No Logo at 20: have we lost the battle against the total branding of our lives?

Twenty years on from the book that analysed the growing political power of superbrands Some political books capture the zeitgeist with such precision that they seem to blur the lines between the page and the real world and become part of the urgent, rapidly unfolding changes they are describing. On 30 November 1999, mere days before the publication of Naomi Kleins debut, No Logo, the epochal Campaign marking the tenth anniversary of the 1997 general election, was perhaps the most brand-savvy political project in British history. No Logo had a global impact far beyond anything Naomi Klein only 29 at the time and unknown outside her native Canada had expected. It became a bestseller in the UK (among numerous other …

Why Bella Hadid and Lil Miquelas kiss is a terrifying glimpse of the future | Arwa Mahdawi

An advert featuring the human and virtual models is late-capitalist hell, queerbait and digisexuality all at once Bella Hadid, a human supermodel, has been accused of queerbaiting after making out with Lil Miquela, a computer-generated influencer, in order to sell designer underwear. I know, I know, theres a lot going on in that sentence. Please take a deep breath: we will unpack this late-capitalist hell together. Miquela Sousa, also known as Lil Miquela, is a fictional character created by a Los Angeles startup called Brud. Miquela has 1.5m followers on Instagram, where she shares pictures of her imaginary life and proclaims her support for LGBT rights and Black Lives Matter. In the past few years, the virtual model has become …

Its genuine, you know?: why the online influencer industry is going authentic

The long read: Calamities such as Fyre Festival have tarnished the booming business of YouTube and Instagram stars. Now the industrys top tastemakers have a new plan: keeping it real In a central London hair salon last December, the fashion influencer Victoria Magrath (@inthefrow) mingled among a few of her 849,000 Instagram followers. Magrath tall, with signature silver hair was celebrating the launch of her book, The New Fashion Rules, at an event organised by her talent agency, Gleam Futures. She chatted easily, her high, delighted voice ringing out over the roar of the hairdryers and her manner so convincingly intimate that it was possible to think she knew her followers as well as they knew her. In a group …