We live in trying times, people. The pandemic gave us Zoom weddings and Mark Zuckerberg gave us metaverse marriages. Now in newfangled nuptials: sponcon spousals.
While Kanye was clomping around Wall Street for Balenciaga's Spring 2023 runway show, the Kardashian clan was busy frolicking around Portofino for Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's umpteenth wedding, this time sponsored by Dolce & Gabbana.
The Italian label hosted the affair at Villa Olivetta, its seaside estate. All the K's were in attendance — Kim, Khloe, Kylie, Kendall — outfitted in head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana looks (wedding dress included).
Known for its history of homophobic, racist, and all-together tasteless stunts, the brand dodged questions regarding whether a paid partnership was in place. Instead, a representative told WWD that Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce were simply "hosting this happy event." Okay?
Whatever the arrangement, it's worth noting that Khloe, Kylie, and Kourtney tagged the brand in multiple Instagram posts uploaded over the weekend.
The advent of the sponcon wedding signals a frightening future, one in which nothing is too sacred to slap a brand name on. Obviously, the Kardashians exist on a higher level of shamelessness, but a D&G-sponsored wedding begs the question for us normals: what's next? Might we witness a Balenciaga-branded baptism? A Fendi-sponsored funeral?
There's also the question of Dolce & Gabbana's shady reputation. I won't attempt to discern the Kardashians' reasoning for supporting such a brand with such questionable ethics — their minds are a mystery best left unraveled, for all of our sanity.
I will, however, draw your attention to D&G's seemingly fraught relationship with the family. Back in 2018, call-out queen Diet Prada drew attention to a comment Mr. Gabbana left on @kkwcloset, an Instagram tracking the Kardashians' outfits: "The most cheap people in the world," the designer remarked on a photo of the clan.
Was the sponsored wedding one big plot to show the world just how cheap the First Family of reality TV is? I'm definitely reading too much into it, but it's worth about five seconds of consideration!
Potential sabotage aside, the Kardashians taught us all a valuable lesson this weekend. To quote Cady Heron, "The limit does not exist."
The Mean Girls protagonist was talking about functions, yes, but the mathematical teaching now applies to fashion sponcon too. The next time you find yourself planning a bat mitzvah, a sweet sixteen, or a confirmation, just think: how can I turn this into a mutually beneficial brand partnership engineered to generate viral social media content and media coverage?