Luxury Connect Africa: Spotlight on Noonoouri

Joerg Zuber, the creator of CGI influencer Noonoouri, was one of the speakers at the recently held Luxury Connect Africa event at Le Bristol Hotel in Paris. He shared the following gems with the audience.

Supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Naomi Campbell and Alessandra Ambrosia are so open-minded. They don’t feel threatened by Noonoouri.

Joerg won’t create an armada of other digital influencers. Noonoouri will be the only one because he knows what she likes and that enables her to have authentic partnerships. If I get lipstick to promote with Noonoouri I try it on and think “does this feel good?” If I get a perfume I think “what does this perfume smell like? Is it like a walk through a rainforest?” because then I can create authentically through Noonoouri’s eyes. Noonoouri is not my alter ego. She is like a sister to me. When I select a product or brand, I must feel comfortable with it. If I am comfortable then Noonoouri is comfortable too.

Uche Pezard and Joerg Zuber
Uche Pezard and Joerg Zuber discuss all things Noonoouri

On Noonouri’s computer-generated persona

What makes her so attractive? I call it the “Triple C”. Cute. Curious. Couture. Is this post cute? Does it inspire curiosity (this could be Noonoouri wearing a dress today that was released yesterday) and is it Couture (Couture for me does not just mean expensive it means quality)? Those elements combined with being profound and giving advice make Noonoouri attractive.

 On Noonouri’s personal style

She is styled by Carine Roitfeld on occasion. Carine styled Noonoouri for (French magazine) Madame Figaro. Noonoouri tries to collaborate with real stylists and hairdressers to get a real feel of things in order to bring the digital and real worlds together. Digital does not substitute other things. It co-exists alongside those things like how a printed magazine and Instagram co-exist.

 On how long it takes to create Noonoouri’s digital posts

It takes 2 weeks to produce Noonoouri’s images. Everything needs a lot of planning. I need to render the pose in 3D, pick the dresses, cut out the dresses, enhance them in Illustrator and in 3D. A lot of processes are involved. One still-image look takes 3 days to create once all the above elements have been completed.  A motion image takes about 2 weeks. A team of 5 works together to plan and create content for Noonoouri.

 On Noonoouri’s collaborations

Noonoouri has had collaborations with almost everyone. Dior, Saint Laurent, Versace and Piaget to name a few. She looks for brands that match her identity. There are brands that approach Noonoouri for collaborations but are turned down because their values or style don’t match Noonoouri’s values.

On Noonoouri’s interest in Africa

She is a global citizen who lives in Paris. She does not have a voice because her creator did not want to create a cartoon character. She was inspired by Naomi Campbell in terms of “other worldliness and gracefulness” as well as by Kim Kardashian “the face of social media, reinventing herself all the time, being very creative and very professional”. Both are Noonoouri’s muses. Noonoouri is open to collaborating with African designers or delving into forgotten techniques that Noonoouri can report on to the world. She could also work on social issues to garner support.

On the lessons Noonoouri can impart

  • Never give up on your dreams. It is okay to feel down but stand up for your dreams.
  • How it must feel to be a woman. In presentations (during the 7 years of Noonoouri’s creation) Joerg would hear feedback such as “her butt is too small, her breasts are too small, her hair is too long, her eyes are too big, the face is too big”. It gave him insight on how women must feel at times. This translated into Noonoouri’s feminism.

 On what Noonoouri has taught her creator

“She has more patience than me. I always think “we need a million followers” [on social media] then I think we are only a year old on social media. We will grow to a million and if we don’t reach that milestone, we have Kim Kardashian. She is worth more than a million followers. She is an amazing person”.

Spread love and embrace the world. It is important to organise ourselves in a microsystem. We can’t rely on systems coming from the top so I think we should organise ourselves. Social media enables us to connect with those who have the same values as us.

Joerg Zuber will be speaking at the Conde Nast International Luxury Conference, 10-11 April 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa

Noonoouri’s Instagram handle is @noonoouri