There’s nothing unusual about a high-end fashion label promoting itself with photos of a Hollywood actress wearing its clothes or carrying one of its handbags, but Valentino got in some real trouble for doing just that. It was all about the context.
“We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavany Rockstud Duble bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Feb. 6 in New York,” an email from the company to the press stated.
The photo in the email looked a bit strange. Adams was dressed mostly in black and looked distressed. The members of the press who received the email soon found out why: The photo was from the wake for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Adams’ co-star in the movie “The Master.”
Hoffman died Feb. 2 of a drug overdose.
Adams’s representative quickly distanced the actress from Valentino and said she did not know the photo would be used that way. A Valentino USA spokeswoman, Mona Swanson, issued this statement, according to The Guardian
We sincerely regret releasing a photo to the media … of Amy Adams with a Valentino Bag. We were not aware the photograph was taken while she was attending the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was an innocent mistake and we apologise to Ms Adams who was not aware, or a part of, our PR efforts.
The company also apologized on Twitter:
The handful of replies to the Twitter message came from fans who say they believe the use of the photo was an honest mistake.
, the reaction was a bit more complex. For one thing, Valentino didn’t post an apology there, so people simply jumped on the latest post, about the company’s reaching one million fans, to lodge an opinion. Some weren’t pleased (“Perhaps you can get some paparazzi to pry open Mr. Hoffman's casket and photograph him, just in case he was buried in something by Valentino”) while others said the story was overblown.
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Though there’s disagreement about whether the email was truly tasteless or not, it definitely failed on one front. The New York Post
reports that the correct spelling of the name of the bag Adams was carrying is Garavani Rockstud Double, not “Duble.”