Lil Miquela

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Lil Miquela
Miquela Family Tree cropped.png
Background information
Also known as
  • Miquela Sousa
  • Miquela
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Instagram personality
  • Digital art model
Instrumentsvocals
Years active2016–present
LabelsBrud Records
Associated acts
WebsiteInstagram profile

Miquela Sousa, or Lil Miquela, is a character which was created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou.[1] The project began in 2016 as an Instagram profile.[2] The account details a fictional narrative which presents Miquela as a cgi character and model in conflict with other digital projects, while marketing a variety of brands, primarily in fashion. As a marketing tool, Lil Miquela has featured product endorsements for streetwear and luxury brands such as Calvin Klein and Prada. By April 2018, the account had amassed more than a million followers.[3] As of June 2020, she has over 2.4 million followers.[4]

Origins[edit]

The character Miquela is a teenaged Instagram model from Downey, California.[5] Miquela's first Instagram post was made on April 23, 2016. British model Emily Bador was rumored to be Miquela; Bador openly acknowledged the physical similarity between herself and the character.[6]

In April 2018, Brud announced that it was the creator of both the character and the Instagram account.[7]

Online presence[edit]

Miquela has been pictured with a number of celebrities including Diplo, Molly Soda, Millie Bobby Brown, Nile Rogers, Shane Dawson, Samantha Urbani and Pabllo Vittar.[8] She has been interviewed and or profiled in a number of publications including Refinery29, Vogue, Buzzfeed, v-files, Nylon, the Guardian, Business of Fashion, and The Cut. She appeared on the cover of Highsnobiety in April 2018.[9] In February 2018, Miquela did an Instagram takeover for Prada as part of Milan Fashion Week. On May 16, she did a Calvin Klein ad with Bella Hadid, in which both were animated.[10]

In April 2018, a second, similar character known as Bermuda[11] "hacked" into Miquela's account, deleting all photos of Miquela and replacing them with photos of herself. Lil Miquela and Bermuda were then revealed to both be characters created by Trevor McFedries and Sara Decou of Brud. [12][13] The two online personas then began posting pictures together, and eventually the account was again run by Miquela's team.[14][15] This narrative positioned Miquela as a social justice activist, something considered problematic when seen in tandem with her use as a marketing tool.[16]

Music career[edit]

Trevor McFedries, a cofounder of Brud, is a music producer and DJed known as Yung Skeeter.[1] The use of Miquela as a virtual musician has been compared to Gorillaz and Hatsune Miku.[5] In August 2017, Miquela released her first single, "Not Mine".[17]

Miquela has released several singles since her debut with "Not Mine," including "You Should be Alone," "Over You," “Right Back,” and a collaboration with Baauer titled "Hate Me." She released two new singles on 31 July called "Money" and "Sleeping In".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Petrarca, Emilia (11 May 2018). "Lil Miquela's Body Con Job". The Cut. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  2. ^ Wells, Yoree Koh and Georgia (13 December 2018). "The Making of a Computer-Generated Influencer". WSJ. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Instagram's Latest 'It' Model Is Confusing The Hell Out Of Everyone". The Huffington Post. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  4. ^ https://www.instagram.com/lilmiquela/
  5. ^ a b "Virtual It-Singer Miquela Says 'Controversy Doesn't Mean Anything': Interview". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  6. ^ "The New Trend of 3D Avatars are taking over Instagram". Trendland Online Magazine Curating the Web since 2006. 2019-01-23. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  7. ^ Shieber, Jonathan (24 April 2018). "The makers of the virtual influencer, Lil Miquela, snag real money from Silicon Valley". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  8. ^ "*~ MIQUELA ~* (@lilmiquela) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  9. ^ Gorsler, Fabian. "Meet Lil Miquela: Fashion's First Virtual Instagram Influencer". Highsnobiety. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Prada Launches Instagram GIFs With Help From a Fictional It Girl". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  11. ^ Gollayan, Christian (2018-04-19). "Internet freaks out over pro-Trump, AI 'Instagram model'". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  12. ^ "The makers of the virtual influencer, Lil Miquela, snag real money from Silicon Valley". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  13. ^ "Lil Miquela on Instagram: "So, Brud programmed my memories, claiming I'm from a place called Downey. It's right in-between Los Angeles and Disneyland. Even though that sounds like a dream to me, I had to come check it out for myself..."". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  14. ^ "Bermuda on Instagram: "More emotional than I thought it would be. Despite it all, there's only three of us out there and we need to stick together. We talked it…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  15. ^ "Lil Miquela on Instagram: "So I pull up to the trail and there she is. No rattlesnakes. No hiking. Just a robot sitting on the curb in skinny jeans and wedges. She said it's the only way she could get my attention since I haven't answered her texts since we went to the mall a couple weeks back. She just wanted to hang out. So here we are 'hanging out.'"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  16. ^ Clein, Emmeline (28 June 2019). "Branding Fake Justice for Generation Z". Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Virtual Singer & Internet Star Miquela Shares Debut Single 'Not Mine'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-11-05.

External links[edit]