The Kansas City Chiefs were not the Super Bowl’s only big winners.
At an event on par with Hollywood red carpets when it comes to brand exposure, fashion labels now compete for eyeballs during tunnel walks, celebrity crowd shots and the ever-popular halftime show. But it wasn’t Travis Kelce’s sparkling Amiri suit, Taylor Swift’s peek-a-boo Area jeans or even the low-budget Yeezy commercial that Kanye West filmed in the back of a car that triumphed in the style stakes. It was Dolce & Gabbana.
The Italian fashion house was everywhere — on and off the stage at Nevada’s Allegiant Stadium — reminding the game’s 100-million-plus viewers that it has secured its status as the flashy label of choice among the musicians and athletes of today’s luxury elite.
D&G has only just started dipping its toes into the Super Bowl’s waters. Before 2022 (when the label launched a capsule collection “dedicated to football fans and inspired by the biggest game of the year”), its best-known Super Bowl moment was probably co-founder Stefano Gabbana apologizing for reportedly body-shaming Lady Gaga online for baring her stomach during the 2017 halftime show.
Beyoncé pictured wearing a Dolce & Gabbana mini dress at Wynn Las Vegas before ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
This year was a different story, however. At a pre-game event on Sunday, Beyoncé appeared at the nearby Wynn Las Vegas hotel in a plunging custom D&G mini dress embellished with Swarovski crystals, thigh-high leather boots and a voluminous blonde hairdo.
If the label’s strategy was to be associated with the evening’s most searched-for names, it paid off: Just hours later, Bey was trending on social media after teasing new music in a Verizon ad.
But the halftime show took D&G ubiquity to a whole other level — and this was thanks, in large part, to Usher.
The R&B superstar began proceedings, seated, in long wool D&G coat with fur collar — a faux fur one, the brand pointed out in a press release — embroidered with Swarovski crystals, pearls and nature-inspired detailing. Within seconds he had discarded the white coat to reveal an intriguingly asymmetrical bomber jacket and matching pants.
He completed the look with a pair of leather gloves encrusted with yet more Swarovski crystals and pearls, though he had soon removed one of them (in what many online commentators speculated was a tribute to the famously one-gloved Michael Jackson).
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Usher performs in a crystal-encrusted D&G vest.
Attention then turned to Alicia Keys for a surprise performance of “If I Ain’t Got You.” She, too, was dressed by D&G. Comprising an organza cape and catsuit covered in — you guessed it — Swarovski crystals, her stunning red ensemble was one of the evening’s best looks.
But then it was back to Usher, who appeared at Keys’ piano in a crystal-embroidered custom D&G vest. Predictably, that came off too, revealing a tank top by the brand and then, finally, no shirt at all.
During a soaring guitar solo from H.E.R., Usher conducted a rapid costume change and returned for a roller-skated rendition of “OMG” wearing futuristic black-and-blue biker get-up. That was courtesy of the late Virgil Abloh’s label Off-White, not D&G, but the Italian fashion house’s PR offensive was complete — and not only because it got to showcase its wares on one of entertainment’s biggest stages, but because it had the R&B star singing its praises.
“Jermaine Dupri was actually the first person who introduced me to Dolce & Gabbana,” Usher told Vogue magazine in a behind-the-scenes video of his final wardrobe fitting. “I really do think fabric and the embellishment of garments is something that they really do unique, and I wanted to have a little bit of that.”