Christian Siriano: Redesigning Iconic Yellow 'Clueless' Suit for Alicia Silverstone was a 'Full-Circle Moment'

The eponymous fashion designer talks with PEOPLE on his collaboration with Rakuten and his close friendship with Alicia Silverstone – plus, how you can win his hot-off-the-runway Clueless-inspired looks

Christian Siriano Rakuten Clueless Ad
Photo: Rakuten; Getty

Nearly 30 years after debuting on the big screen, Cher Horowitz and her trendsetting looks are back in action!

As a part of its latest campaign, Rakuten aired its Clueless Super Bowl ad, which sees Alicia Silverstone reprising her role as the '90s It Girl in the yellow plaid suit thats imprinted on all of our consciousnesses.

The online shopping platform enlisted Christian Siriano, a longtime friend of Silverstone's, to do the honors of reimagining the iconic outfit. Ahe award-winning designer tells PEOPLE all about the creative process and throwing it back like it's 1995.

"Obviously Cher was all of our fashion icons," Siriano, 37, says of the impact the film's costumes, designed by Mona May, had on him as a young kid growing up in Maryland.

"All of the clothes, and definitely her iconic plaid look, were something that I grew up with," he adds.

This meant that the Project Runway star wanted get his version of Cher's uniform just right. He created three different interpretations of the preppy set – including a dress version and more cropped silhouette – that interpreted Cher's look through the lens of an outfit "girls right now would want to wear."

"But In the end we were like, 'Let's keep it a little more classic,' " he says, and they landed on the blazer-and-skirt ensemble that made it into the ad.

Alicia Silverstone super bowl ad
Alicia Silverstone for Rakuten. Rakuten

Siriano also paid "homage to plaid" with three Clueless-inspired ensembles in his Fall/Winter 2023 collection shown at New York Fashion Week Feb. 9. They each tell a different story for the modern-day Cher, from the "traditional schoolgirl outfit" she might've worn to class today to the tuxedo trench coat that could've been her pick for a gala.

Through a giveaway hosted by Rakuten running until Feb. 20, its members can enter a chance to win all four of the Christian Siriano outfits.

Fans can also shop Siriano's "Not-So Clueless Edit", inspired by the street style dressing of the '90s and the movie, while earning Cash Back benefits as they shop.

"We want people to be able to be inspired by what we did, but also be able to shop and not have to spend a lot of money if they don't want to," Siriano explains.

Christian Siriano Backstage secondary images: SHOW IMAGE CREDIT: Jane Kim (Backstage)

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It wasn't just his emotional connection to the Clueless wardrobe that made the ad a "full-circle moment" for the CFDA member; he also got to make a cameo in the classroom debate scene as she and Amber Mariens (played again by Elisa Donovan) take on the issues of the day.

"It's funny because we joke all the time that I'm her real-life Christian Stovitz (played by Justin Walker), who was also a gay boy in Clueless. So it all worked out," he tells PEOPLE, laughing.

Christian Siriano Rakuten Clueless Ad

Siriano and Silverstone first connected when he spontaneously invited the actress, 46, to one of his runway shows. "I'm a very vegan-friendly designer on the runway and she's quite an activist [for it]," he recalls of that first invite.

Ever since, the two have had a close bond which they share IRL and online, with memorable TikTok moments together: "I literally put her in gowns on top of cliffs in Greece," he recalls of one of their getaways.

Although he's dressed Silverstone for "all kinds of great moments," Siriano does have one thing in mind he'd like to borrow back from her.

"Well, I definitely put on the plaid cropped jacket before Alicia and I will say, with a skinny black jean and a Saint Laurent boot, it looked very cool and I kind of want to wear it," he says. "So maybe one day."

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