If you really think about it, it’s no surprise that smileys and loads of other digital icons are being recreated in natural diamonds and precious metals. After all, jewelry design has historically stood as a decorative art that’s purpose is to reflect the times we live in. And these days, people are turning to none other than emojis when it comes to expressing any given subject matter, mood, or feeling.
One of the earliest emoji jewelry adopters was undoubtedly Alison Lou, a jewelry brand known for its simple, cheeky designs and wear-everyday sensibility; Creative Director and Founder Alison Chemla began incorporating emojis into her launch collection over eight years ago, and hasn’t stopped since. “I started with emoji’s because I believed they were the new way of communicating,” Lou says. “Jewelry has always been part of who I am, so when they started becoming a new language it all made sense.”
Today Alison Lou’s offerings are broad, spanning from an emoji ghost stud with a single diamond eye, to a diamond set pretzel earring to a smiley face ring. “We find they appeal to a classic woman or girl who has a sense of humor and wants to add a little fun to her jewellery collection,” Chemla adds.
From its debut collection on, British brand Ruifier too took a similar path in piggybacking on the rising appeal of the new digital language. “We launched our Visage collections in 2014,” says Founder and Creative Director Rachel Shaw, whose witty emoji designs are set with gemstones and diamonds. “The main purpose was to present a new perspective and a playful approach to luxury jewellery.”
Ruifier’s most popular styles include a happy face available in a diamond pave version set on a cord bracelet, and a gold pendant with the eyes and upturned mouth set with diamonds. “Customers love to have this wearable smile that is a gentle every day reminder, particularly in times like these,’ Shaw adds.
And it’s not just fine jewellers getting in on the act. Most commonly seen adorning the likes of Beyonce and Heidi Klum with hundreds of carats of gems, jeweler to the stars Lorraine Schwartz has also launched an emoji-inspired line. Again citing the power of the smiley face, her collection 2B Happy is ‘born out of a need to be reminded of the power one has in creating their own happiness.’ Here, pave pendants, stackable cuffs and tennis bracelets complete the joyful lineup, albeit at a significantly higher price point.
Of course while some jewelers are directly inspired by emojis, others are using the emoji lexicon as a springboard for more figurative creative direction at large.
Love the hamburger emoji? Look no further than Nadine Ghosn’s hamburger ring, the sesame seeds of the bun rendered in none other than diamonds. How about the cute mushroom emoji? Brent Neale’s Magic Mushroom Dot earrings are the perfect replica. And what about the red balloon, the emoji that always signifies a party? Milanese house Vhernier’s Palloncino earring is brilliantly accurate, especially if you opt for the cornelian and diamond version which exudes the perfect red hue. Crazy about lightning bolts, stars, clouds, and crescent moons? London-based Robinson Pelham offers a multitude of emoji symbols in their Stud Club collection.
The most surprising emoji ‘nod’ of all, just may come from established Roman jewelry house Bulgari. Led by Creative Director Lucia Silvestri, the label’s high jewelry collections have recently been peppered with motifs with digitally symbolic references. 2017’s Festa collection was particularly fruitful with the Peperoncini Bracelet set with rubellite and diamond chillies; the Leca Leca Brooch, a breathtaking mimic of the swirly lollipop candy emoji; and Precious Gift, a present-shaped brooch in pink gold, rubies and diamonds. The following year in 2018, the Wild Pop collection featured an entire necklace of diamond flamingos as graphic and upright as their emoji counterparts.
So for World Emoji Day (Yes, it’s really made it to our calendar!), go ahead and treat yourself to some contemporary adornment featuring your favorite digital symbol. With the emoji language constantly growing and adapting, it’s always a good time to start a new collection. As Alison Chemla of Alison Lou says of today’s emoji-obsessed times, “Now I have so much inspiration, the ideas are endless!”