Fashion brand Bottega Veneta licensed paparazzi photos of A$AP Rocky for a new ad campaign — including an image of a viral moment in which the rapper made a TMZ photographer jog with him to get the shot.
For its Pre-Spring 2024 campaign, the Italian fashion house reportedly licensed images of A$AP Rocky wearing the clothing brand taken by photo agencies Getty and Backgrid over the last few weeks.
In a statement on Instagram, A$AP Rocky said the campaign was intended to showcase the artistic skills of “the talented tabloid-style photographers” who regularly shoot the rapper.
In the ad images, Bottega Veneta transforms spontaneous and candid shots of A$AP Rocky taken by the paparazzi into a formal fashion campaign. The paparazzi-captured photos show the rapper casually sipping a beverage or crossing the street in Bottega Veneta clothing.
The central image of the brand’s campaign is a viral photograph of A$AP Rocky jogging in an all-leather sweatsuit. The incident gained attention earlier this year when committed TMZ photographer Melanie Miller ran with the rapper to make sure she got the shot, after which she reportedly became sick off-camera.
‘The Funny Relationship Between Photographers and Celebrities’
In a lengthy statement on social media, A$AP Rocky discussed the complex dynamics between celebrities and paparazzi, the subject of image rights, and the differing attitudes of stars towards photographers.
The rapper said that while some celebrities seek out paparazzi attention, others confront and fight against it. However, A$AP Rocky declared that he takes a different approach and embraces these photographers as long as they shoot him well.
“Throughout history, there has always been a funny relationship between photographers and celebrities. Even down to the rights and the usage of photos, and the tabloid hustle, there’s always seemed to be a disconnection between famous people and the photographers who follow & film them,” A$AP Rocky writes on Instagram.
“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.”
In the statement, A$AP Rocky commended the artistic flair of paparazzi and the candid aesthetic of their photography.
The rapper concluded by saying that the collection of images for the fashion brand was intended to serve “less as a campaign and more as a creative trifecta brought to you by Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy, myself ASAP Rocky, and the talented tabloid-style photographers involved.”
Image credits: All photos via Bottega Veneta.