ALL SMILES:
MAISIE WILLIAMS & REUBEN SELBY DIRECT NEW ELLESSE x SMILEY COLLAB

A heady hit of serotonin that we all need right now.

Smiling floods your brain with endorphins, boosts your immune system through reducing cortisol and reduces your blood pressure. Basically, right now, we might not feel like it, but we could all do with cracking out a grin and beaming our beams to the world.

Essentially, that’s been the manifesto of Smiley for the last 45 years. Launched in 1972, journalist Franklin Loufani added a smiley face in the France Soir newspaper to feel-good stories, signposting articles that weren’t all doom and gloom.

From there, the company churned out hundreds of the lil’ smiling faces—a symbol for rave, brick phones, tees and emoji. If anyone knows anything about smiling, basically, it’s them.

Now, it’s spread all over Ellesse’s latest collection, creating a rave-ready capsule brimming with more neon than an ’80s night in Las Vegas. Twenty-one pieces are in the mix, with a focus on festival ready gear. There’s a transparent poncho, for example, that’ll mean you can show off your outfit during drizzle, and an iridescent shell suit that’ll make you look like you’ve finally stumbled out of a warehouse rave from 1992 (that’s a good thing, trust).

Accessories abound, too. Two shoe styles have been dusted off from the archives and given a fresh look, while there are also bum bags, caps and bucket hats smattered with smiles. As is the trend, they’ve done a combo logo, and it’s wicked. The classic Ellesse ‘semi-palla’ logo has been remixed with the original Smiley face, a nice little added feature throughout the capsule.

If that wasn’t ace enough, Ellesse got outrageously trendy power couple Maisie Williams and Reuben Selby on board to direct the campaign. Inspired by subcultures and underground music, they took the wardrobe out for a spin for a shoot spanning record shops, parks and gatherings. Basically, your usual Friday night, but this time not looking like it was shot on a melon. 

The theme of the campaign is equally serotonergic. Focusing on friendship as having no boundaries, it builds a story around four pals from totally different backgrounds. It’s a simple message, but a powerful one.

We could all do with a smile right now, and Ellesse and Smiley have served us a bunch all at once. We’ve got one last fact about smiling: they spread, meaning your body naturally smiles when someone else does. So if you see a smile on your own bucket hat, we reckon you’ll smile back.

Cheers, guys. We finally have some science for retail therapy.

The new collection launches on 18 March. Prices range from £20 – £80. Shop now.

Photo courtesy of Ellesse/Smiley

Words by Kyle MacNeill

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