WHO IS SMILEY
Smiley is the original collaborator brand, our defiantly optimistic energy has inspired generations for over 50 years. The enduring positive impact of the most universally recognizable symbol in the world, represented freedom in the 1970s, defined music subcultures in the 80s and 90s and, in the 2000s, alongside our growing fashion and art status, became a vanguard of the digital revolution with the creation of the emoticons – a new visual form of communication. Turning 50 in 2021, Smiley is leading the way once again with the launch of a first-of-its-kind campaign Future Positive, working with brands across the globe to tackle worldwide social and climate injustice through sustainable and transparently-produced products.
War and Peace
Smiley became a beacon and one of the lead icons in peace and love culture during this decade of economic, political and social unrest. Creating a much-needed morale boost during this turbulent time, Smiley was adopted by political communities and used as a symbol of freedom and hope across art and music festivals around the world.
Youth Movement and Counterculture
Smiley’s influence grew alongside the emerging musical subcultures, becoming the symbol of the electric music movement, which continued into the 90s. Printed on everything from stickers, t-shirts, ticket stubs, flyers and shoelaces – this visual shorthand was latched onto by a new hedonistic popular culture.
And Smiley gained iconic status by appearing on a poster to advertise Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album release – inspiring the 90s grunge movement.
The Universal Language of a Smile
The enduring cultural impact of Smiley embraced a new digital generation.
Well ahead of the time, the Smiley Company co-founder Nicolas Loufrani created a new universal form of digital communication by adding a variety of facial expressions to the original Smiley. These emoticons inspired a visual-communication revolution and are now sent around the world daily, at an infinite pace.
The Original Collaborator
Continuing to influence modern culture, as one of the world’s top global collaboration licensing brands, Smiley has collaborated on high profile activities spanning fashion, art, beauty, homeware, food and beverage. Famous artworks have included street artist Banksy’s Policeman (2003) and Grim Reaper (2005), and for the first time Smiley played on our rich heritage by launching into fashion and design. Major partnerships include Supreme, Armani, Loewe, Zara, Moschino, Raf Simons, H&M, Eastpak, Dsquared2 and Adidas…to name a few.
50 Years of Defiant Optimism
In 2022 Smiley celebrated turning 50 with the launch of a global campaign to reawaken our original mantra ‘Take the Time to Smile’. The initiative saw us
partner with over 60 brands and retailers from around the globe on exhibitions, custom music tracks, product collections and immersive experiences. In the same year we announced the launch of Future Positive, an industry first-of-its-kind campaign working with other global brands at tackling worldwide social and climate injustice through product transparency and sustainability.