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What did Valentino get out of the Zoolander stunt?

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

20 Mar 2015

Fashion |OPINION

Paris Fashion Week already feels like a distant memory and it has only been a week, it’s the speed at how the fashion industry moves, yet one thing that is still keeping people talking has to be the Zoolander stunt at Valentino.

Seeing Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strutting their stuff down the Valentino catwalk got everyone, inside and outside the fashion industry into a little bit of a frenzy. There has always been a synergy between fashion and movies, generally though it is the fashion industry getting its clothing into films, partnerships to help promote the film, just look at how many fashion names have been caught up in the Cinderella fairytale, and fashion has always seen the importance of the red carpet, however, the film industry has rarely stepped into the fashion arena quite like they did to launch Zoolander 2.

It was after a friend text me and asked if I saw Derek and Hansel, the Zoolander characters that Stiller and Wilson play that made me realising that a catwalk show had attracted the attention of the masses, of someone who isn’t interested in fashion, and probably doesn’t even know when fashion week takes place. I asked her if she knew what designer it was and she simply replied “wasn’t it just a promo stunt to launch the film’s sequel”. My friend had no idea on the designer, she thought it was a scene out of the up-coming film, and she had no idea that the Italian fashion house was even involved.

Did the Zoolander stunt distract from Valentino’s AW15 collection?

So what actually did Valentino get out of Zoolander being part of their show? No one was talking about the gorgeous collection that evoked a sense of timeless beauty, people weren’t posting the collection’s grand finale filled with its demi-couture gowns, all social media hits were about the Zoolander ‘walk off’, meaning that #zoolander and #zoolander2 were trending globally on Twitter that day, while #valentino wasn’t even in the top ten.

Most tweets and Instagram’s, even that from top fashion magazines including Vogue and Elle didn’t even mention Valentino in their Zoolander excitement, neither did the Stiller’s that simply said “Apparently Derek and Hansel have come to terms on #Zoolander2.”

I suppose you can say it is nice to see the fashion industry having a giggle at itself, sometimes we do take everything a little too seriously, but I think because it was at a Valentino show, a fashion house known for its craftsmanship and exquisite designs that makes the whole PR stunt seems harder to accept, more distracting, it really is out of character for the fashion house.

It’s not all bad news though - apparently the reason Zoolander 2 gatecrashed Valentino is because the upcoming movie is going to be set in Rome, where Valentino is based, apparently the fashion house will be featured in the comedy. So did the clever movie stunt backfire on Valentino or are they just playing the long game as they will be featured in what’s probably set to be a blockbuster and the publicity will keep on rolling, and at the end of the day isn’t all publicity, good publicity?

Images: instagram.com/benstiller and Valentino AW15