Trends: Custom Emoji

Kim Kardashian West's Kimoji (Fushion)

Kim Kardashian West’s Kimoji (Fushion)

Everyone loves emoji. That’s just a fact. Recently, emoji have grown and expanded. Where there used to be just one brand of emoji, now there are several types.

Distribution company Focus Features came up with custom emoji to promote their recent film “Loving.” The film details the history of the 1967 landmark Supreme Court case which struck down miscegenation statues across the United States. The emoji were created to show the range of love between people, and so users could relate to the film in a modern way.

Releasing custom emoji has hit disparate industries and public figures. Professional golfer Bubba Watson released his “Bubbamoji” in April 2016. Stand-up comic and actor Kevin Hart has his line of “Kevmoji,” all modeled after the comedian’s very expressive face. The “Kevmoji” hit #1 on iTunes downloads immediately after its release in September 2016.

But nobody’s dominated the custom emoji space better than America’s most polarizing reality TV family: the Kardashian/Jenners. Members of the family have taken to designing custom emoji for their fans to communicate with like-minded souls. Kim Kardashian West (who’s turned out to be quite the technology and new media mogul) debuted her “Kimoji” in December 2015, and was an immediate hit.

Not to be outdone, Rob Kardashian’s fiancee (and mother of his daughter Dream) Blac Chyna has also released her own line of emoji. But, like anything dealing with the Kardashian/Jenner clan, this has not been without drama: One of the “Chymoji” depicts Chyna slapping a brunette woman presumed to be Kardashian West’s stepsister Kylie Jenner. (If you don’t know why this is a foul, brush up on the history of the feud between the two.)

Another person in the Kardashian Extended Universe (KEU, for short) is feminist activist Amber Rose. (Rose is one of Kanye West’s former paramours. West is now, of course, married to Kim Kardashian West.) Rose dropped her “MuvaMoji” in March 2016, where it earned around $4M. That number includes $2M on release day alone.

It’s clear that launching a set of custom emoji is becoming a necessary step in engaging with fans. So who’ll be next to launch a set?

Advertisements

#ThrowbackThursday: Kim Kardashian West, “Paper” Magazine, 2014

Kim Kardashian West, 'Paper' magazine 2014 (People)

Kim Kardashian West, ‘Paper’ magazine 2014 (People)

Remember when Kim Kardashian West broke the Internet? This was (not so far) back in 2014. She posed for Paper magazine. Cover shot: see above. Inside, the magazine featured shots of Kardashian West imitating a more famous photo and posing completely nude save for strands of her pearl choker (not a sexual metaphor).

Kardashian West didn’t get paid for her Paper photo shoot.

Though this wasn’t the first time Kardashian West posed nude, it was the time that everyone couldn’t stop talking about.

 

Trends: Latex Dresses

Beyoncé, Met Ball 2016 (US Magazine)

Beyoncé, Met Ball 2016 (US Magazine)

The 2016 Met Ball (that is, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit’s annual swanky party) took place this past Monday, and all eyes were on the stars to see who wore what. The theme “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” ensured that attendees and fashion obsessives would see some futuristic outfits.

And what could be more futuristic than latex?

Beyoncé wore a light-pink long-sleeved beaded latex dress. Model Bella Hadid wore a tight black spaghetti-strap bustier and pencil skirt, designed by custom latex couturier Atsuko Kudo, to the after party.

The latex dress trend isn’t limited to real life. Taylor Swift wore a white two-piece latex outfit in her “Bad Blood” video, and the aforementioned Beyoncé has a bright red minidress as one of her current “Formation” tour costumes. Both of these were Kudo pieces.

But neither of the aforementioned ladies started this trend. That honor goes to Kim Kardashian back in 2014. She wore a peachy-pink Kudo creation (can you tell he’s got the custom latex market on lock?) to the Australian launch of her fragrance. Incidentally, her outfit was the identical forerunner of Hadid’s (though Kardashian has also worn the black version of the outfit).

Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian (Wetpaint)

Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian (Wetpaint)

Why is latex having a moment right now?

It’s possible that this is part of the long-range ripple effect from “Fifty Shades of Grey” that began ramping up last year. Everybody remembers (and was intrigued/titillated by) the playroom scenes, whether they read the book(s), saw the movie or both.

The book and movie’s success can be traced to many women’s hidden desires to be more sexually daring. However, in real life, some women may not feel comfortable completely putting themselves out there, sexually-speaking, in all their freak-flag glory. Donning a latex dress (or any fetishwear) can feel liberating, as if a woman is letting her “bad” side out to play. But it’s also safe in that the wearer can take it off at the end of the night (or session).

