CNN: A Virtual (fashion-model) employee
musides at SPAMadelaide.on.net
Wed Aug 25 18:18:18 MDT 1999
August 24, 1999
Web posted at: 5:21 p.m. EDT (2121 GMT)
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Her employers call her the perfect
fashion model, the perfect employee: Webbie Tookay is never
late, never too tired to work and has no personal life to
interfere with her job.
Not surprisingly, Webbie Tookay is not real.
Elite Models, the worldwide agency that launched the careers
of supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi
Campbell, now has Webbie Tookay, a computer-generated animated
mannequin that can show up anywhere, anytime.
The centerpiece of a new division of Elite called Illusion
2K -- Virtual Models and Actress Management, she is available to
pose for advertisements or fashion shows on the World Wide Web,
in print or in films.
"She is never too tired to work, and she is available all
the time. She can be in many places at the same time, so we don't
have a problem scheduling her," Luciana Abreu, a partner in
Illusion 2K, a Sao Paulo, Brazil, company that teamed up with
Elite, told Reuters.
"Also, she does not have a personal life that interferes
with her work, and she doesn't age, and she doesn't gain weight,"
Abreu said in an interview at Elite's offices in New York.
Could all of this perfection crumble if the Y2K
millennium bug strikes Webbie Tookay when the year 2000 turns?
Her designers say no, she is Y2K compliant.
The millennium bug arises because many older computers use
only the last two digits of a year to record dates. Unless
corrected, such systems could treat 2000 as 1900, generating
errors or system crashes on January 1.
She supports the environment, birth control
Created by Swedish designer Steven Stahlberg, the virtual
model has "perfect measurements," Abreu said. "It was decided
to give her the major tendencies of today's models. She is not
that skinny. And she has well-defined breasts, well-defined
hips," Abreu said.
She is a combination of a voluptuous blond European, a
Latina and an Asian. And Webbie Tookay not only looks good
but has her own opinions about things. She would never wear fur,
"We are very proud of her personality and her character,"
Abreu said. "She has environmental concerns, she is for birth
control; and besides, she looks very pretty."
The Illusion 2K company was formed in July, and its first
"Webbie Planet" Web site www.illusion2k.com integrates video,
text and photos of Webbie Tookay with different looks, modeling services and
entertainment. Other "virtual top models" from the
Illusion 2K stable, including male models, are expected to join
Webbie Tookay in the coming year.
Where www doesn't stand for World Wide Web
This is one site where WWW does not stand for World Wide
Web. Instead, it is the acronym for What We Wear, a virtual
store with the virtual top model demonstrating her exclusive
products found only on the Internet.
The company said it wants to attract people ages 14 to 25
to a site featuring leading clothing manufacturers and
the consumers' own preferences, behavior, activities and
Three other sections of Webbie Planet, all hosted by Webbie
Tookay, are the digital magazine Webbie News; theater, movie and
other leisure activities on Webbie Fun; and Webbie Cine News,
designed to be shown in three-minute segments in movie
"We want to develop a relationship. Visitors to the Web
site will become Webbie's friends, and they will give her
information. We're going to create a community who are Webbie's
friends," Abreu said.
More information about the Marxism