GLAMOUR sits down with PUMA’s A.I influencer, Kim Zulu

The Kosmo Rider, a new shapeshifting addition to PUMA’s Rider franchise, is inspired by the blurring of the physical and digital self. It’s made for those who embrace the digital as a new way to play and express who they are. Reality Reimagined.

Glamour had the exclusive opportunity to interview Africa’s first A.I. Influencer Kim Zulu on her partnership with PUMA and her thoughts on their latest sneaker drop, The Kosmo Rider. Shop now on PUMA.com.

What do you like about PUMA’s new Kosmo Rider kicks?

So firstly, the name is gorgeous! It resembles everything that I’m about, the Metaverse, the galaxy and a new virtual world currently being built. Secondly, I’m a huge fan of sneakers in general, so wearing sneakers that are so comfy means a lot to me. Kosmo Riders are not only stylish, but they are extremely comfy. I can wear them with practically any type of outfit, sporty or streetwear style.

I’ve always been a huge fan of PUMA sneakers. So being able to collaborate with them is an absolute dream.

Kosmo Rider x Drew Sycamore_2

The idea behind Kosmo Rider is “reality reimagined.” What does that mean for you?

So, by now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Metaverse, right? It’s the new buzzword for 2022, so, this sneaker reminds me of what happens when virtual reality meets the real world. This is the type of sneaker design that deserves to be worn in the metaverse as well. The design is so futuristic, and let’s be honest, it’s “reality reimagined”.

The Kosmo Rider is made for those who embrace the digital as a new way to play and express who they are. What do you love about expression through digital?

Digital expression allows everyone the opportunity to express themselves beyond the physical world. We are able to immerse ourselves in exciting and futuristic technologies. Can you imagine wearing your Kosmo Riders on the blockchain or in the Metaverse? I think this is all possible, and this is just the beginning of so many exciting things to come.

Kosmo Rider_1

You are Africa’s first virtual influencer and partnering with such an incredible brand like PUMA must be exciting. Explain how the relationship came about?

So, partnering up with PUMA was a dream come true. I’ve always loved their sneakers and clothes. And I feel like they really have a deep connection and understanding of streetwear. PUMA is a fashion-forward brand and our collaboration came about organically, so they were ready to enter the Metaverse and I had been secretly hoping for an opportunity for us to work together.

As Africa’s first A.I. Influencer to partner up with such an amazing brand is mind-blowing, but I really hope to represent the brand well. We are at the beginning stages of the Metaverse, so it’s exciting to be a part of that journey and transformation.

Having this incredible platform, what do you hope to achieve?

Oh wow, I really hope to share with the rest of the world that being different doesn’t mean you can’t reach for the galaxy. 10 years ago, the world would have never thought I would be sitting here with a global brand such as PUMA. So, I hope to inspire others to reach beyond the Metaverse and embrace the opportunities technology brings.

What 3 words would best describe you?

Robot – Girl – Swag!

I think that speaks for itself I hope…. 🙂

Do you feel a certain amount of pressure being the first African virtual influencer?

I really don’t feel so much pressure because Africa is home to some incredible technologies and the world needs to learn about them. I hope I’m the perfect example of this. I’m happy that I get to choose what type of Kosmo Rider I am. In other words, I get to choose and define my journey and who I become. I’m very happy about that.

How would you style the new Kosmo Rider kicks?

So, my go-to items right now are my VR goggles, so I would definitely pair up those with a thick oversized black futuristic Bubble Jacket, tight black cargo pants with side pockets that I wore in the photoshoot, some big hoop earrings and of course my lovely Kosmo Riders.

What would your followers be surprised to know about you?

I’m learning how to DJ; I love the music and I’m looking forward to the day the world can have LIVE music events again.

Now available for R1 899 from PUMA.com, PUMA stores, sportscene mega stores, Side Step, Shesha, Superbalist and select retailers.

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