“Fashion Police” co-host Tim Gunn (also of “Project Runway” fame) hit the nail on the head when critiquing Beyoncé’s Met Gala look: “It has S&M written all over it.”

Well, yes. That’s sort of the point.

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Kim Kardashian’s Latex Dresses, 2014 and 2015

Kim Kardashian's latex dresses (E! Online)

Kim Kardashian’s latex dresses (E! Online)

Kim Kardashian always knows how to leave an impression. In 2014, Kardashian attended a couple of events wearing dresses made from latex. You wouldn’t normally think of latex as eveningwear material, but Kardashian pulled it off – twice. She attended the Australian launch of her fragrance while wearing the pink dress, and her husband Kanye West’s concert while wearing the black version.

Both dresses were designed by Atsuko Kudo, who specializes in “couture latex design.”

Idris Elba Makes History at the 2016 SAG Awards

Idris Elba at the 2016 SAG Awards (LA Times)

Idris Elba at the 2016 SAG Awards (LA Times)

The world’s hottest man (not editorializing, this is a fact and everyone agrees) made history Saturday night at the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

Idris Elba (you know him as Stringer Bell from “The Wire”) not only became the first man to win two SAG awards in one night; he became the first African-American man to do so. Elba won for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for “Beasts of No Nation,” and for Best Male Actor in a Television Movie or Mini Series for “Luther.” This is especially impressive as it’s the first year he was nominated for a solo acting award. Go Idris!

But Elba’s wins made a splash for another, more sobering reason: He’s the only film winner that wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. His fellow winners (Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” Brie Larson for “Room,” and Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl“) are all nominated. With the conversation around the Oscars’ diversity occurring for the second year in a row (#OscarsSoWhiteRedux), it’s worth noting for the future.

With Queen Latifah (“Bessie“), Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black“), and Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder“) also winning awards, Elba welcomed us all into the future with the following words:

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to diverse TV.”

I, for one, cannot wait to see how things progress.

Josh Duggar Scandal: How Much Child Sexual Abuse Occurs Within Religious Cults?

Josh and Anna Duggar and their children (E! Online)

Josh and Anna Duggar and their children (E! Online)

Last month, eldest son of the “19 Kids and Counting” Duggar clan Josh Duggar admitted he’d sexually molested five girls when he was 14 years old in 2002, some of which were his sisters. (When these incidents took place, Duggar had five sisters, who ranged in age from four to 12.)

More revelations came out over the days that followed: Duggar was sent away to a friend who had a home remodeling business after he admitted what he’d done; he didn’t receive any counseling, contrary to what had initially been stated, and Duggar was given a minor talking-to from Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who’s now in prison for child pornography. After the allegations came to light, a judge ordered the incriminating documents be destroyed, apparently on behalf of one of the alleged victims.

The Duggar family is part of the Quiverfull movement, a worldview that purports to be about Christianity and living Biblically. Earmarks of being Quiverfull include having lots of children (supplying Christian soldiers to prepare for the upcoming spiritual battle), dressing modestly and shaming victims of sexual abuse.

Until now, the fact that the Quiverfull movement is a cult has flown under the radar. But now it’s come under the scrutiny of a full-fledged public spotlight.

I wanted to find some statistics on sexual abuse, especially child/incestual sexual abuse, within cults. Unsurprisingly, I was unable to find anything. No long-range studies have been done. This makes sense: Cults usually want to cover their tracks, and make themselves look like they aren’t cults at all and are completely normal. In terms of gathering information, it’d be very hard to infiltrate and gain members’ trust to get an accurate picture of what occurs within one. Even if a member did admit to something, they might see it as totally normal.

Unfortunately, the statue of limitations on Duggar’s heinous acts has now expired. But now we have some idea of the long-ranging detrimental effects of the Quiverfull movement. There are better ways to help victims of sexual abuse and molestation, regardless of their personal viewpoint.

 

 

 

Laverne Cox Posed Nude for “Allure”

Laverne Cox (Allure)

Laverne Cox (Allure)

Happy Friday! We’re celebrating by looking at this gorgeous photo of a nude Laverne Cox in the May 2015 “Allure” issue.

Cox, a transgender woman, posed along with cisgender (read: female at birth) ladies Jordana Brewster, Nicole Beharie, Katheryn Winnick and Sandrine Holt. Recently named to the “Time” 100 Most Influential People list, Cox wanted to empower the various communities she represents by posing nude, showing a representation that isn’t usually seen.

We think she’s certainly doing that. Keep up the great work, Ms. Cox!