With a nod to Abloh’s penchant for all caps, the “YOUR PHONE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH” lens allows fans to place special effects on selfies and other imagery, rendering them in black and white with cascading diagonal fractures and the titled caption set in the designer’s signature typeface.
Abloh’s lens makes its debut with mere hours to go before Off-White models take the runway — which is somewhat fitting for a designer “of the moment” — and will remain available for a few days during Paris Fashion Week. Interested users can download the latest version of the app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
While the filter update may look like a bit of fun fluff, the effort could be serious business.
According to a Snap Inc. spokesperson, the filter was inspired by creative elements of the Off-White fashion label, in particular the unorthodox aesthetic of the DJ and designer. Abloh, who maintains a reputation as “king of social media influencers,” has a knack for knowing what resonates with target Millennials. By bringing his sensibilities directly to the visage of fans beyond New York and Paris, the lens could strengthen the personal connection fans feel with the brand.
The Snap team has been steadily developing lenses since the feature’s introduction two years ago. The work has brought an array of filters, animations and, most recently, 3-D personalized cartoon avatars known as Bitmojis, as spotted during an augmented reality demo at Apple’s iPhone event.
As for this latest lens, consider it another proof point in an ever-lengthening list marking Snapchat’s deep courtship of the fashion world. Along with other social networks, the ephemeral photo-sharing company has become a regular at fashion shows over the last few years, and experts have credited the much-discussed, and at times imitated, “Snapchat Stories” for changing the way fashion weeks get covered.