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Model or illustration? Don’t overthink, it is simply an avatar influencer

Lil Miquela with Milly Bobby brown
Lil Miquela with Milly Bobby brown

You might have seen them on instagram, in the advertising campaigns of fashion brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton or Balmain and you might have wondered if they were models or illustrations. The avatar influencers pose together with real models, communicate on social media as if they had feelings, but they are digital constructs. 

Lil Miquela with Bella Hadid Calvin Klein campaign
Lil Miquela with Bella Hadid Calvin Klein campaign

Some e-tailers created their own brand ambassadors; Tmall for example, after several collaborations with famous virtual models like Noonoouri, decided to present its own influencer, Aimée.

The success was confirmed when in March both Miu Miu and Prada chose to collaborate with her. Now the model boasts collaborations with major brands and a community of over 200 thousand followers on Instagram. 

A real celebrity, halfway between a mascot and a cartoon character.

You might have seen the instagram profile of Lil Miquela (created in 2016 by the startup Brud in Los Angeles) or pictures of Shudu (created by the photographer Cameron James-Wilson in 2017) who, together with their virtual colleagues, form the first entirely digital modeling agency called,  ‘The Digitals’. 

This phenomenon in the fashion industry is quite recent, but it is having success because brands can work on strategic communication plans and the Z Generation seems to be strongly attracted by these new virtual stars.


However, it could rise a debate about how technology is affecting reality. Infact, isn’t it taking over human imperfection, offering the best filters to look perfect and creating virtual models aspiring to eternal youth? Perhaps, combining in a wise way ‘fantasy’ and facts, could be the winning strategy to enter this market.



Edited by Miriam El Hachem

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