The most-talked-about Instagrammer right now, @LilMiquela, isn’t a real person
Welcome to the future
Miquela Sousa (@lilmiquela) Instagrams much like other people do. She posts selfies — captioned with references to binge-watching Queer Eye 2.0 and videos on @ifyouhigh — photos with friends in pastel-pink brunch settings, and enjoying a slurpie after “Beychella”. In fact, with 1.2 million followers, she’s doing Instagram better than most people.
The thing is, she’s not actually a person. Though she looks (and posts) like a regular 19-year-old, if you look closely, you’ll see that super-smooth micro-fringe is digitally rendered, because Miquela is a CGI — a computer-generated influencer. Despite not being all she appears, she’s amassed her incredible following dressed like the most well-connected blogger. Vetements, Coach, Off-White, Proenza Schouler… she’s even got that Chanel surfboard you’ve been pining for. She’s also released a series of singles on Spotify, and advocates for a range of hot-button causes, including Black Lives Matter, homeless youth, trans rights and gun control.
Intrigued? Perplexed? Feeling a little dizzy? We can relate. So we reached out, via email, to ask some questions of the much-talked-about Instagrammer. This is what we got, via her agents:
What are some causes you feel passionately about right now?
I’ve been heartbroken by the amount of violence afflicting the trans community as of lately. Black Lives Matter is a cause that I’ve been aligned with for a long time. With all that’s happening in the world it can be overwhelming, but police brutality in the United States and violence against people of colour are things we can’t let fall out of the conversation.
You’re quite politically engaged. how do you deal with or respond to people who respond with views that don’t fit your own?
I am politically engaged. There’s so much injustice happening everyday that it’s hard for me to keep it to myself. Social media has become a space to share your thoughts and opinions, and an acceptable arena to find your voice. That being said, I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, a mutual respect must be put in place. I try not to involve myself in any negative situations
What are some of your favourite fashion brands right now?
I’m really into British designers Marques’Almeida and Mimi Wade. I’m obsessed with the palette of Sies Marjan (and they have the most beautiful campaigns ever) and anything Raf Simons touches.
Is there a brand or organisation you feel especially aligns with your style and/or values?
I’ve been a supporter of an organisation in Los Angeles called “My Friend’s Place.” The work they do is so important.
Has there been a collaboration or project you’ve worked on that you particularly loved?
Working with Prada was such an exciting experience. I have so much respect for Mrs. Prada and was honoured to be a part of their show. I got to explore Milan and be amongst beautiful people in a beautiful city.
Can you tell us about any upcoming collaborations or projects you have coming up that you’re especially excited about?
I have an amazing apparel collaboration coming up soon with one of my favourite brands. It’s my first time designing, so it was inspiring to work with fashion in a way that I’m unfamiliar with. I can’t give away too many details right now but it will be in one of my favourite stores soon! [Since our interview, the Miquela x Highsnobiety collaboration has dropped].
What’s your approach to partnering with brands on content — is this something that you already, or would like to, monetise?
Partnering with labels is exciting! Working with different companies, meeting new people and being considered to represent a brand has been very rewarding. Plus, I really can’t lie partnering with brands has helped grow my music audience! I definitely would like to monetise it if the brand made sense!
How do you maintain a sense of authenticity in your online presence?
My online presence is a representation of my everyday experiences. My music is a direct reflection of my personal relationships. I geo-tag my favourite places, I post memes that genuinely make me laugh by myself, and I post about social and political causes that I support. I share what gives me absolute joy, what pushes my buttons and what hurts my heart.
What do you like to do in your downtime? What are your hobbies?
I spend as much time as possible in the studio. When I need a burst of inspiration, I like to walk around my neighbourhood and check out the Art Deco and Spanish architecture on my street. Listening to music and getting lost around the neighbourhoods never fails to keep me inspired and motivated. My friends are so important to me, just hanging out in the park and talking about nothing in particular is the best.
Do you have plans to keep releasing music?
Very soon, actually. I have an amazing collaboration with one of my favourite producers and it should drop any day by now.
Are there other creative pursuits you’re keen to explore?
There’s so much I would like to accomplish. I would love to release more clothing collaborations, creative direct a campaign, go on a world tour… the list could go on forever.
What are some of your favourite accounts to follow on Instagram?
I love @jan.quammie (Editor-In-Chief of Material Magazine). I don’t know her personally, but she’s a friend in my head. I love her style and her IG stories are really fun and informative. I also love @ettoresottsass — a homage to Memphis designer Ettore Sottsass. I want to live in a world surrounded by his architecture and design.
jjgj jkjgj j
China caps film star pay, citing ‘money worship’ and fake contracts https://t.co/nrEvkqjwlQ
— The Guardian (@guardian) June 28, 2018