When Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli popped up on Instagram last week wearing a hoodie bearing Valentino’s famous “V” logo placed over the word “vaccinated,” our attention was piqued. When Lady Gaga uploaded a Reel to promote Valentino’s Voce Viva perfume today wearing the sweatshirt, we had to know when and how the public could get one of their own. Despite being approved by the highest rungs of the Valentino family, the sweatshirts aren’t actually official Valentino merchandise. They’re actually clever bootlegs from Duke Christian George III’s Cloney streetwear label.
The brand’s culture-jamming sweats had already been something of a celeb favorite. Remember that big yellow hoodie reading the word “Benji” on it that Ariana Grande was spotted in one time—holding ex-boyfriend Pete Davidson’s hand and a lollipop in the other? Yeah, that was Cloney. The brand once made a sweater bearing the words “Kim Is My Lawyer,” which Kim Kardashian West herself quickly snapped up. Justin Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner have all been spotted in their wares. Luka Sabbat is a big fan of their hats, particularly one that reads “Sabbat.”
But having both the creative director of Valentino and the face of one of the brand’s scents wear their Valentino-riffing sweatshirts certainly takes things to another level.
Normally, luxury brands are quite protective of their intellectual property, particularly their logos. Although we’ve seen both Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele acknowledge bootleg culture in their work, rarely have we seen the creative director of a brand actually embrace a full-out bootleg. But getting people vaccinated is as worthy a reason to bend the rules as any. It also means you can get your hands on a “Vaccinated” hoodie of your own—they retail on Cloney’s site for $185.