Friday morning an overeager publicist at the Valentino offices sent out a gushy email announcing that a celebrity was spotted carrying one of their handbags.
“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.”
According to The Cut, media representatives received pictures of a downcast Amy Adams wearing all black and dark sunglasses with her studded handbag, which would not have been an unusual email at all except for the fact that Amy Adams was photographed at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s wake, which made it one of the tackiest fashion promotions in recent memory.
Amy Adams’ representatives sounded pretty ticked about it.
“The suggestion she would use this moment to participate in a promotion is truly appalling,” a representative said.
Valentino quickly tried to take it back, saying the completely inappropriate press release was an innocent mistake. They claimed not to have known that the pictures were from a funeral, but The Cut points out that the picture came with a caption that said exactly where Amy Adams was at the time it was taken. Valentino isn’t even the only fashion brand who figured Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral would be a valuable celebrity event, as though it were this year’s Oscars of awful, sad events. Business Insider says Ugg Australia even sent boots and swag bags to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s famous friends, urging them to wear the fuzzy boots in the cold New York weather.
Look, fashion companies, getting your name out there is a good thing but it turns out there really is such a thing as bad press. A funeral is not a red carpet.
Update: We were contacted by an UGG representative who says these accusations false:
When it snows in New York, we get a lot of requests for boots from stylists for their clients. When it’s Fashion Week in New York, we get a lot of requests. When it snows during Fashion Week in New York, we got a lot more requests. To the extent that we can, we provide product for stylists’ clients. We don’t ask stylists for what purpose their clients need the product, and would not know if anyone who attended a funeral did so in our product. It’s not our business to know. And we certainly wouldn’t then promote a sighting of a celebrity in our product when he or she is attending a funeral. It’s just not done. At least not by UGG.