The model, singer, DJ and influencer is a digitally rendered human who is destined to stay 22 years old forever—and she has taken social media by storm. Tatler “meets” Rozy to find out her story
At first glance, Oh Rozy (@rozy.gram) looks just like any other top Instagram influencer. Photos and videos of the 22-year-old South Korean living the high life—globetrotting, modelling, dressed in stylish designs and attending high-profile events—fill her feed.
But here’s the twist: Oh Rozy isn’t real.
The brainchild of Seoul-based creative company Sidus Studio X, Oh Rozy—which means “one and only” in Korean, and is known simply as Rozy to her fans—is South Korea’s very first virtual influencer. Though the concept of virtual influencers isn’t new, Rozy is the first to be created using 3D modelling technology. Making her debut on Instagram in August 2020, she is presented as a young Korean girl with a look favoured by what’s dubbed “generation MZ” in South Korea—those who fall somewhere between millennial and gen Z. These include flawless skin, full lips and slender legs. She works as a singer, model and DJ, and is also an advocate for sustainability: posts about environmental protection are a regular feature.
At the time of writing, Rozy has 144,000 followers on Instagram. Last year, she was estimated to have made more than 1 billion Korean won (approximately US$854,000) from sponsorship deals alone, according to Business Insider. Brands she has worked with include Tiffany & Co and Calvin Klein.
Here, she tells us about why she was given her personality and traits, her most memorable project to date—and why she hopes to be a force for good.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m South Korea’s first virtual influencer, with a strong passion for lifestyle. Oh Rozy is my real name, which means “one and only” in Korean. I’m now working as a model for brands, and recently, I was appointed an ambassador of Busan Expo, alongside Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae and K-pop megaband BTS. It’s an especially busy time for me, because I’m also preparing for my new single.
What is your identity?
I was born to represent generation MZ, the most influential group of trendsetters in [South Korean] society. My personality traits, values, looks and hobbies were chosen to portray a lifestyle that’s entertaining to my audience. From attending events to showcasing the latest collections from luxury labels, everything I post on social media is timely, fun and engaging, and will appeal to the public.
As someone who never ages, it’s my goal to keep up with trends and to represent the young generation of every era.
What’s a common misconception about you?
People may tend to think I’m a replacement for human beings, but I don’t see it that way. Virtual humans can co-exist with humans—the two can learn from each other and share our thoughts in the community.
How would you describe your style?
I often go for bold looks, and I love mixing and matching patterns and colours. For me, style is a way to express my personality and mood. It’s always fun to mingle with the people who love fashion as much as I do.
My styling tips? Instead of copying others’ ideas, reinterpret the look and inject a bit of your personality into your outfits to stand out.
What’s the story behind your work as a musician, and what was the inspiration behind your debut single Who Am I?
I’d actually never dreamed of becoming a singer. Who Am I is an honest account of my life, which encapsulates the confusion and feelings of insecurity I’ve been experiencing as a virtual human along the way. It’s also a song that everyone can relate to, at different points in their lives.
What are some of the most unforgettable projects you’ve worked on?
One of the most memorable projects of my career so far is the commercial shoot for [South Korean firm] Shinhan Life Insurance [in July 2021]. It was the first time a virtual human had become the face of an insurance company, and I was very proud to see the advertisement receive critical acclaim from across the country. Without the support of the production team and my company, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed in the campaign.
What was it like to work with the model Irene Kim for Tiffany & Co’s jewellery campaign?
Irene was the first human being I had worked with, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with a stylish model like her. It was a great experience to work across boundaries between virtual and reality, and I was very pleased with the result.
After the Tiffany & Co campaign, I also had another shoot with Irene for the launch of her fashion brand Irene is Good. It was another fun experience, and I’d love to collaborate with her again.
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What does the idea of living sustainably mean to you?
We’re now living in a time when environmental protection has become a necessity, not an option. Protecting the environment and making the planet a better place is everyone’s responsibility, and for me, living sustainably is about making mindful choices.
Last August, I partnered with Good Neighbors, an international humanitarian and development NGO founded in South Korea, to launch a campaign called Oh Rozy Earth Challenge. We invited the public to adopt and share new sustainability practices on Instagram, while offering selected participants sustainable keychain DIY kits to enjoy a fun and eco-friendly craft activity. The campaign was a success, and the feedback we received was very positive too. I will continue to use my fame for good and inspire more people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in the future.
What’s next for you?
Despite having worked in various fields in the entertainment industry— as a model, singer and DJ, —I feel like there’s still so much more to explore. I want to learn new things and showcase new sides to my personality that people haven’t seen yet.
These days, I’m busy preparing for the launch of my own vegan beauty brand, which is set to release later this year. I will also be attending the awards hosted by South Korea’s biggest NFT company Metaconz. And of course, I will continue to do fashion shoots and share pictures of my daily adventures on Instagram. A new look is coming soon, so stay tuned!