Urban Outfitters launches in-store Smiley experience

Urban Outfitters is launching a Europe wide in-store experience from today, 4 April, as part of its collaboration with Smiley, which has been celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2022.

As part of the unique campaign, Urban Outfitters has created an immersive pop-up room environment for consumers in London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Milan, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Glasgow and Antwerp.

The pop-up includes products featuring the Smiley logo reimagined by Paris-based Swedish graffiti artist Andre Saraiva, who customised over 50 products as part of a collector’s edition stretching across clothing, accessories, technology and more.

Shoppers can expect to find key products featured in the store such as iets frans … x Smiley + 50th Anniversary collector’s editions.

Streetwear and activewear brands include Champion, Eastpak, New Era and Happy Socks, while Loki and Ciate provide fashion and beauty products. Neon signage brand Yellowpop will also be available, as will Sunny Life, known for its inflatable swimming pool lines.

Within the Manchester and Oxford Circus stores, consumers can engage with and create social content with an infinity mirror, while the changing rooms feature Smiley’s ‘Take the Time to Smile’ slogan.

Find out more on the Urban Outfitters website.

SmileyWorld and Tsingtao partner for limited edition beer collaboration

The Smiley Company has partnered with China’s number-one beer brand Tsingtao for an exclusive collaboration. The limited-edition range of beer will be sold across mainland China.

The pairing of SmileyWorld – known for happiness, positivity and self-expression – with trend-driven brand Tsingtao creates the perfect platform to engage with young adults through a campaign centred around creating a “Happy Planet”, full of happy people.

Launched at the beginning of November, the collaboration will feature music-related designs on millions of Tsingtao ‘Pure Draft’ cans and bottles. With eight fun SmileyWorld icons decorating the cans, including bespoke icons created especially for the campaign, Tsingtao and SmileyWorld will encourage people to express their attitude through the Smileys.

A limited edition bottle has also been created, with a design intended to bring people together: when placed together, two bottles create a complete Smiley, showcasing the power of friendship and sharing.

Supported by a 360-degree marketing campaign including TVC, online and social media, content will be created for WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book and TikTok. Tsingtao’s brand ambassador Hua Chenyu, a musician with 40 million followers on Weibo and over 7 million on Tik Tok, will also promote the partnership through online and social media.

Nicolas Loufrani, SmileyWorld CEO says: “Tsingtao is the most iconic beer brand in China, one perfectly matched to SmileyWorld in terms of appeal to trend-driven consumers. The Smiley Studio has created a new set of bespoke designs which will appeal to Chinese consumers and co-created a fantastic activation with our friends at Tsingtao.This proves once again the talent of the team at the Smiley Studio and our ability to work with the most professional brands and agencies in the world.”

A Tsingtao Beer spokesperson commented: “Our Pure Draft beer and SmileyWorld collaborated to reimagine our current packaging with a fresh SmileyWorld design. The new can and bottle designs are trendy, fun and creative. By creating these impactful and appealing trend-driven products, we have created a link between beer and the lifestyle industry. We believe that the collaboration between our two brands will bring consumers more fresh and novel experiences.”


Happy days: Smiley® teams with H&M for ’90s-inspired streetwear

Smiley® is launching a new streetwear collaboration with fashion giant H&M.

Designed for both men and women, the collection is infused with full-on retro vibes, and is supported by a 90s-influenced, upbeat and vibrant campaign that is “a youthful symbol of defiant optimism”.

The collection includes tie-dye hoodies, loose-fit denim and relaxed joggers, tees, rugby shirts and sport socks, as well as fun, flippant accessories and key pieces like the pile vest and the puffer jacket. The colour palette is light purple, off-white, soft beige and solid black. The vast majority of the collection is made using more sustainable materials.

The Smiley® is a symbol of positivity that has influenced people around the world for almost 50 years, and a cult-status symbol within music, dance and art. The new Smiley® x H&M collection offers “an exciting and playful mix of 1990s style and hyper-modern touches” and launches on November 30 in selected stores and at hm.com.

Smiley secures multi-territory accessories deal with fashion specialist Concept One

A new raft of Smiley themed accessories will be heading to the UK next year, thanks to a recently signed partnership between the iconic lifestyle brand, Smiley and the children’s and adult fashion specialist, Concept One.

Arriving just ahead of Smiley’s 50th anniversary, the Concept One collection will span headwear, cold weather accessories, wallets, handbags, and more. The range will be made available across five territories, these being the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Australia. The range is scheduled to launch from Spring 2022.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for us and we are very excited to start working with Concept One,” said Alex Ruiz, senior partnership manager USA at Smiley.

Founded in 1972 by Franklin Loufrani, Smiley is heading into its 50th anniversary celebration next year when it will mark five decades of recognition as a counter-culture icon. Over its half a century, Smiley has become a lifestyle brand synonymous with the pursuit of happiness, with a consumer products and licensing portfolio that spans textiles, puzzles, party goods, stationery, car accessories, and toys for licensed brand partners and retailers.

Concept One now joins a growing roster of licensing partners for the brand as it continues to spread its message on the global stage.

The Smiley Co., Alibaba, and Authentic Brands Group revealed as first keynotes for Festival of Licensing

The world’s largest retailer, Alibaba is joining the iconic Smiley brand, and the global brand management company, Authentic Brands Group as the first keynotes to be revealed for this year’s Festival of Licensing Live Stage agenda.

