by John Russel Jones

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Smiley, denim brand, Lee, has created a new lifestyle collection. The curated capsule blends iconic Lee silhouettes and Smiley cheer for a feel-good vibe that is perfectly positioned for Spring 2022.

Smiley was originally invented as a symbol for good news in the newspaper France Soir in 1972 by Franklin Loufrani. Fast forward to the 1990s and Loufrani’s son Nicolas started the Smiley dictionary; i.e., the emoticons we know and love today.

The Lee x Smiley capsule invites wearers to join the Happy Revolution, featuring combinations of the classic yellow icon with fresh iterations applied to pastel and tie-dye hues, painted reminders to ‘Take the time to Smile,’ and Lee’s heritage denim. Lee x Smiley hardware, a Smiley Lee patch and Smiley embroidery on jeans’ back pockets complete the look.
Lee® is thrilled to partner again with Smiley and celebrate their landmark anniversary with this exclusive collection. Our shared values of optimism and originality make this collaboration a natural fit, and it’s exciting to see how this capsule blends iconic elements of both brands,” said Joe Broyles, vice-president of global collaborations, Lee®.

“Over the last five decades, Smiley has collaborated with brands across all categories imaginable – from fashion to music, to design, accessories, travel and more – with the iconic smiley influencing culture every step of the way,” said Nicolas Loufrani, CEO of The Smiley Company. “This collaboration with Lee® showcases our commitment together to continue to spread positivity and smiles.”  
The collection includes men’s and women’s tees, jeans, shirts, jackets, and overalls. Retail prices range from $45 – $230. The collection is now available on Lee’s websites in the US and Europe. Two collector edition pieces are available exclusively as part of Smiley retail takeovers in Galeries Lafayette stores globally and online at Galerieslafayette.com, and in the US at Nordstrom at select Pop-In@Nordstrom locations and online at Nordstrom.com/pop.