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Levi's plan to use diverse AI-generated models won't cut live shoots

After Levi Strauss & Co partnered with an AI firm to test digital models, the company says it will not cut back on live-model photo shoots.
A Levi's storefront
Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 28, 2023

Levi Strauss & Co. says it will not scale back on live model photo shoots after it partnered with the Dutch AI firm, which creates "hyper-realistic" digital models for fashion brands. 

The company previously announced the partnership as a test to use AI technology to create more images of products on more models with "a range of body types more quickly."

Criticism was levied at the fashion brand after many consumers commented on social media with concerns that Levi's was using AI as a replacement for hiring more diverse models to better represent its shoppers. 

Levi's said in a statement that the company does not plan to use AI-related technology to "substitute for the real action" on creating marketing campaigns that feature diverse models, and with growing its "equity and inclusion goals."

Levi's says that a typical live model photo shoot, in the company's experience, will generally have one or two models per product. The company hopes that AI and it's partnership with will help it more cost effectively increase the number of model images for products. 

Levi's says it doesn't have plans to reduce live photo shoots or the use of live models and says it will still keep to its commitment to work with a diverse group of live models. 

Dr. Amy Gershkoff Bolles, global head of digital at Levi Strauss & Co, said, “While AI will likely never fully replace human models for us, we are excited for the potential capabilities this may afford us for the consumer experience.”

The plan is to use AI-generated model images in the shopping experience on the company's app and other places. 

Levi's didn't immediately respond to Scripps News when asked if the company might eventually be open to reducing the number of live-model photo shoots if the use of AI-generated models becomes a significant cost-saving method.