Will Gucci's deal with emoji chat start up Genies signal new era for digital fashion?

The partnership sees the high end fashion name sign up as the exclusive provider of accessories and clothing for the firm’s cast of emojis on its new app.
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Italian fashion brand Gucci is making a play for the digital style scene in a new partnership with the LA based start-up Genies Inc.

The partnership sees the high end fashion name sign up as the exclusive provider of accessories and clothing for the firm’s cast of emojis on its new app.

Launched on November 19th with financial backing from Shawn Mendes, Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson and Carmelo Anthony, Genies’ app supports emoji-to-emoji chat among an audience of 16 to 23 year olds.

Via the app, users can select from over one million combinations of skin tone, eye colour, hair, clothing, jewellery and footwear to dress up their avatars.

“If you think back ten years, the way that luxury brands were advertising was essentially print campaigns that were created on a seasonal basis,” said Robert Triefus, Gucci’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Today, the narrative that we’re telling at Gucci and the communities that we’re engaging with is essentially powered by digital.”

Co-founded mu entrepreneurs Akash Nigam, Matt Geiger and Evan Rosenbaum, Genies is enlisting the support from celebrities to generate buzz and promote their personal brands among today’s youth. In addition to endorsing the app, the famous faces are also making investments.

Among them is Jared Goff, quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, who said: “I am most excited about Genies because I feel it is entering the personal avatar space in a way that hasn’t been seen before. The numerous animations and outfit combinations make the possibilities virtually endless.”

With an infusion of $10 million announced this week, Genies has raised $25 million to date. 

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