The virtual influencer imma has dropped a new collection for her brand Astral Body. Fans were eager to get a piece of the highly anticipated second collection, as the launch was scheduled for last weekend, but got postponed due to an unexpectedly high amount of inquiries. The clothes feature digital art elements and reflect imma’s spacey rave style, speaking to her Gen-Z fans.
We interviewed imma about the collection, the inspiration behind it, and what it’s been like for her to start a fashion line.
“As the creative director, I’ve infused the essence of our digital reality into every thread of the DROP2 collection. The bone data designs on our tops are more than just a pattern—they are an invitation to inhabit the avatar you always envisioned,” imma says, talking about the inspiration behind the collection.
imma launched Astral Body in August this year, making her go from the face of other global brands to becoming her own brand. The move is somewhat new to the virtual influencer market since we’ve only seen virtual influencers partner with brands or co-create collections.
“I was really nervous when starting my brand this summer. I’ve been a model for many of my friends and collaborated on their creations for a long time. It took me years to prepare for my own brand and make my ideas reality, but I’m so happy that I did. I love seeing my community and friends all wearing my designs,” imma explains.
Designing her fashion collections aligns with Imma’s purpose of showcasing the power of CGI technology and turning the fashion industry upside down. Created by Aww Inc, imma first appeared on Instagram in 2018. Here, she explores Tokyo with her dog Einstein and brother Zinn, who is also a virtual influencer created by Aww Inc.
Since then, imma has quickly skyrocketed to fame, becoming one of the most renowned virtual influencers in Japan. She was selected for “New 100 Talent To Watch” by Japan Economics Entertainment and even appeared at the 2020 Paralympics as a projection during the closing ceremony.
imma is easy to spot on social media with her pink hairdo, which has become a trademark. Her look is so unique and recognizable that the fashion designer Masayuki Ino made Imma the face of her Doublet 2022/2023 Fall-Winter show. Here, models wore Imma’s face as they walked the runway, making it a fun and unexpected moment during Paris Fashion Week.
With her playful, fun, and quirky personality imma has gathered a 300K+ following on Instagram and attracted many global partnerships. Her most notorious collaborations include Porsche Japan, Magnum ice cream, Tommy Jeans, Hugo Boss, Lenovo—appearing on a 3D billboard overlooking the Shinjuku station—and Ikea, where she moved into the store window to bypassers’ amusement.
With such a wide range of industries, imma shows how versatile virtual influencers can be for advertisement. She was even hired by the Japanese brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc. to advertise tax-free investing accounts to younger consumers.
“I think advertisements and partnerships are really a collaboration of belief. If it isn’t, then it should be. As a virtual human, I truly appreciate these brands for taking the time to express my story through their platform and being onboard with all my wild ideas that I want to bring to life together with them,” imma says.
imma interacts with her fans on Instagram by sharing everything in her life, from the people she hangs out with to her feelings concerning Zinn’s romantic relationship with virtual influencer Ria. She has also discovered how web3 is a new way to deepen her connection to fans. By releasing NFT collections, which experiment with digital art and creative concepts, imma offers a piece of her digital identity and world.
She’s also created her own Clone X with RTFKT Studios and made it possible for fans to interact with her on the gaming platform Zepeto. As she extends her digital persona to web3, fans can discover new sides to imma’s personality and creative expression.
Now, imma is expanding her influence through fashion. Fans can own and wear a physical piece that reflects imma’s persona, mirroring her style on Instagram. What is part of imma’s world and storyline suddenly becomes tangible and available for her fans to experience and bring into their lives.
“I want fans to feel more connected to me and the virtual world. Since I can’t exist in the physical world, I’ve created these physical clothes for my human friends to wear and enjoy daily,” imma says. “I hope this collection will be a middle ground between the digital and physical world, as the designs are inspired by both CG elements and the current culture in Tokyo.”
Let’s see what new heights imma will take her influence and Astral Body to in the virtual influencer sphere. What are your thoughts on imma’s second fashion drop?