Just as the Venice Film Festival was establishing itself as one of the most thrilling red carpets on the festival and awards show circuit — in 2022, The New York Times called its fashion parade the “most glamorous” of the year thanks to wow appearances from Timothée Chalamet, Tessa Thompson and Florence Pugh — the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are stamping out a significant portion of the Hollywood star power and its attendant style at the 80th edition of the event.
“The real appeal is brought by the American stars without a doubt,” Piero Piazzi, the president of Women Management modeling agency, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “There can’t be a definitive comparison; it all depends from years to year depending on the films and stars present. [But] Cannes will certainly be considered more prestigious this year as the strike by American actors was not underway in May.”
In the last few days though, a number of stars who are in films at the fest who have obtained interim SAG-AFTRA waivers have been confirmed to attend. Among them are Adam Driver, Caleb Landry Jones, Jessica Chastain and Mads Mikkelsen. But with less American stars than in typical years, “the luxury brands will focus on the European stars,” predicts Piazzi.
As the 2023 Venice Film Festival gets underway today — highlighted by main jury chair Damian Chazelle and jury members Laura Poitras and Martin McDonaugh wearing WGA strike t-shirts — here’s a look at the variety of luxury brands forging ahead with their high-profile presence.
The jewelry brand is back as one of Venice’s primary sponsors, alongside Armani Beauty, Campari and Mastercard. The Glory to the Filmmaker Award — which Cartier presented to Ridley Scott in 2021 and to Walter Hill in 2022 — will be awarded to Wes Anderson on Sept. 1 at the Palazzo del Cinema.
Other activations planned by Cartier — which began sponsoring the festival two years ago — include a series of conversations and master classes with Oscar-winning creatives. Topics range from the craft of the film score (featuring Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz on Sept. 1) to set design (with set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo and production designer Dante Ferretti, frequent collaborators of Martin Scorsese, on Sept. 5).
On Sept. 2, the designer returns to Venice — where he made a big splash in 1990 as the star of the Martin Scorsese documentary Made in Milan — to host “One Night Only,” an event that has taken place in Dubai, Paris, Rome and other locations. The party will include a showing of Armani’s latest haute couture collection.
The Armani Group also announced that any residual greenhouse gas emissions from the event will be offset with contributions that support environmental projects dedicated to preserving and restoring the ecological equilibrium of the Venetian Lagoon, as well as a donation to We Are Here Venice, a nonprofit organization devoted to Venice preservation.
The Italian brand will present the latest installment of Miu Miu Women’s Tales, a short-film series featuring the work of contemporary female directors, on Sept. 3. The Miuccia Prada-owned label will screen the series’ 25th installment, Lila Avilés’ Eye Two Times Mouth, and premiere the 26th film, Stane, from Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović.
Set for the same evening as the Miu Miu event, the amfAR Venezia gala will take place at La Misericordia, a restored 14th century building. This fundraiser to benefit amfAR’s Foundation for AIDS Research will honor director Ava DuVernay and will feature performances by Rita Ora and Leona Lewis.
Chopard, which has sponsored amfAR galas during the Cannes Film Festival for several years, is the signature sponsor for the first time at amfAR Venezia.
Putting a spotlight on preservation, the Milan-based jeweler is supporting Venetian Heritage, a foundation that raises funds for restoration and conservation projects. On Sept. 6, Pomellato will host a gala dinner that precedes the unveiling of a state-of-the-art illumination system at the historic Ca’ d’Oro, one of the city’s most iconic palazzos and home to the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti museum. Pomellato also will debut a new necklace, the diamond-set Venetian Dream, which creative director Vincenzo Castaldo says is inspired by the Ca’ d’Oro project.
“The jewel captures the magical play of light and reflections on the lagoon,” explains Castaldo. “The airiness of the design and the unusual setting of the diamonds in the pendant capture the surreal lighting atmosphere of Venice and its almost impossible combination of magnificent architecture floating on water.”
The LVMH-owned eyewear brand — which produces sunglasses and frames for Dior, Loewe, Fendi and other labels — is returning to Venice for its second year of hosting a press and gifting suite at the famed Hotel Excelsior.
In 2022, Thélios styles were worn by Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Luca Guadagnino on the festival red carpet. Thélios CEO Alessandro Zanardo has called the festival “a strong ambassador of Italian culture at a global level.”
Pino Gagliardi, deputy editor of THR Roma, contributed to this report.
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.