It started with an Instagram post. When French online-only retailer Sézane launched its T-shirts, featuring the words “l’amant” written in the typeface Cooper Black, a very modern love affair was sparked between high-street fashion and this most goofy of typefaces. It has been a whirlwind: Topshop now sells a T-shirt that reads “Femme forever” across it in Cooper Black, Pull and Bear’s version reads “Babe with power vibes” and Whistles has one that says “Eh oui” in Cooper Black-inspired letters. It has become the most fashionable font of 2017.
Fashion’s affairs with typefaces have been many – from the Didone styles of Vogue to the sans serifs favoured by Chanel, Commes des Garçons and Fendi. But Cooper Black, described in the graphic design industry’s Eye Magazine as, “as eye-catching as a charging bull and as expressive as carnival barker”, doesn’t have the sleek lines or sophistication you might expect from a sartorial squeeze. For Sarah Hyndman, author of Why Fonts Matter, its round shapes make it “look like a typeface that someone is blowing up like bubblegum – it looks ready to pop.”