Instagram fashionista Miquela Sousa casts no shadow

Miquela Sousa has more than 1 million Instagram followers. (Instagram: @lilmiquela)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Instagram fashionista Miquela Sousa casts no shadow

  • Lil Miquela posts selfies on Instagram “wearing” labels like Diesel, Stussy and Prada and “hanging out” with various musicians and fashion industry figures at restaurants in New York City and LA.
  • She has given interviews — via email — before, though her PR people, a New York City advertising firm, declined to make her available to the media to explain exactly what is going on here.

LONDON: Miquela Sousa is a success story for the modern age. She is a 19-year-old fashion-world influencer from LA with over 1 million followers.

She posts selfies on Instagram “wearing” labels like Diesel, Stussy and Prada and “hanging out” with various musicians and fashion industry figures at restaurants in New York City and LA, and has released a handful of popular singles.

However, she doesn’t cast a shadow in any of her photos, because to have a shadow, you have to exist. And Miquela doesn’t exist.

Lil Miquela, as she is known, is a computer-generated image, the work of an LA-based artificial intelligence firm called Brud.

She’s been in “photoshoots” in magazines like Interview and Highsnobiety, but it’s not clear how those images are created.

She has given interviews — via email — before, though her PR people, a New York City advertising firm, declined to make her, or Brud, available to the media to explain exactly what is going on here.

Is it an attempt to manufacture an influencer, someone with a lot of social media followers who can spruik brands’ products? Is it a branding exercise for an AI firm?

To Ryan Shelley, a social media expert from the firm Pepper IT, the fact that interest has piqued recently around Miquela’s existence suggests the power of this particular piece of storytelling.

“Some people tune in and watch the Kardashians on TV,” he said. “People are tuning into Instagram and they are watching the self-realization of a robot.”

Instagram trades on the idea of authenticity — you follow someone because you want that behind-the-scenes insight into their life, but the arrival of Lil Miquela has resulted in a redrafting of the script.


Bambah’s Ramadan 2019 edit is pastel perfection

Updated 26 May 2019
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Bambah’s Ramadan 2019 edit is pastel perfection

  • The new collection sports a lot of pastel colors and gold embellishments
  • The prices range between $430 to $790

DUBAI: Egyptian designer Maha Abdul Rasheed, founder of the fashion label Bambah, is showing off a summery new line this Ramadan.

The Ramadan 2019 collection is making waves this season with its laid back, pretty pastel take on the traditional kaftan.

Mint green color blocked stripes on cream and gold-flecked embellishments on lilac, the collection’s colors are light and refreshing.

(Supplied) 

Luxurious jacquard with gold-flecked floral detailing add sheen to largely pastel bases, while the ruffled sleeves on the Isabella Kaftan are a welcome structural update on the traditional flowing silhouette of the robe.

While florals and gilded materials litter the Ramadan 2019 collection, there are a few options that are fresher and more urban. Rasheed makes good use of thick stripes in a few of the available kaftans, offering up combinations in a sorbet-like color palette of peach, green and cream.

Modest, full coverage fabric, high necklines and long, wonderfully detailed sleeves mark the collection — making it ideal for the Holy Month, as well as for your sartorial needs this Eid Al-Fitr.

(Supplied) 

Prices range from $430 to $790, with many of the designs hovering around the $500 mark.

Rasheed initially opened Bambah as a stand-alone boutique in Dubai, selling a carefully curated selection of vintage pieces. While the concept of one-of-a-kind, pre-owned fashion was almost entirely new to the region at that time, Rasheed persevered, educating fashionable Emiratis about the kind of couture one can’t find in malls.

Vintage Valentino blazers and Dior dresses flew off the shelves and before long, the boutique became a hub for Dubai-based fashion influencers looking to add unique character to their wardrobes.

(Supplied)

After noticing that her clients were drawn to the hyper-feminine princess skirts and sweet-heart necklines popular in the 1950s and 1960s, Rasheed began designing herself. In a few short years, the company has expanded widely, with a loyal, cross-continental client base.

Today, global A-listers known for their refined, high glam-style like Amal Clooney and Priyanka Chopra have donned Rasheed’s designs.