In an Instagram update, Raf Simons revealed a forthcoming collaboration with Smiley. The designer's eponymous label will release the collaboration with the Brussels-based entrepreneur in May, and it is anticipated to revolve around the fundamental yellow and black ideogram that represents a smiling face. Smiley has long been a way for people to communicate, evolving from emoticons and now emojis since the 1950s.
"I love the optimism Smiley projects. I love the focus on a brighter and better future," said Raf of his connection to the iconic image.
In addition, visitors taking part in label's exhibition at Pitti Uomo were able to purchase a Smiley blue sweater from Raf's upcoming collection for Uniqlo that was exclusively available at the popup.
The collaboration with the renowned aspect of popular culture builds on Raf's passion for studying cultural signifiers. “I adore the optimism displayed by Smiley. I enjoy the optimism for a brighter and better future,” stated Raf Simons.
Raf Simons’ collaboration doesn’t come as a surprise since the designer has always been fascinated with subcultures, logos and pop culture. Earlier this year, he unveiled a collection of Made by You tees featuring iconic images from the New York punk scene. He is known for collaborating with fashion brands like adidas, Barney’s and Eytys.
The designer is the latest addition to a growing list of designers who have worked with Smiley. In 2012, Vivienne Westwood released a capsule collection with the company featuring her designs from the infamous punk era. Queen guitarist and touring DJ Brian May and The Who’s Roger Daltrey also collaborated on a music box series in 2014.Smiley, which was originally released in the ‘50s, has been a universal form of communication for decades.