Timothée Chalamet Merchandise Is a Real Thing
With his perpetually windswept black hair and brooding green eyes, Timothée Chalamet is the millennial answer to a young Leonardo DiCaprio. The suave actor pulled at our heartstrings in Lady Bird and later swept us away, playing the lovelorn character Elio in Call Me by Your Name. Now, the 22-year-old is spurring something of a merch phenomenon, too. Plug in a search for “Timothée Chalamet” on Etsy and the results throw up everything from coffee cups to snuggly pillows plastered with his face; there’s even needlepoint Call Me by Your Name memorabilia. Artist Andrew Mania recently released a T-shirt, baseball tee, and tote bag based on the shirt bearing Elio’s face that he created for Call Me by Your Name screenwriter James Ivory to wear to the Oscars this year. Actress and director Zoe Lister-Jones has since whipped up her own tongue-in-cheek homage to the actor in the form of a plain white T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Chalamet and Chill.”
“I created the tee because I literally couldn’t have a conversation with a girlfriend without them bringing up Chalamet. It was an epidemic,” she says. “It was Half Nelson–era Gosling times 100, and I felt like the people needed an outlet to show their Timmy love.” Lister-Jones also raises the point that our obsession with Chalamet speaks to a broader cultural shift in the way we think about masculinity. “I think it’s really interesting that so many women crushed so hard on him for his role in Call Me by Your Name, given that he plays a gay man. It is a testament to the fact that the classic characteristics fueled by toxic masculinity are not, in actuality, what women are drawn to,” she says. “And it seems Timmy’s generation is more hip to that, to fluidity and vulnerability.”
So far, the shirt has gained several famous fans including actresses Busy Philipps, Nana Ghana, and Grace Gummer. Best of all, the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. “There’s such an opportunity now to create meaningful merch by linking to an organization whose message needs amplification,” says Lister-Jones. “I was excited to create something that could be fun while supporting women’s rights, so this was a double whammy. Timmy is a gift for women, and Planned Parenthood is a gift for womankind.” It’s the kind of message—and um, face—that’s well worth keeping close to your heart.