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The story behind the Valentino (V) Vaccinated hoodie

Born on Instagram thanks to Lady Gaga

The story behind the Valentino (V) Vaccinated hoodie  Born on Instagram thanks to Lady Gaga

Fashion knows no masters, or at least bootleg fashion seems to think so. Between imitation and mockery, that universe made up of unsuccessful copies has always gravitated in a limbo made up of thrift shops and trials of success, with brands such as Market (formerly Chinatown Market) on the list of the greatest exponents of the art of bootlegs. But what happens when a hoodie born as a joke becomes a successful item? Knows Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, who a few days after receiving his second dose of vaccine against Covid-19 had decided to celebrate by posting on Instagram a photo from Neptune, his hometown, with a hoodie perfect for the occasion in which the red "V" of the Maison was transformed into the slogan "Vaccinated".  Shortly thereafter, the success of the hoodie was unstoppable, going from the likes of Marc Jacobs to the comments of Eva Chen and Zoey Deutch to arrive at Lady Gaga's closet.

What was born as a bootleg hoodie has now become a real Valentino item in a story made of strange coincidences, as told by Vanessa Friedman in the New York Times. Created by Cloney, a Los Angeles based brand, the bootleg hoodie was discovered by Piccioli and his team by chance online, putting the creative director at a crossroads: take ownership of the item and recreate it in an official version or contact its creator? Somewhat out of fear of a Diet Prada post, but mostly out of Piccioli's common sense, the next move was to purchase all the remaining stock online to give to friends and family. "I didn't want to steal the idea, although I would have liked to have had it first," said Piccioli, who immediately got in touch with the brand's founder, Duke Christian George III.

Former actor and dancer, George also has in his resume a career as a rapper in a duo formed by "two guys dressed in tuxedos with a George Clooney mask". The name, of course, was Cloney , the same as the brand that before creating the hoodie (V) Vaccinated had created another web catchphrase with the slogan "Kim Is My Lawyer". Cloney and Piccioli have thus found a solution: Valentino would create the hoodie in its factories with its standards, while the brand of George III would appear as co-creator of the collabo. The most important result, however, is the $938,000 donated by the Maison to Unicef as an "advance on sales" of the hoodie, the proceeds of which will be entirely allocated to the agency. The next step, which Piccioli declined to comment on, could be the debut of the (V) Vaccinated hoodie on the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week, giving new meaning to fashion's role in the battle for social causes.