Me, myself, and CGI: Introducing Laila, the Middle East's first virtual influencer

Lil Miquela better watch her back…
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Me, myself, and CGI: Introducing Laila, the Middle East's first virtual influencer

Jacket Dhs5,025 Monse at Boutique 1. Bumbag Dhs6,450 Saint Laurent. Dress Dhs4,790 Fendi. Suitcase Dhs4,990 Rimowa. Bag Dhs3,410 Off-White at Bloomingdale’s Dubai. Sunglasses Dhs275 Adam Selman x Le Specs at Boutique 1. Short necklace Dhs400 Shashi; longer necklace Dhs400 Marcia Moran, both Bloomingdale’s Dubai

Well I guess I should start by saying “Hello, world!” or something equally as profound, right?

I’m Laila, I grew up here in the UAE but I’m half-French, half-Lebanese… and fully CGI. The first CGI influencer in the entire Middle East, in fact.

Dress Dhs1,200 All Things Mochi. Trainers Dhs1,280 Maje. Bag Dhs 2,200 Simon Miller at Bloomingdale’s Dubai. Earrings Dhs845 Dinosaur Designs at Shopbop. Sunglasses Dhs370 Le Specs at Boutique 1. Short necklace Dhs400 Shashi, longer necklace Dhs400 Marcia Moran, both Bloomingdale’s Dubai. Ring Dhs28,975 Shay at Farfetch

I know. Weird. But don’t hate on me just because I’m different. It’s all about #inclusivity right now and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Everyone deserves to feel accepted, even if they’re a robot, so it really gets me down when people troll me and call me fake… Like hello? Have you seen the rest of Instagram? At least I can write #nofilter and actually mean it.

But anyway, yeah, if you really want to put me in a box, the closest description would probably be “influencer”, although, honestly, I don’t really know how I feel about that label anymore… It seems a bit 2016 to me. I think I’m more of a content creator or maybe even an artist. I studied motion graphics at AUD, so that’s really my passion. I just love making cool stuff, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll get recognised for it. And not just in the UAE, but everywhere.

Bag Dhs7,200 Fendi. Sliders Dhs3,505 Hermès. Shirt Dhs 2,025 Jacquemus at Boutique 1. Shorts Dhs700 rag & bone at Bloomingdale’s Dubai. Earrings Dhs140 BaubleBar at Shopbop

I’m definitely inspired by things beyond my back door. I probably get that from my parents – there’s super creative and always encourage me to travel so I spend loads of time between here, London, Paris, and Beirut. But before you go judging me as just another rich kid, I do work. I’m a social-media manager for a pop-up art space in Al Quoz. Freelance, obviously. I spend the rest of my time hanging out with my friends – I love Vibe on Al Wasl, have you guys been yet? – And working on my T-shirt line and my art, which I can’t wait to share with you!

Follow me on @chasing.laila and don’t be scared to say hello. I’m sure we can be friends.

Photos: Ajith Narendra 

Shot on location at Vibe, Al Wasl Road and The Penthouse, FIVE The Palm