Swedish retailer H&M has taken the controversial practice of Photoshopping models to a whole new and deceptive level by superimposing the faces of real-life models onto computer-generated “virtual” bodies.

The clothing giant uses this technique in their online catalogue, where the only difference in their models from the neck down is changes in skin tone so the bodies will match the real-human faces.

H&M press spokesperson Håcan Andersson defended the practice in an interview with The Local.

This is a technique that is not new, it is available within the industry today and we are using it for our Shop Online in combination with real life models pictures and still life pictures,” Andersson said. ‘For our Shop Online we are using a combination of real life models pictures, still life pictures and virtual mannequin pictures. For all other marketing and campaigns – outdoor, TV, print and other media, H&M will continue to use real life models.

What do you think? Are human/mannequin hybrids fair game? Or is this technology even more offensive than flesh-and-blood models who have been Photoshopped to look like creepy automatons? Now that we think about it, perhaps computer generated models aren’t all that bad.

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