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.


Chrissy Teigen sports a look by Madiyah Al-Sharqi

Chrissy Teigen at an event. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Chrissy Teigen sports a look by Madiyah Al-Sharqi

DUBAI: Model and social media superstar Chrissy Teigen was spotted wearing an item by UAE-based brand Madiyah Al-Sharqi last week — and it’s giving us major style envy.

The model — who is known for her witty, off-the-cuff commentary and political activism on Twitter and Instagram — hit the streets of New York with her husband John Legend in tow while wearing a pair of high-waisted velvet trousers.

(Getty)

The mustard-colored pants hail from the Fujairah-based brand’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection and are available on madiyahalsharqi.com.

The label is also available online on e-tailers Ounass and By Symphony.

Since founding the fashion house in 2012, Al-Sharqi ‘s collections have received international acclaim and have been featured in the likes of Vogue Italia, Vogue Arabia, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and Grazia.
Based in the Emirate of Fujairah, which is relatively unknown on the fashion scene compared to its internationally acclaimed sister state of Dubai, the label is making headway on the Hollywood circuit and was even worn by Paris Jackson in June and by US singer and actress Vanessa Hudgens on the set of the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” in August.

For her part, Hudgens looked stunning in a lamé corset with lace-up detailing on the back and a sweetheart neckline. Matching, wide-legged trousers completed the 70s-style look that came in a pretty mix of pastel shades, including lilac, peach, sunny yellow and silver.

“Last night’s look on @danceonfox,” Hudgens, who shot to fame after starring in the hugely popular series of High School Musical films during the noughties, posted on her Instagram account at the time. Hudgens worked with celebrity stylist Natalie Saidi to achieve the shimmery look.

Teigen, who recently took to social media to educate fans on how to properly say her name, paired her Madiyah Al-Sharqi trousers with a white, fitted top, knee-length navy blazer and a demure Chanel bag.

In September, she teasingly chastised the media and fans for mispronouncing her last name saying it had been garbled for years, but she hasn’t corrected anyone.

The mother and model took to social media to say it’s not Teigen (TEE’-gihn), but Teigen (TY’-gihn). Off camera, her mother confirmed it with a “Yep!” according to The Associated Press.

The 32-year-old joked that she’s “tired of living this lie.”

She previously wrote on Twitter that her name has been mispronounced and she “doesn’t correct people, ever.”