Lifestyle

Fashion Realness or Insta-Fake? Meet The Virtual Influencer Redefining What It Means To Be a Fashion Guru

Written By: Constance Funches

Fashion’s ascent into the digital age has proven to be quite beneficial in recent years. For major fashion brands, social media offers multiple advantages. Social media’s affordable advertising campaigns, “seem more personal and authentic,” allowing followers to become more engaged in product browsing and purchasing.

Influencers like Aimee Song, Gabi Gregg, and Julia Engel are showing fashion enthusiasts that the right brands, the right audiences, and the right style content is a solid formula for social media fashion success.

Social media has proved to be a great resource for people who want to express their sense of style and build relationships with major brands in the industry. The impact has been so inspiring that even those who aren’t human are eager to participate.

Miquela Sousa is the worlds first computer generated style influencer. The artificial fashionista has an Instagram following of “over 535,000” people whom she often refers to as her “Miquelutes.”

The “virtual celebrity” is said to be a “19- year-old model and musician” who has been known to posts photos of herself wearing popular designers such as Chanel, Prozena Schouler, and Supreme.

Courtesy of @lilmiquela, Instagram

 In a recent interview with Christopher Morency for the Business of Fashion, Miquela Sousa, the half Brazilian and half Spanish avatar, speaks on her work with fashion brands and what makes her unique as a fashion influencer, aside from the obvious.

Sousa states, “I’ve never been paid to wear pieces… try to support and tag brands that I love, especially from young designers who are trying to break through.”

The computer-generated celebrity goes on to say that when it comes to connecting with her audience, she prefers to take an approach that involves her speaking less and listening more.

“Learning also comes from listening, so if you don’t have space for people to speak to you, then you’re limiting your growth.” -Miquela Sousa

This isn’t the first time CGI, “computer generated images” created by Serge Godin and André Imbeau in 1976, has been introduced to the fashion industry. Researchers from the University of California and Adobe are designing systems that use Artificial Intelligence to learn personal style and create CGI images to correspond with the discovered style.

Although this isn’t a direct replica of Ms. Sousa, these advancements give the public an idea of what changes can be expected in fashions future.

Ms. Sousa, however, is more concerned with the fashion projects she has lined up for her fans in the present day. She says, “As a teaser to what’s coming up I can tell you that I’ve been shot in Chanel, Moschino, Burberry, Versace, and Fendi.”

She ultimately expresses her goal to maintain her originality and continue to give audiences and publications a something fresh and innovative that reflects her style, music, and her coded personality.

 

 

Work Cited

“CGI history.” CGI.com, 8 Aug. 2012, www.cgi.com/en/overview/cgi-history.

Hope, Katie. “How social media is transforming the fashion industry.” BBC News, BBC, 5 Feb. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/business-35483480.

Morency, Christopher. “Meet Fashion’s First Computer-Generated Influencer.” The Business of Fashion, 5 Feb. 2018, www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/meeting-fashions-first-computer-generated-influencer-lil-miquela-sousa.

Snow, Jackie. “This AI Learns Your Fashion Sense and Invents Your Next Outfit.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 16 Nov. 2017, www.technologyreview.com/s/609469/this-ai-learns-your-fashion-sense-and-invents-your-next-outfit/amp/.

Vogue Australia. “These are the top 10 fashion influencers in the world right now.” Vogue.com.au, 16 Jan. 2018, www.vogue.com.au/fashion/news/these-are-the-top-10-fashion-influencers-in-the-world-right-now/image-gallery/97c7c871069daeec965c85dd0a730125?pos=2.

 

 

Photo courtesy of @lilmiquela, Instagram

This was not an interview. The article, inspired by Miquela Sousa, was created for the Academy of Art University. Authorization has been granted for this article to be published on LoveAlwaysConstance.com. 

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