Emojis Get a High-Fashion Makeover at Saks Fifth Avenue

A window featuring the Saks x
A window featuring the Saks x "The Emoji Movie" Collection at the flagship store.
Getty for Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue and Sony Pictures Consumer Products have partnered with Jason Wu, Orlebar Brown, Del Toro, Gents, Mackage and Havaianas to create an exclusive Saks Fifth Avenue x “The Emoji Movie” fashion collection. The custom emoji-inspired styles were revealed on July 17 in a series of windows at the Saks flagship in New York City. The store celebrated the collection and the upcoming release of “The Emoji Movie” by hosting a red carpet affair and party, and attendees included singer Paula Abdul and comedian Maya Rudolph, the film’s villain, among others in the cast and crew.

Paula Abdul plays with the interactive window technology created by Mitene & Sony Music Communications on the red carpet at the saks fifth avenue x emoji movie collection. Paula Abdul plays with the interactive window technology created by Mitene & Sony Music Communications. Getty for Saks Fifth Avenue

Jake T. Austin, who hit the red carpet in a self-described “dressy casual” fashion wearing Royal Elastics slip-ons, gave FN a synopsis of his character:

“‘I play Alex, who is not an emoji; he’s actually a human in the film. He’s having trouble getting this girl he likes to talk to him, so the emojis in his smartphone start sending themselves to the girl, and it kind of messes things up a little bit. My character goes to get the phone fixed, but he learns that there’s a world of emojis that exists in the iPhone. So if he gets the phone erased, he’ll delete the world of emojis forever,” he said.

John Antonini and Jake-T. Austin on the Saks x Emoji Movie collection red carpet. (L-R): John Antonini and Jake T. Austin on the red carpet. Getty for Saks Fifth Avenue

When asked about his favorite emoji, the “Wizards of Waverly Place” actor mentioned the ever-popular “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” monkey emojis. “My favorite would probably be the monkey holding its hands over its mouth — so, shocked or surprised. I use those monkeys a lot,” he said.

This is quite fitting stylistically, as Del Toro designed a pair of leather skate sneakers for the Saks x “The Emoji Movie” collection inspired by said monkeys.

Del Toro x Saks leather skate sneakers with monkey emoji designs. Del Toro-designed leather skate sneakers with monkey emoji designs. Getty for Saks Fifth Avenue

In addition to Del Toro, Havaianas designed flip-flops for the exclusive Saks x “The Emoji Movie” collection. “They picked bits and pieces of their favorite emojis [to design the shoes],” explained John Antonini, Saks’ director of stores.

Havaianas designed flip-flops for the exclusive Saks x The Emoji Movie collection. Havaianas designed flip-flops for the exclusive Saks x “The Emoji Movie” collection. WWD/REX/Shutterstock

As for Antonini’s favorite emoji? “Our custom-designed Saks emoji: an awesome smiley face, popping her head out of our iconic Saks shopping bag. How did we not have our own emoji?”

Havaianas designed flip-flops for the exclusive Saks x The Emoji Movie collection. Havaianas designed flip-flops for the exclusive Saks x “The Emoji Movie” collection. WWD/REX/Shutterstock

FN also caught up with the movie’s director, Tony Leondis, and producer Michelle Kouyate on creating the film.

Leondis, who wore yellow Nike Air Maxes as a nod to the emojis, said: “So much fun is with the actors and working with them and helping find the character in the room. With Maya Rudolph — she plays Smiler, who’s the villain of the movie — we tried a couple of different voices and takes, and she’s so creative. We ended up coming up with, like, a cheerleader who always wants her squad to be perfect and how annoying that can be.”

A pair of black leather snips on from the collection. A pair of black leather slip-ons from the collection features villainous emojis. WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Kouyate, who wore her favorite Oscar de la Renta wedge mules, added: “My favorite part is taking a world that sits in your hand every single day and going inside of it and creating a fantastical version of how it might be actualized. For me it’s also about the fun you have while you’re doing what you’re doing, and we had a great time with an enormously creative team of people.”

Michelle Kouyate, Maya Rudolph and Tony Leondis inside the party. (L-R): Michelle Kouyate, Maya Rudolph and Tony Leondis inside the party. Getty for Saks Fifth Avenue

In addition to the six windows visually merchandised to showcase the collection, the event also featured interactive technology created by Mitene & Sony Music Communications. Guests were able to play around with various emoji characters from the film via the windows outside and the kiosk inside the party, which featured virtual technology that captured photo and video.

The Saks Fifth Avenue x “The Emoji Movie” collection is available now on saks.com, and the Saks New York flagship windows will be live until the end of July.

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