Models To Be Replaced With AI For “Diversity”

( Iconic denim company Levi Strauss & Co. will be testing AI-generated models as part of its effort to diversify the online shopping experience, The Verge reported on Monday.

Last week, Levi’s announced that it was partnering with digital fashion studio, which creates AI-generated fashion models.

Currently, Levi’s products that are advertised on its website or app are only viewed on a single model. In using AI-generated models, Levi’s said its clothing can appear on more body-inclusive models which would allow consumers to view how the clothes would look on various types of body types, sizes, ages, and skin colors.

After the announcement was met with backlash, Levi Strauss clarified its plan, saying it was using artificial intelligence to “promote diversity.”

And while Levi’s clarification sounded good, there were still several questions about the plan that remained unanswered, The Verge reported.

For example, Levi Strauss did not say on which platforms the AI-generated models would be available or if customers would be able to customize the model themselves.

The other outstanding question is how many real-life models will lose jobs and income once they get replaced by AI-generated models.

According to The Verge, in recent years, Levi Strauss has been trying to cut operating costs to save money, including slashing its workforce. Last year, Levi’s laid off 800 workers. In 2020, 700 workers were laid off during the pandemic.

The company originally said that the AI-generated models were not the “sole solution” to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in its models, and it did not plan to replace its real models with the AI version. Instead, Levi’s said the AI models would “supplement” the humans to give customers a more personalized shopping experience.

In an updated statement on Tuesday, Levi’s confirmed that it has no plans of scaling back its use of real models and live photoshoots.

Additionally, Levi’s conceded that it should never have “conflated” its partnership with with its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.