Few would argue with the fact that Zoolander was one of the funniest films in recent years. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson were an on-screen pairing to be reckoned with, and now a mere 15 years later (we can’t believe it’s been that long), its anticipated sequel Zoolander 2 is upon us. Lest we forget the impact Stiller’s alter-ego had on popular culture, the Blue Steel model has landed his first-ever cover on the February edition of the US fashion bible, Vogue.
Since the world was introduced to the comedic triumph that was Zoolander in 2001, the film has gone on to achieve a cult status among fans, and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour was all too aware of this. Still, an alternate celebrity persona can have as much sway as the artist behind them – look at David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust or Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce.
While some outlets reacted with disbelief at the cover, thinking it was initially a hoax, it is an ingenious idea. Derek Zoolander is current, of the moment (see the photograph of him getting his hair done next to the likes of current ‘it girl’ models Gigi Hadid and Jourdan Dunn for proof) and favours serious designer gear; a perfect fit for the publication. The snaps, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, are stylish and hilarious all at once; the man himself works a very serious pose in a bird-print Dolce & Gabbana suit, dons a saddle and is clad head-to-toe in luxury brand leather. And then there’s his co-star Penélope Cruz, who stuns by his side in a body-conscious, blue Ralph Lauren Collection dress on the cover. Fashion can be a whole lot of fun as you’ll see from some of the shots below.
Zoolander and the magazine have had a blossoming friendship since last spring, when Stiller and Wilson, who plays Derek’s rival Hansel in the movies, stormed the runway at Valentino’s Fall 2015 show, much to the delight of the unsuspecting audience.
According to Vogue, however, Stiller, who both stars and directs the sequel, revealed that the studio never really understood his comedy or its charmingly self-absorbed lead character. “We were on our own — both in the fashion world and with the studio, too,” he said. “They were just like, ‘We don’t quite know what this is.'”
The movie lands in cinemas next month, and while the anticipation is mighty, the actor revealed that it has one key figure missing. “Karl Lagerfeld,” Stiller shared. “We didn’t get Karl Lagerfeld. I would have liked to get Karl. I came close. He’s iconic. It breaks my heart. [But] maybe if we ever do another …”