Even if you haven’t downloaded Candy Crush Saga, you’ve no doubt heard of it. The five-year-old game, played mainly via its app on smartphones and tablets, has had over 1 trillion rounds completed since its launch in 2012. 198 billion rounds of Candy Crush were played in 2016. Broken down, that figure is equal to just about everyone on the planet playing the game 28 times in one year alone. And if games were viewed in the same spheres as the Kylie Jenners and Selena Gomezes of the world, Candy Crush would be in good company: it has almost 80 million likes on social media.
Leave it to Jeremy Scott, then, to partner with the phenomenon on a capsule collection for Moschino that will be introduced this weekend at Coachella, the annual music festival in Indio, California. (Scott is the creative director of Moschino, as well as the founder of an eponymous line which, sidenote, turns 20 this September.) Scott has long proven his sixth sense for highly attuned pop culture divination, having partnered with Google and buddied up with megawatt stars like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, for various costumes and red carpet appearances. Scott’s aesthetic is unashamedly mainstream. He’s reimagined a Snickers logo on a dress, for example, and recreated a Transformers battle scene on a suit; he’s even channeled the arguably sinister undertones of ’60s and ’70s–era TV dinners— from a time when families were affixed to the boob tube, not individual iPhones. Say what you will, but there’s a molten kind of genius beneath the spotlit and sugar-bombed aesthetics of his work.
While there isn't really a notable subtext to the Moschino x Candy Crush collection—a capsule of his-and-hers swimwear, plus a backpack—there’s certainly a savviness to recognizing collaborative opportunities beyond the expected. “It’s a very cool thing,” says Yonna Ingolf, narrative designer for the Candy Crush program. “It’s the first time we’re partnering with high fashion. It felt like a natural step for us. Jeremy’s mind is very ‘candy.’” Scott agrees. “I think almost everyone plays, right? It’s kind of off the charts,” he says. “My mom and my nephew… they both play it. It’s for everyone.”
The designer was particularly smitten with the game's retro, puffy-loop font, which has been recreated to spell out “Moschino” and screened over a grid of confectionery characters, similar to how the matrix might appear in the program. And Scott wanted to keep it relatively straightforward: “We’ve got swimsuits, because, everyone’s going to be in a pool at one point or another at Coachella, or it’s going to be so hot you wish you were in a pool.” Pragmatic. We like it.
The designer—who is in the process of updating a recently-purchased John Lautner home in Palm Springs, near the Coachella site—adds that he “was a little heartbroken about Beyoncé” dropping out of the festival’s lineup. “I was actually halfway mesmerized, like, how is she going to pull this off with the twins all up in there?!” But even so, Coachella will be his vacation time before getting back on the road. Afterwards, he’ll head to Milan to get ready for Moschino’s next menswear show, and then back to New York for the Met Gala in early May. We're sure, given his track record, that he'll keep the sugar high going.