Vaccination helps everyone and is very chic.
A collaboration between Valentino and UNICEF’s COVAX program, the black hoodie with the words VACCINATED printed in red costs $690.
According to Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, the profits from the sweatshirts will go to the COVAX program, “which aims to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.”
The story of how Piccioli got his hands on the hoodie is an interesting story on the intersection of high-low digital culture. The product (Valentino logo, and all) was initially designed by Los Angeles company Cloney, a brand that promotes tongue-in-cheek cultural references about the City of Angels on micro-produced merch: tees, caps, and yes, hoodies.
After discovering the original run of hoodies on Cloney’s website, Piccioli did the unexpected: rather than sending a cease-and-desist notice for unauthorized branding use, he bought out the remaining stock (there were five left) and gifted them to friends, including Lady Gaga, and asked them to wear it on Instagram.
The comments were instantaneous. Fashion world consignetti, like Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen wanted one, as did actress Zoey Deutch. Piccioli realized he had a possible goldmine (albeit, an altruistic one that could benefit the world) in his hand. But he didn’t come up with the idea.
He gave Cloney founder Duke Christian George III a call, and the two then decided that the hoodie would be reproduced in Valentino’s factories, with Valentino quality. The brand also made an initial donation of $938,000 to start.
Comments have veered from positive, to mocking. Valid worries about the wealth gap aside, there were still anti-vaccination naysayers all over the Valentino Instagram post. Still, Piccioli hopes that his efforts would inspire other brands to take a stand.
The end of the pandemic, of course, would of course assist in helping the world economy to recover. A better economy means more shopping money, and more shopping money means more spending. What’s not to love for a fashion brand?
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