There was pandemonium in Paris last week, and, unsurprisingly, Timothée Chalamet was involved.
Chalamet was in town for fashion week, drawing throngs of fans to the venue where Haider Ackermann was presenting the haute couture collection he guest-designed for Jean Paul Gaultier. For the occasion, Chalamet donned mismatched separates that referenced—naturally, as one of his notoriously eagle-eyed stans figured out—two different Ackermann outfits he’d worn in the past: a blossom-printed jacket similar to the one he wore to the Beautiful Boy premiere in 2017, and the sparkly black pants from the sharp-shouldered suit he sported on the Venice Film Festival carpet for Dune in 2021. He sat front row during the show, sandwiched between Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Deneuve.
“My big bro’s show was extraordinary,” the actor wrote, afterwards, on Instagram.
Keen observers of fashion and/or Timothée Chalamet will know that Chalamet, an American actor who grew up speaking French, and Ackermann, a Colombian-born designer who grew up in France, are great friends. More than that, they are like frères. And now seems like a good time as any to give their friendship a closer look.
Indeed, Chalamet, 27, is little bro to Ackermann’s big bro. According to a 2019 Vogue interview with the designer, the pair first met by way of the actor’s agent, Brian Swardstrom, who reached out when Timmy was gearing up for his first big carpets for Call Me by Your Name in 2017; Ackermann, who was designing for the Italian house Berluti at the time, hooked him up with a grape-purple suede jacket for the film’s Berlin premiere. About a year later, Chalamet embraced Ackermann backstage at his Berluti menswear show in Paris, and posed for photos with the designer and the legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert. Not long after, he attended his first Academy Awards ceremony (as a Best Actor nominee for Call Me by Your Name, no less) wearing a white Ackermann-designed tux. “He was the young dude between all those massive actors. I wanted him to be pure,” Ackermann told GQ around that time, about the Oscars suit. “We did it, and we built up this story together. It’s a beautiful friendship.”
While establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s biggest and most fashion-savvy stars, Chalamet frequently reached for his big bro’s precise, sensual tailoring. In turn, the actor became—like his French Dispatch costar, and Ackermann’s friend of over 20 years, Tilda Swinton—one of the designer’s muses. Special is the bond between two Francophone, fashion-loving dudes.
In 2019, the designer dressed his “beloved TIMO BRO” for the Venice Film Festival premiere of The King, and then he posed alongside Chalamet (and Chalamet’s teenhood idol, the rapper Kid Cudi) on the red carpet. Venice, historically a great place to have a big fashion moment, has kind of been their thing ever since: there was that glittering black suit for the Dune premiere in 2021, and the hemoglobin-red Bones and All halter top last fall. Even the Chalamet fan accounts follow their friendship closely; one Twitter user sleuthed out that Timmy likes to rewear the same pair of Ackermann spring 2020 pointy black cowboy boots whenever he’s in Venice, and thus dubbed them “the Venice Haider Ackerman boots.” (“He said these are THE Venice boots,” a fellow stan replied. “I love this sentimental bitch.”)
And when Chalamet co-hosted the Met Gala in 2021, he gave a post-swag bise to two of his fashion faves by pairing a white Ackermann tux jacket with white Rick Owens sweatpants. Later that year, Timmy and Haider teamed up to design a hoodie whose proceeds went to a relief organization centered on protecting the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
“It’s a dialogue with Timothée—not many words are needed. We understand one another like old souls—people with the same sensibilities always find one another,” the designer told British GQ in 2021. When they speak about each other in interviews, it’s hard to tell who loves who more: “Sometimes you meet someone, and you just know you can build a story together and have a moment together that may really last,” Ackermann told System magazine recently, with Chalamet calling the designer “one of my closest friends and a creative from a lost era.”
And so, here is a comprehensive timeline of Hollywood’s boldest fashion bromance, in photographic form: