The Top 5 Virtual Influencers to Follow on Instagram
With the rise of AI comes a new wave of virtual influencers who have not only amassed a strong following but are also eerily human-like. That is why major brands gravitate to them. Unlike humans, these computer-generated personas are void of any independent thoughts, and can easily fit into any brand identity without having to worry if they’re being fake or inauthentic. Like it or not, these highly artificial content creators have managed to turn fiction into reality (or the illusion of it), which at times, can be more entertaining than the Kardashians. Here are the top 5 who have taken the fashion world by storm.
Created by Brud, a California based A.I. start-up company, Lil Miquela was one of the first digital models conceived, changing the game of influencer marketing. With 1.6 million followers, she is currently in demand and has worked with brands such as Chanel, Balenciaga and Prada—even snagging a coveted seat at the autumn/winter 2018 show. If you’re dying to see more content from her, Lil Miquela also uploads regularly on her YouTube channel, including music videos of tracks published on Spotify.
Former fashion photographer Cameron James-Wilson created Shudu, the world’s first digital supermodel from his bedroom after being disillusioned with the world of fashion photography. Inspired by Somali-born fashion model Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, as well as a South Africa princess Barbie doll, Shudu is a vision of beauty and glamour who represents diversity in the modelling world. Despite James-Wilson’s attempt to move the needle, he has gotten a fair share of flak because brands can now use an image of a black woman without having to pay her directly. Instead, the money goes to The Diigitals, the company run by James-Wilson. Still, there is no denying that more digital models will be created because unlike real models, they will never age.
Just because Noonoouri isn’t as lifelike as the rest, due to creator Joey Zuber’s refusal to reinforce unrealistic beauty ideals, doesn’t mean that she should not be taken seriously. Represented by IMG Models, the Parisian digital influencer took over Dior’s Instagram page for 2 days, documenting the highlights of their Cruise 2019 collection and was even the face of KKW Beauty by Kim Kardashian West. Despite only being 19, this Sailor Moon look-alike with long black tresses leads a very healthy lifestyle that would put many to shame. “Sports, stretching, oxygen, good nutrition—I am vegan, no smoking. Don’t drink, inhale fresh air, and love your job! And have a lot of green tea.”
Bermuda made her Internet debut by hacking Lil Miquela’s account, serving up some online drama, which ironically kickstarted her journey to fame. Originally created as a white, pro-Trump supporter, this computer-generated Instagram model has expressed the need to “better herself as a robot” and her wit, sass and charm in everyday life never fail to entertain.
Put Imma beside an actual human and you’d hardly be able to tell them apart. Created by a Japan CGI company Modeling Cafe, she has been sculpted by female engineers, who naturally aim to make her appearance look as realistic as possible, even digitising her natural roots after ‘dyeing’ her hair pink. Imma, meaning “now” in Japanese, encapsulates her sense of modern street fashion and style. With her slender figure and wide-eyed doll face, Imma has not only captured the hearts of many Japanese with her sartorial OOTDs, but also with her larger-than-life persona.
Image Credits: Shudu, Bermuda, Imma