From Coach to Kenzo, branded emojis are offering a new way for designers to express themselves.
No longer reserved for social media posts and text messages, emojis are pervading ads, apps and even the catwalk thanks to fash-moji pioneers including Karl Lagerfeld and Harper’s Bazaar. Lagerfeld sent a host of emoji-inspired looks down the runway at Chanel’s AW16 show, and even has his own custom emoji pack, while back in 2014, Harper’s Bazaar became one of the first luxury fashion publications to debut its personalised keyboard on the app store.
Since then, everyone from Iris Apfel to Versace has immortalized their brands in emoticons. Most recently, Kenzo unveiled a range of bespoke 'Emotikenzos' to create buzz and build awareness ahead of its collaboration with H&M. However, unlike it’s predecessors, Kenzo opted to release its bespoke branded content via iMessage. Earlier this year, Coach used a similar tactic, shutting down its app and shifting its focus to Apple’s updated operating system instead.
But what’s the aim? Emoji-loving millennials were the main focus of Kenzo's characterful creations, and its this coveted market that emoji-driven campaigns have the greatest impact on. More and more designers are turning to emojis as a means of engaging an even wider audience and reaching an untapped market that might not be familiar with their brand. As well as promoting products, emojis also offer a great way for luxury brands to become a part of everyday conversation.
Words: Dan Flay
Image via Chanel