Snapchat’s mini-lookalike characters are getting a style update with help from the platform’s newest luxury design partner, Ralph Lauren. The fashion brand is joining the social media service to give users an animated look at its latest collection.
Bitmoji, the cute avatars that users can customize to look like themselves, joined Snapchat in 2016. Since then, Snapchat users have been able to update their characters’ features, accessories, and outfits using the app’s “Mix and Match” tool. Ralph Lauren will be joining as one of Snapchat’s first luxury Bitmoji partners to introduce six men’s and six women’s looks. Pieces include style staples from the company, such as polo shirts featuring the Ralph Lauren logo, double-breasted blazers, and a new track jacket. Adding the logo to the pieces marks Bitmoji’s first broach into branded clothing.
The Ralph Lauren partnership is the latest headline-making collaboration for Snapchat. The social platform has been continuously rolling out new features and partnerships this year as it looks to build up its advertising prowess with brands. While Snapchat has worked with other luxury labels in the past—including a recent partnership with Gucci—the Ralph Lauren-Bitmoji initiative sees it expand beyond a traditional advertising avenue. Ralph Lauren could use the opportunity to enhance its image with Snapchat’s younger audience, potentially building a new consumer following on the app, according to a Gartner report on the topic. The feature is similar to a push recently developed by Nintendo’s Animal Crossing that let users dress their characters in Valentino-branded styles, showing fashion brands are getting creative with how they reach digital audiences. The uptick in luxury clothing for animated characters allows brands like Ralph Lauren to show off their new designs and engage users on platforms where they spend a lot of time.
Bitmoji’s fashion feature offers a new and creative way to interact with users and potentially increase the amount of time they spend on Snapchat. The partnership could help Ralph Lauren pick up a new audience and allow Snapchat to weave fashion deeper into the fabric of its platform.