Aitana Lopez makes $16k a month as a model and influencer. But she doesn't exist.

Meet Aitana Lopez. She's a 25-year-old fitness influencer and model from Barcelona who loves gaming, exercise and cosplay. She has 161k followers on Instagram and earns around $16,500 a month. 

She's also a bot.

Created by Spanish designer Rubén Cruz, who runs AI model agency The Clueless, AI-generated models like Lopez are seen as the answer to the high costs and stresses associated with employing real-life models.

"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," Cruz said in an interview with EuroNews.

Watch: What the world of modelling is really like. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

The graphic designer and his AI agency are behind the development of Aitana's entire life, look and personality (she's a Scorpio, by the way) — including the curation of her social media content. 

"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," he said.

"A lot of thought has gone into Aitana," he added. "We created her based on what society likes most. We thought about the tastes, hobbies and niches that have been trending in recent years."


Aitana attends events, promotes products and plugs brands — she's even the face of a sports supplement company. She also earns money on subscription platform Fanvue — similar to OnlyFans — where fans pay to access images of her posing in lingerie.

With a profile boasting thousands upon thousands of followers, Cruz and his team earn just over €1,000 per advert (which equates to around $1,600 AUD). 

According to her creators, her profile is so real that she regularly receives direct messages from fans asking to go out with her — including high-profile celebrities.


"One day, a well-known Latin American actor texted to ask her out," Cruz shared. "He had no idea Aitana didn’t exist."

Off the back of Aitana’s success, the company has now created a new model by the name of Maia, who they describe as "a little more shy."

And it appears the digitised strategy is working. Cruz shared in the interview that a wave of brands are now requesting their own AI models.

"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," he explained. 

Off the back of Aitana’s success, the company has now created a new model by the name of Maia, described as "a little more shy."

And it appears the digitised strategy is working, with Cruz sharing that a wave of brands are now requesting their own personalised personas. 

What does AI mean for the future of modelling?

With this in mind, what do these kinds of advancements mean for the future of modelling? 

We asked Mamamia's Executive Editor and model Elfy Scott, who said that while artificial intelligence undoubtedly opens up more doors for brands, it's an area that's layered with complexities.

"I think that AI-generated models absolutely represent an interesting opportunity for brands to showcase their products on technology that looks 'cutting edge' and certainly comes with lower costs and fewer complications than using human models — but it is ethically complex," she said. 


"While the use of these models by brands is still very much in its infancy, consumers should be thinking deeper about the negative ramifications and pushing back if it becomes anything more than a novelty for brands."

There's also criticism of the highly unrealistic beauty standards and the hyper-sexualisation of women, to which Scott said: "If the reasons that brands are reaching for AI models are that they are cheap, voiceless, and conventionally slim, those are problems we need to be aware of."

There's also the glaring issue of racial diversity, which merely perpetuate the inequality and limitations on roles for people of colour.

"I find it troubling that the majority of popular AI influencers are painted as ethnically diverse figures - Aitana Lopez, Imma, and Miquela among them," Scott said. 

"In an industry where people of colour are routinely dismissed or face outright racism and do not get the same career opportunities as white models, so using these 'diverse' creations explicitly denies POC human models paychecks."


Speaking to the commentary around creators denying real models economic opportunities because they are 'ego-centric', Scott added that this way of thinking only further highlights the ugly underbelly of the industry.

"They should be soundly condemned for that. It's commentary like that makes me regret that the fashion industry hasn't seen effective unionisation in Australia yet," she said. 

"I don't know what the future holds for modelling but I can say that, as a consumer, I am drawn to spend money with brands when I see them using models with personalities, stories and opinions that I find fascinating and personally align with.

"I think that any company that denies this intrinsic human connection aren't doing themselves any favours."

What do you think of modelling and AI-generated models and influencers? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@fit_aitana.

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