With the allure of Grace Jones, the gaze of Alek Wek, the charm of Duckie Thot and the body of a South African Barbie… As delicate as she is volcanic, Shudu Gram might well sound the end of modelling as we know it. This explosive cocktail is the work of London-based photographer Cameron-James Wilson, who has already immortalised Gigi Hadid and the American singer Pia Mia. In a world where the real gets increasingly confused with the fake, he has created Shudu Gram, a 28-year old model who is completely virtual, and who within the space of just a few months has become an Instagram star. But at a time when influencers reign supreme, this artificial woman is ruffling feathers. Because apart from being a beauty queen with 106,000 followers, Shadu Gram is a fantasy, her creator’s masterpiece, but above all she is a black – fake – woman. A muse for some, too much for others, ever since the launch of her Instagram account in April 2017, the model has been a talking point on social networks, from accusations of racism to the fears linked to dematerialisation of the body.
For some the Shudu’s ebony skin is an accessory, with a trend status, one that exists in fashion thanks only to an exotic appearance.