First, we had Pope Francis modeling a Balenciaga puffer coat. Now, we have Tim Cook modeling Versace and Jeff Bezos in Mugler. A.I. imagery is taking every corner of the internet by storm, and a new series of photos from Artazine magazine is imagining, for some reason, some of the world’s most famous tech billionaires modeling high fashion on the runway.
Artazine posted the photo series to Instagram earlier this week, starting with an image of late Apple founder Steve Jobs modeling an Hermès outfit including an overcoat, gray trousers, and his classic black turtleneck on the runway. Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk was also shown on the catwalk, in a white spacesuit-esque set from Acronym, followed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a patterned Dries Van Noten cape.
The series continued with four more tech billionaires: Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who modeled a Kolor in a red puffy jacket and teal pants; current Apple CEO Tim Cook, who strolled the runway in a massive Versace fur coat; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in an armor-inspired silvery Mugler ensemble with a giant feathered attachment strapped to his back; and Alibaba founder Jack Ma in a red-and-gray jumpsuit from Li-Ning.
Each of these dramatic outfits was the perfect example of what you would see on a high-fashion runway or perhaps to a particularly elaborate celebrity afterparty—not what you would see one of these tech billionaires wear in real life, even those who have an affinity for luxury brands. Ever since Jobs made the black turtleneck part of his unofficial uniform, tech billionaires seem to have adopted their own form of “stealth wealth” as the dress code of the tech world, such as the custom gray Brunello Cucinelli T-shirts that Zuckerberg famously wears on repeat.
While Musk and Bezos in particular have certainly dipped their toes into flashier style moments (such as Bezos’s $915 silk Casablanca shirt for New Year’s Eve 2022), as a rule, these tech billionaires stick to expensive neutrals, making it all the more titillating to see them “rocking” bold runway-ready styles from major fashion houses.
With A.I.’s future more open than ever, we can expect images like these to become a part of our everpresent online world—and while these images are clearly just for fun, the fashion world is already furiously experimenting with real functions A.I. can serve in the future of the industry.