Rise of Virtual Influencers

An Unconventional Reality - Blurring Lines Between Reality and Virtuality

The rise of social media has completely altered the way we live. The way we consume content has revolutionised, and hence the way we create content has also changed. We constantly design our daily lives in order to project our lifestyle in a certain way to our virtual audience. Many of us are now living dual lives - the real one and the virtual one.

In April of 2016, the idea of a virtual life was given a new definition. Lil Miquela, the world’s first digital influencer came into being, who had the perfect virtual life, but was later discovered to have no real existence. Nonetheless, the virtual avatar quickly gained thousands of followers, due to her highly realistic imagery and a personalised dressing sense. These virtual influencers are much more than mere digital avatars we have seen before in the likes of games like Sims. They are designed to showcase engaging personalities, their own opinions, and most importantly have their own style. This makes the content by them much more relatable for the audience.

Advanced technology is bringing more and more virtual influencers into existence, with even more realistic imagery. Fashion brands have already taken note of this and many are using this brand new development in their own marketing strategy. Entire brand campaigns and photo shoots have been created around these digital personalities. In fact, they have been recognised for their potential for influence by various companies.

This new direction in fashion had led to mixed feelings amongst the audience. While some of the content receives a positive response, many brands and virtual influencers are being questioned for authenticity. This goes to show that although technology is moving at a fast pace, consumer mindset may not adapt as quickly, and hence brands have to tread carefully.

This report looks at the rise of the virtual influencers in the fashion industry, how the audience perceives this phenomenon and what are the future possibilities of this technology.


  1. Introduction
  2. Rise of Virtual Influencers
  3. Making of Virtual Influencers
  4. Fashion Industry & Virtual Influencers
  5. Advantages & Disadvantages of the Virtual Influencers
  6. Future Potential
  7. Key Takeaways
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