We're So Here For Valentino's New Pro-Vax Sweatshirt Collab

·2-min read
Photo credit: .
Photo credit: .

The latest fashion collaboration to love is a somewhat unexpected one: Valentino has joined forces with a little-known label on a pro-vax sweatshirt.

In August, shortly after receiving his second Covid-19 vaccine, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director of Valentino, posted a picture on Instagram of himself smiling on a beach in his hometown of Nettuno in Italy.

In the photo, he was seen sporting a black hoodie with the red Valentino ‘V’ logo on the chest and, beneath it, the word ‘vaccinated’.

Despite the logo, the design wasn’t his own, but the work of a Los Angeles company called Cloney that specialises in tongue-in-cheek adaptations of designer insignia, which it prints on everything from t-shirts to caps.

Soon, the likes and requests started rolling in: from Marc Jacobs and the stylist Zerina Akers; Pieter Mulier, the Alaïa designer; and Emanuele Farneti, the former editor of Italian Vogue.

‘Need this sweatshirt’ wrote Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, in the comments of Piccioli’s post.

Later on, The Queen herself (ahem, Lady Gaga) posted a video of herself wearing the same sweatshirt, cementing it as the latest fashion must-have.

Of course, Piccioli could have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Cloney, asking the company to stop using the Valentino logo. Or, he could have co-opted the design himself and made more under his own label.

Instead, he bought Cloney’s remaining stock (just five hoodies) and gave them to family, friends and - yes - Gaga.

He then got in touch with Duke Christian George III, the founder of Cloney. Together, they agreed that Valentino would make the hoodies in its factories, and the finished product would be a collaboration between the two brands.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the brand
Photo credit: Courtesy of the brand

George would be donating the idea, and Valentino would supply the money — an estimated $938,000 to start, which is based on how many sweatshirts they hope to sell.

‘I didn’t want to steal the idea — even though I wished I had it first,’ Piccioli said.

The sweatshirt will now be available on Valentino's website, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going towards funding UNICEF’s work with the World Health Organisation’s Covax program, which aims to supply vaccines to countries where they are not yet widely accessible.

A piece of designer fashion that lifts up a small brand, raises money for charity and promotes getting vaccinated, all in one? Now that’s a purchase we can get behind.

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