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(Redirected from Lil Miquela)
Also known as
  • Miquela Sousa
  • Miquela
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
  • Singer
  • Instagram personality
  • Digital art model
Years active2016–present
LabelsBrud Records

Miquela Sousa, also called Lil Miquela, or known mononymously by the stage name Miquela, is a fictional American character, singer and social media personality created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou.[1] The character was created as a 20-year-old girl of Brazilian-American heritage. The character began in 2016 as an Instagram profile that 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.[2] Miquela has been featured in product endorsements for streetwear and luxury brands such as Calvin Klein and Prada. The account gained more than a million followers within its first two years.[3]

Origins and career[edit]

The fictional character is a teenage Instagram model from Downey, California.[4] Her first Instagram post was made on April 23, 2016. British model Emily Bador was rumored to be Miquela; Bador has denied managing the account but openly acknowledged the physical similarity between herself and the character.[5] In April 2018, a second, similar character known as Bermuda "hacked" into the Miquela account, deleted all photos of Miquela and replaced them with photos of the Bermuda character. Miquela and Bermuda were then revealed to both be characters created by Brud, a Los Angeles-based startup led by McFedries and Decou.[6]

The character has been pictured with a number of celebrities including Diplo,[7] Molly Soda,[8] Millie Bobby Brown,[9]Nile Rodgers,[10] Samantha Urbani,[11] 50 Cent, Tracee Ellis Ross and Pabllo Vittar.[12] She has been interviewed in a number of publications including Refinery29,[13] Vogue,[14] BuzzFeed,[15] Nylon,[16] the Guardian,[17] Business of Fashion,[18] and the Cut.[1] She appeared on the cover of Highsnobiety in April 2018.[19] She has also been featured in the magazines V[20] and Paper.[21] During 2019 Coachella, Miquela interviewed Colombian singer J Balvin, and took a picture with Spanish singer Rosalía.[22][23]

In 2020, Miquela "consciously uncoupled" from her "human" boyfriend as a part of the storyline.[1]

Fashion collaborations[edit]

In February 2018, the character did an Instagram takeover for Prada as part of Milan Fashion Week.[24] On May 16, she did a Calvin Klein ad with Bella Hadid, in which both were animated, in addition to a collaboration with Samsung.[25][26] That year, Miquela was hired as a contributing arts editor to the magazine Dazed.[27] In 2020, Miquela became the first digital avatar to sign with a talent agency when a contract was signed with CAA—becoming its first virtual client.[28][29] It was discovered at the time that Miquela had previously been represented by WME.[28]


After, in May 2019, Miquela appeared on a Calvin Klein commercial kissing the real celebrity Bella Hadid. They received backlash after kissing in the video, being accused of using their sexuality to artificially increase their views.[25]

In December of the same year, the fictional character described "her" sexual assault on YouTube.[30][31] American singer Kehlani called out Miquela on Twitter for being 'ignorantly offensive'.[32] This aspect of her backstory positioned the Miquela character as a social justice activist, which generated criticism given her use as a marketing tool.[33]



Title Year Album
"Not Mine" 2017 Non-album singles
"Over You"
"You Should Be Alone" 2018
"Hate Me (with Baauer)"
"Right Back" 2019
"Sleeping In"
"Speak Up" 2020
"Machine (featuring. Teyana Taylor)"
"Hard Feelings"
"Masterpiece" 2022

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Artist Year Album
"Sims (Miquela Remix)" Lauv 2019 How I'm Feeling (The Extras)

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.[4] In August 2017, Miquela released its first single, "Not Mine".[34]

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

Social impact[edit]