A month-long virtual celebration of the global licensing industry running from October 6th to 29th, Festival of Licensing incorporates three regional events linked to the world’s biggest markets – Europe, Asia and the Americas – and culminates with the global C-suite and executive-level virtual conference, Licensing Leadership Summit.

The Smiley Company, the French brand that has been on the scene since the 1970s, will open the festival and kick off the event’s Europe content with its slot at 9am on October 6th. 

Alibaba will take centre stage for the first day of the Asia week, while ABG will headline day one of the Americas week. Live Stage sponsor, Crunchyroll will keynote the America’s second day of content with a discussion around anime.

Festival of Licensing will also include educational content from event sponsor Licensing International, the leading trade association for the global licensing industry, working to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world.

“To have businesses of this stature, who are globally known and respected throughout licensing and beyond, headlining on the Festival of Licensing Live Stage is phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for more,” said Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets.

“We have amazing regional sessions confirmed, as well, including fantastic panels. This is just the start. We have another four weeks to go and a tonne more keynotes and content yet to announce. It’s going to be an incredible line up with some truly inspirational sessions and can’t-miss educational content.”

Week 1: 6-8 October – Europe, powered by Brand Licensing Europe
Tuesday 6 October, 9am BST
Keynote presentation: Putting Purpose into your Licensing Programme
Nicolas Loufrani, Founder and CEO, The Smiley Company. Additional special guests to be announced.
Wednesday 7 October, 9am BST
Keynote panel: How the Sports Industry Swerved the Biggest Brand Disruption of Recent History
Joan Carrera Lopez, Senior Manager, Retail & CPG Licensing, Formula 1®; Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director, Team GB; + more panellists to be announced
On-demand sessions available from Tuesday, 6 October, 9am BST, including:
 What do Gamers Want?
Dan Amos, Head of Esports, Difuzed. Additional panellists to be announced.
Moderator: Ben Roberts, Content Editor, EMEA, License Global
Building a Long-Term Programme: What do Licensors Need to Do?
Nikki Samuels, CEO, factory; Ruth Golightly, Head of Buying, Children’s Clothing, Asda/George; Ashley Holman, Managing Director, Riverside Brands; Gabrielle Sims, Licensing Director, Fatface
Moderator: Richard Pink, Managing Director, Pink Key Licensing
Richard Pink said: “More than anything else, a brand will want to develop a licensing programme that has longevity. The licensing industry is littered with programmes that ran out of steam and fell by the wayside; our panel, with experts from each of the core components of a programme – brand, agent, licensee and retailer – will give you their view on what a licensor needs to put in place to ensure their licensing programme not only has legs but also, crucially, has the stamina to last the course.”
Week 2: 14-15 October – Asia, powered by Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan
 Wednesday, 14 October, 2pm CST
Keynote presentation : How Alibaba, China’s eCommerce Giant, Embraces Licensing
Alex Tsai, Head Of Partnerships And Licensing, Americas And Europe, Alibaba/Alifish

On-demand sessions available from Wednesday 14 October, 2pm CST


Understanding China’s eCommerce Ecosystem for Licensing
Moderator: Sky Canaves, Editor, Content Commerce Insider. Additional panellists to be announced.
Week 3: 20-22 October – Americas, powered by Licensing Expo
Tuesday, 20 October, 9am PST
Keynote presentation
Jarrod Weber, Chief Business Officer and President, Lifestyle, Authentic Brands Group
Wednesday, 21 October, 9am PST
Keynote presentationAnime 101: Breaking Down the Hottest Pop Culture Medium
John Leonhardt, Head of Consumer Products, Crunchyroll
Moderator: Amanda Cioletti, Event and Content Director, Licensing, Informa Markets
On-demand sessions available from Tuesday, 20 October, 9am PST, including:
What do Licensees Want?
A broad look at the licensing landscape and unique business terms in light of COVID-19, unpredictable entertainment calendars, the current retail climate and the growth of e-commerce.
Moderator: Steven Heller, Founder, The Brand Liaison. Additional panellists to be announced.
Doing Business in Latin America: Trade Promotion and Export Assistance to U.S. Brands
Sandra Tinajero, Economic and Commercial Section, U.S. Embassy to Quito
 What do Retailers Want in Latin America?
Hear from some major retailers in Latin America about what they look for when it comes to licensing.
Moderator : Dalia Benbassett, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Acquisitions, Tycoon Enterprises. Additional panellists to be announced.
Lightning on a Canvas: How Bob Ross Became an Icon of the New Generation
Cynthia Modders, President and Founder, Firefly Brand Management
Weeks 1-3 – On-demand session available from Tuesday, 6 October, 9am BST
A series of sessions curated by industry trade association Licensing International will also be available to view on demand during all three regional weeks.
What you Need to Know to do Business in… (Series)
This series will include 15- to 20-minute on-demand sessions covering information on market size, local licensing and retail trends, business practices and much more, for the following regions:
  • Europe: France, Russia and Germany
  • Asia: Japan, China and India
  • Americas: Brazil and Mexico
Basics of Licensing (Series)
Licensing 101 on-demand sessions will be available to view in local languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish.
 Maura Regan, president, Licensing International, said: “We are again delighted to partner with the Global Licensing Group to provide best-in-class information and educational resources advancing the business of licensing for professionals in every market. Through our network of global representatives and associates, we’re preparing a slate of regionally focused content that will help executives new to the industry, as well as those looking to expand their business to new parts of the world. There truly will be something for everyone.”