A$AP Rocky Staged Paparazzi Shots for Bottega Veneta’s Latest Campaign

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jackson Lee/Getty Images

Last month, A$AP Rocky went for a conspicuous jog in Beverly Hills—not an unheard-of activity for a man of his physical caliber, but an unusual sighting nonetheless. On the run, he wore a gray sweatsuit and sharp-toothed sneakers while he jested with the paparazzi. “You wanna go on a jog with me?” he shouted at one photographer, who proceeded to run after Rocky. After the paparazzo lost her shoes in the pursuit, she trailed behind the rapper barefoot.

As it turns out, A$AP Rocky was wearing head-to-toe Bottega Veneta on his run, and the photos captured that day became a Bottega Veneta ad campaign released this week that features paparazzi images of Rocky and Kendall Jenner wearing the brand while out and about in Los Angeles. In the shots, which are overlaid with the brand’s elegant logo, Rocky and Jenner are doing prototypical metropolitan-bicoastal activities: jogging, pumping gas, dog-walking, going to dinner at Carbone or Sushi Park.

<cite class="credit">Courtesy of Bottega Veneta</cite>
Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

The images, per a press email from the brand, are licensed by Bottega Veneta from image suppliers Getty and Backgrid, which are two popular databases for paparazzi footage. There’s an uncanny chicken-or-the-egg quality to the campaign: the photos appear as organic street-style shots, but they were constructed by and crafted for the brand to showcase the clothes. At any rate, it’s a case of constructed reality, or a simulacrum of candid celebrity style.

Rocky, it seems, is cognizant of this: “Throughout history, there has always been a funny relationship between photographers and celebrities,” the rapper explained on Instagram. “Even down to the rights and the usage of photos, and the tabloid hustle, there’s always seemed to be a disconnection between famous people and the photographers who follow [and] film them. While certain celebrities call paparazzi on themselves, other celebrities might get confrontational with photographers. While a very small few, such as myself, don’t mind, as long as they post the good angles, of course.”

<cite class="credit">Courtesy of Bottega Veneta</cite>
Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

(“This is it,” Justin Bieber commented on Rocky’s post—a nod from one great dresser with an outsized paparazzi following to another.)

On a personal level, Rocky has also commissioned pseudo-casual paparazzi photos in the past: He and Rihanna tapped the well-liked paparazzo known as Diggzy to photograph their first pregnancy announcement in early 2022, and again for a series of family portraits the Fenty-Mayers brood posed for this fall. (For the latter, Rocky, of course, wore a full Bottega outfit.)

Bottega isn’t the first brand to deploy tabloid-style photos in an advertising campaign—nor is it the first brand to do so this year. In September, Jenner and her boyfriend, Bad Bunny, posed for a Gucci campaign styled to look like paparazzi had candidly followed the couple around an airport. Jenner’s older half-sister, Kim Kardashian, starred in a similar campaign for her then-husband Ye’s Yeezy brand back in 2018. In the cases of luxury fashion, advertising, and celebrity, the medium is the message. If we’re wondering why everyone is dressing like they have a stylist these days, maybe it’s because a brand hired one for them.

Originally Appeared on GQ

More Great Style Stories From GQ