Valentino's 'Empathy'-Inspired Fall 2020 Campaign Was Shot Remotely

The brand is donating what it would've spent on the shoot — one million euros — to Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital.
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Images from Valentino's Fall 2021 "Empathy" ad campaign.

Images from Valentino's Fall 2021 "Empathy" ad campaign.

The status of many Fall 2020 collections might be up in the air — Marc Jacobs said his autumnal showing might not even go into production — but some brands are getting creative as they move ahead during an unprecedented time. 

We've seen designers think outside the box when it comes to campaign imagery. (Jacquemus, for instance, sent Summer 2020 pieces to Bella Hadid and Barbie Ferreira to model on Instagram from self-isolation.) For Fall 2020, Valentino is looking forward, but not without acknowledging the reality of a world still largely in lockdown amid a pandemic.

Titled #ValentinoEmpathy, the Fall 2020 campaign is a series of portraits of models, actors, creatives and friends of the brand wearing looks from its autumn men's and women's collections, photographed by somebody they're close with (and, presumably, quarantined with). The superstar cast includes Adut Akech, Anwar Hadid, Christy Turlington, Ellery Walker Harper, Ghali, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Turlington, Janet Mock, Laetitia Casta, Laura Dern, Leon Dame, Liu Wen, Mariacarla Boscono, Mustafa the Poet, Naomi Campbell, Rafferty Law, Rossy de Palma, Rula Jebreal, Tali Lennox, Tang Yan and Vittoria Ceretti.  

Talent won't be compensated for their participation. Instead, Valentino is pledging the money it would have spent on this campaign — totaling one million euros — to Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital and its Covid-19 efforts. (Mayhoola, the brand's parent company, has already donated one million euros to a Spanish field hospital, one million euros to Milan's Sacco Hospital, one million euros to Italy's Protezione Civile and one million euros to La Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris.) 

In a letter posted to social media when #ValentinoEmpathy was first announced, Pierpaolo Piccioli explained how the idea came partly from his own experience adapting to a new socially-distanced reality and finding community in different ways. 

"I was thinking of how to promote the latest Autumn/Winter collections, both men's and women's, two collections that have highlighted my designer of picturing the society as it is, or should be, a place with no categories or boundaries," the creative director wrote. "The restrictions caused by this pandemic have helped me to imagine a special project based on empathy and sentiment which are not disappearing due to social distancing."

See the whole Valentino Empathy campaign in the gallery below.

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