Fashion Labels Are Trying to Profit Off Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death

In what is guaranteed to be the most disgusting thing you’ll read all day, designers are trying to use Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death as an opportunity to drum up some free press by sending out emails to journalists with photos of celebrities wearing their clothes to Hoffman’s memorial service.

The firestorm began this morning when USA Today writer Donna Freydkin tweeted about a PR email she got:

That email turned out to be from Valentino. It read, “We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Duble bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on February 6th in New York.” The email included shots of Adams carrying the bag around the city, like the one above this article.

According to Page Six, Ugg Australia also gifted its products to celebrity friends of Hoffman’s in the hopes that they would be photographed in their free boots this week:

Ugg Australia gifted friends of Hoffman who they assumed would visit New York City for the funeral. They included a message encouraging them to wear their winter boots in the cold city weather, according to Ugg Australia associates.

“They did gifting in the hopes that that would happen,” an Ugg associate told the Post.

“Since they knew a ton of celebs were in New York City and the weather sucks.”

It’s not unusual for fashion labels to send out emails when big stars wear their clothes. Following awards shows specifically, we’re inundated with emails from designers telling us who was wearing what. But to take advantage of something like a funeral for some free press is a completely new kind of disgusting.

UPDATE: A full 24 hours after the initial press blast was sent out, Valentino has issued an apology. “We sincerely regret releasing a photo to the media … of Amy Adams with a Valentino Bag. We were not aware the photograph was taken while she was attending the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was an innocent mistake and we apologize to Ms. Adams who was not aware, or a part of, our PR efforts,” said the statement, which was signed by Mona Swanson, vice president of communications for Valentino USA.