Bitmoji Avatar 2014-2020
In 2014, Bitmoji launched with the “Bitmoji Classic” style which was designed to read quickly in direct messages, much like an emoticon. Following the launch of Bitmoji, the next phase of development for the avatar meant teaming up with high fashion partners. This was in an effort to create a variety of outfits in contrast to the content within the existing outfit library. The direction I gave the team was to simplify these designer outfits so they read clearly on a mobile device while not distracting from the avatar’s faces and still maintaining likeness to the product. Avatar outfits were also included in two sticker partnerships for films. The result of these partnerships attracted a great deal of engagement from users and the acquisition of Bitmoji from Snapchat.
By 2017, I had helped the face of Bitmoji reach a new milestone with the development of “Deluxe” style which launched later in 2018. This style - conceptualized by Cameron Mark - united 2D and 3D together within Bitmoji as well as inside Snapchat’s lenses and games while offering the ability for continuous releases for new avatar content. The approach to this style held duality; simplicity to guide its main shapes and silhouettes but also required careful exploration of complex textures to best represent specific facial features and especially hair types. This same logic was later applied to the outfits to depict material more akin to real life and serve the growing needs of both users and partners.
In 2019, as part of the development of Bitmoji TV, I applied the same strategies from the “Deluxe” avatar stylization. Under my supervision, the 2D and 3D fashion teams overhauled the avatar to surface interchangeable garments with “Mix & Match Fashion”. In 2020, it was clear that both projects were a major success. Bitmoji TV was viewed by over 40 million users showcasing the potential for content starring you and your friends. At the same time “Mix & Match Fashion'' demonstrated how a diverse library of interchangeable garments can mirror what users want. It surpassed the previous legacy approach of forcing full preset outfits, as new users were much more inclined to choose interchangeability over fixed curation.
2020 returned the Avatar team’s focus toward partnerships and establishing a regular release cadence for new clothing garments, hairstyles and other facial features in both 2D and 3D. Partnerships were now using the scaleable “Mix & Match Fashion” platform. My approach to art direction for these partnerships once again used the fundamentals that drove the “Deluxe” art style however with an even greater emphasis on product likeness. The outcome for all of these partnerships increased engagement and made notable headlines across the globe attracting more partnerships and a greater demand for a larger closet of options for Bitmoji users.
Partnerships included: Micheal Kors, Alexander McQueen, Joie, Bergdorf Goodman, Kenzo and Tanya Taylor, Hollister, Steve Madden, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, FIFA, Footlocker, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Air Jordan, Batman vs. Superman, Ghostbusters and The Night Before