In June 2018, Miquela was named one of Time’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet along with fellow fashion peers DietPrada (duo composed of Lindsey Schuyler and Tony Liu) and celebrated musicians Rihanna and BTS.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Petrarca, Emilia (11 May 2018). "Lil Miquela's Body Con Job". The Cut. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  2. ^ Koh, Yoree; Wells, 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. ^ a b "Virtual It-Singer Miquela Says 'Controversy Doesn't Mean Anything': Interview". Billboard. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  5. ^ Foiret, Cyril (2019-01-23). "The New Trend of 3D Avatars are taking over Instagram". Trendland. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  6. ^ Shieber, Jonathan (24 April 2018). "The makers of the virtual influencer, Lil Miquela, snag real money from Silicon Valley". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  7. ^ Kulp, Patrick (2018-10-05). "Computer-Generated Influencer Calls Out Her Haters in New Music Video". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  8. ^ "Lil Miquela: Confusing the hell out of everyone". HS Insider. 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  9. ^ Phillips, Hedy (2020-12-10). "Miquela". Euphoria. Magazine. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  10. ^ Staff, Wonderland (2018-06-27). "Lil Miquela | Wonderland Magazine". Wonderland. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  11. ^ JONES, DAISY (2018-04-05). "Meet Miquela: An Instagram Model With 800k Followers – & No Soul". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  12. ^ "Pabllo Vittar posa com influencer virtual Miquela Sousa". Glamour (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2020-10-29. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  13. ^ Jones, Daisy (10 April 2018). "Why We Follow Lil Miquela, The Instagram Model With 900K Followers & No Soul". Refinery29.
  14. ^ Chang, Eric (17 August 2017). "@lilmiquela Is a Social Media Superstar With a Brand New Single—She's Also a Digital Simulation". Vogue.
  15. ^ Widdoes, Adriana (27 April 2018). "Is Virtual Instagram Star Lil Miquela Magic, Or Just Marketing?". BuzzFeed News.
  16. ^ Yashari, Leora (29 January 2018). "Lil Miquela Is a Virtual Artist Who Is Blurring the Boundaries of Identity". Nylon.
  17. ^ Marriott, Hannah (27 February 2018). "Miquela the 'cyborg' and handbag drones – Milan fashion week's weird vision of the future". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Morency, Christopher (5 February 2018). "Meet Fashion's First Computer-Generated Influencer". The Business of Fashion.
  19. ^ Eror, Aleks (2 May 2018). "Lil Miquela: the AI Star on the Cover of Highsnobiety Issue 16". Highsnobiety. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  20. ^ Mischianti, Lisa (8 March 2018). "Lil Miquela Is the Face of New Age Logomania". V Magazine.
  21. ^ Weiss, Alex (5 December 2017). "Lil Miquela: (Cyber) Girl of the 21st Century". PAPER.
  22. ^ "CGI Influencer Lil Miquela Just Interviewed J Balvin at Coachella". Hypebae. 2019-04-15. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  23. ^ "Rosalía hace una nueva amiga en Coachella: Lil Miquela". Harper's BAZAAR (in European Spanish). 2019-04-17. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  24. ^ Marriott, Hannah (2018-02-27). "Miquela the 'cyborg' and handbag drones – Milan fashion week's weird vision of the future". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  25. ^ a b Petrarca, Emilia (2019-05-20). "Calvin Klein Apologizes for Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela Campaign". The Cut. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  26. ^ Pantaleon, Katerin (2019-07-16). "Lil Miquela Joins Steve Aoki, Millie Bobby Brown and Ninja in New Samsung Global Campaign". Branding in Asia. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  27. ^ Singh-Kurtz, Sangeeta (2018-10-16). "A hip online magazine hired a CGI "it girl" as its contributing arts editor". Quartz. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  28. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (2020-05-06). "Miquela, the Uncanny CGI Virtual Influencer, Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  29. ^ "Lil Miquela Becomes First CGI Influencer to Sign With CAA". Hypebae. 2020-05-11. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  30. ^ "Virtual influencer Lil Miquela criticised for "ignorant" sexual assault vlog". PopBuzz. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  31. ^ Wakefield, Lily (2019-12-16). "A CGI and completely fake influencer claims she was 'sexually assaulted' and people are well and truly p****d". PinkNews. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  32. ^ Song, Sandra (2019-12-14). "Lil Miquela Criticized For 'Sexual Assault' Vlog". Paper Magazine. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  33. ^ Clein, Emmeline (28 June 2019). "Branding Fake Justice for Generation Z". The Nation. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  34. ^ Stutz, Colin (11 August 2017). "Virtual Singer & Internet Star Miquela Shares Debut Single 'Not Mine'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  35. ^ "Meet This Year's 25 Most Influential People on the Internet". Time. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 2020-12-17.

External links[edit]