A renowned luxury brand teamed up with an LA bootleg label to create a 'Vaccinated' hoodie that celebs and fashion insiders are clamoring for

© Pierpaolo Piccioli/Handout via Reuters A renowned luxury brand teamed up with an LA bootleg label to create a ‘Vaccinated’ hoodie that celebs and fashion insiders are clamoring for

  • Valentino is releasing a $690 sweatshirt with the word “Vaccinated” across the front.
  • It’s a collaboration with an LA company called Cloney, which originally produced a bootleg version.
  • The approach is noticeably different than how Nike dealt with MSCHF’s “Satan shoes.”

Luxury fashion designers have dealt with knockoff companies recreating their wares for years.

But in today’s world, high-end wares are almost as likely to be repurposed into a statement-making shoe, or sweatshirt.

Such is the case for Valentino, the 60-year-old Italian fashion house known for its dramatic gowns and ubiquitous Rockstud heels. The company’s serif branding, “V” logo, and penchant for the color red are highly recognizable in the fashion world – so much so that, according to The New York Times, a Los Angeles-based company called Cloney repurposed the branding onto a simple black sweatshirt emblazoned with a single word: “Vaccinated.”

The sweatshirt caught the eye of Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, who bought one and wore it in a post on his Instagram account along with a caption that read, in part: “Getting vaccinated is not a choice.”

The sweatshirt was an instant hit among Piccioli’s followers, which include the likes of actress Zoey Deutch, Instagram fashion chief Eva Chen, activist and TV host Janet Mock, and fellow designer Marc Jacobs. According to the Times, Piccioli bought five more sweatshirts, the last of Cloney’s stock, and distributed them to friends, family, and Lady Gaga.

A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Now, Valentino is working with Cloney to produce luxe versions of the design which will retail for 590 euros, or about $690. According to the Times, all of the proceeds will go to UNICEF to support the COVAX program, a World Health Organization initiative to supply vaccines and supplies to countries that need them.

But the “Vaccinated” sweatshirt also capitalizes on the pandemic-themed fashion trend that began cropping up early last year. Fashion labels like Erdem and Fendi introduced luxury face masks and hand sanitizer holders, respectively, and a company called Cala recently introduced another way to prove your vaccination status: with a simple white t-shirt complete with a plastic pouch for your vaccine card.

As the Times points out, however, Valentino could have sued or ripped off the design altogether. But by collaborating, it’s taking a vastly different approach to fashion trolls than Nike did earlier this year, when it filed a lawsuit against MSCHF over its so-called satan shoes.

The shoes were a collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X that involved tricking out a pair of Air Max 97s with “666” in red ink and a drop of human blood to the midsole. Nike alleged that it had suffered “significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.” Nike and MSCHF later settled the suit for an undisclosed amount with MSCHF issuing a voluntary recall of the shoes.

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