Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
In case you live under a rock — or, wisely, you decide to leave the internet behind on the weekends (in which case, please teach us your secrets) — buzzy couple and chronic face-lickers Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker got married over the course of this past week.
(How, you might be asking, can one get married over the course of a week when the average ceremony can be completed in under 10 minutes? Well, you have a California courthouse wedding, then you have another, more over-the-top ceremony in Italy — and that's all after your "practice wedding" in Las Vegas.)
All of this is par for the celebrity wedding course, but there's one major aspect of the week that isn't typical of blowouts like these: The bride, groom and all of their important guests — the ones that share that Kardashian/Jenner blood line, for example — wore looks from the same designer for every single occasion. From Kris to Kylie, from a welcome dinner to the after-party, the label on their backs was... Dolce & Gabbana.
While having a designer partner put together a wedding dress (or even a suite of wedding looks) is hardly uncommon, it's much more unusual to see one designer dominate an entire weekend and wedding party this way. Even Chiara Ferragni, who set the high bar for an Italian wedding weekend, broke up her house ambassadorship with Dior with looks from Prada, and put her bridesmaids in Alberta Ferretti.
Not only did the Italian label dress the Kardashian-Jenner-Barker families, they also threw a number of tie-in events to celebrate the occasion, like welcoming them on their mega-yacht and having Kris stop by a pop-up shop in Portofino. The wedding itself was even held at Villa Olivetta, a Dolce & Gabbana property; a spokesperson from the brand confirmed to Fashionista that the designers "were indeed happy to host this very special occasion."
Considering the sheer volume of press that follows any Kardashian-Jenner movement and the cost of scoring such a valuable placement — at one point, Kylie was reportedly banking $1 million for a sponsored Instagram post alone — the Dolce & Gabbana-branded wedding does beg the question: Just how dolce was that vita for the Kardashian-Jenner family? Did Kourtney and Travis's nuptials merely serve as one giant piece of Dolce & Gabbana #sponcon? Or was this merely a question of scoring a few wedding freebies in the form of a gorgeous location and a closet full of clothes? That would be far from unusual for the money-generating family. However, it would be slightly out of the norm for Dolce & Gabbana.
As recently as 2021, sources at the brand insisted that they don't participate in the "pay-for-play" styling game. Parties familiar with the Hollywood stylist scene pointed out that it's a big relationship business, and that the brand made a key move in 2020 when it hired longtime Versace veteran Lucio Di Rosa to serve as the worldwide head of celebrity and VIP relations.
But money doesn't have to change hands for both parties to see benefits here. Dolce & Gabbana has undertaken a years-long effort to rehabilitate its public image after a 2018 incident in which co-founder Stefano Gabbana sent several racist DMs to users pointing out that a campaign intended to promote its Shanghai fashion show featured racially insensitive stereotypes. Certainly, considering the amount of A-list celebrities who have chosen the brand for high-profile events in recent months, Di Rosa has been a key player in making those plans successful; scoring such a tremendous placement at one of the year's biggest celebrity weddings can only further that goal.
And the Kardashian-Jenner family is always looking for another way to solidify their presence in the fashion world. (Considering that Kim is now a face of Balenciaga and Kendall has long been established as a supermodel, you'd think that they could chill out a little — but Kris never rests.) Having a wedding that essentially doubles as one of Dolce & Gabbana's ad campaigns is certainly one way of doing that.
Of course, as far as the FTC is concerned, freebies in exchange for exposure still qualify under that all-important #ad umbrella, so regardless of whether anyone collected a paycheck, it does kinda feel like something should be disclosed here.