commented saying something like ‘Oh, you look so much like Shudu!’ I was flattered. Then we started talking about doing projects together, but we actually started collaborating a year after. We did that campaign for Ellesse and then the BAFTA Awards.”
Wilson loves what the real women bring to his fictional character. “Working with models like Misty, the way that she poses, I then portray Shudu in exactly the same way,” he says. “I match the light and blend further, and you get this incredible fusion of the two, which I really love.”
In the world of social media, the potential for offence is great. Commentators online question whether Cameron, as a white male, should be creating an idealised black woman. Bailey is unconvinced of this line of thinking. “I think that’s a bit racist to be honest, because how can you tell someone what colour or race they should create? I don’t think it makes any sense. I believe they are racist with that.” It doesn’t bother her then? “No! It doesn’t. Because there are photographers working with black models, designers working with black models, that are not black. Why should there be any difference?”
For Bailey it has genuinely created work. “I feel like this digital model concept is creating more opportunities for black models,” she says. “Some people might look at it like: ‘Ok, digital models taking over our jobs’. But it’s not so because it’s actually a real model doing the job, and then obviously the digital form.” When working with brands Bailey gets paid the proper commercial rates. “God, if it wasn’t for Shudu, I am forever grateful for that,” says Bailey. “And they have decided to use my image as well, instead of just the digital form. Which is really cool because you have never seen anything like that before. That’s something different, and I’m on board with it.”