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Zoolander Costume Guides

Dress like Your Favorite Zoolander Characters

Browse through all the Zoolander costumes and cosplay guides in one place and learn how to dress up as them convincingly. Zoolander is an action-comedy film that came out in 2001. The story follows the life of Derek Zoolander who ends up becoming a pawn in the corrupt fashion executive Jacobim Mugato’s plan to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia. The characters of the film, in essence, mock the fashion industry and are well-loved for their humorous and outrageous depiction of fashion executives. Now you too can dress up as your favorite character from Zoolander and ridicule the fashion industry on your cosplay nights.

Derek Zoolander

Derek Zoolander Costume

Derek Zoolander is the dim-witted protagonist of the movie, played by Ben Stiller. He is a narcissistic male model who ends up as a pawn in the fashion executives’ ploy to assassinate the Malaysian PM. His outrageous style is really a testament to the ridiculous lines of clothing that the fashion industry comes out with every year. Though he retires from modeling after his three roommates are killed in an accident, he cannot sustain it as a miner and his family rejects him. Derek is forced to return and is conditioned to attempt the assassination over the song “Relax”. Dress up as Derek Zoolander and bring a smile on people’s faces by playing the part of an absent-minded male mode.

Derek Zoolander Costume
Derek Zoolander Costume Guide
Hansel Mcdonald

Hansel McDonald Costume

Hansel McDonald is the runaway star of the fashion industry whose rise threatens the reputation of other models like Derek Zoolander. However, McDonald resolves his issues with Derek after they partake in his collection of narcotics and have group sex. Hansel isn’t in on the assassination, so when he learns about it, he tries to expose it but, in the process, ends up destroying the evidence. After the end of the movie, Hansel is shown to have left the fashion industry. Take a cue out of Hansel’s book to look like the handsome character from the movie Zoolander and charm your friends with dashing clothes.

Hansel McDonald Costume
Hansel McDonald Costume Guide

Zoolander Cosplay Costumes

Whether you want to be the titular figure Derek Zoolander or play the runaway model Hansel – there is a cosplay guide for everyone. Most of the characters flaunt outrageous outfits that are specially designed to be over the top. They may stick out like sore thumbs but that’s the beauty of satire – you just cannot ignore it. Cosplaying characters from Zoolander can bring an interesting twist to the whole idea of cosplay fashion.

However, dressing up as Zoolander characters looks way easier than it actually is. Not only are you required to have all the essential clothing items and accessories, but you also have to know what it takes to dress up as Zoolander characters. Fortunately, we have a cosplay guide that will illustrate exactly that. Follow our guide fully and make sure you have what it takes to successfully pull off your favorite character from Zoolander.

Zoolander Costume Tips & FAQs

Step into the outrageously stylish world of “Zoolander” with our FAQ section, a tribute to the satirical comedy that pokes fun at the fashion industry through the eyes of its ridiculously good-looking yet dim-witted protagonist, Derek Zoolander. Whether you’re aiming to capture Derek’s signature “Blue Steel” look, Hansel’s laid-back cool, or Mugatu’s over-the-top villainy, this guide will help you embody the spirit of the film’s iconic characters for cosplay, Halloween, or any themed event that calls for a touch of absurdity and fashion flair.

To cosplay as Derek Zoolander, focus on his model-worthy attire, such as a shiny, tight-fitting shirt, faux leather pants, and a fur or faux fur coat for added extravagance. Derek’s hairstyle is short and spiked, and practicing his “Blue Steel” look—a pouting, intense gaze—is essential. Accessories like flashy sunglasses and a toy mobile phone will enhance the costume. Embrace Derek’s confident yet naive demeanor for a convincing portrayal.

Hansel’s costume embodies his free-spirited and eclectic style. Opt for a bohemian look with layered clothing, such as loose pants, a vest over a relaxed shirt, and a headband or hat. Hansel is often seen with a long, wavy wig if you don’t have long hair. Adding accessories like beaded necklaces, bracelets, and a skateboard or scooter can capture his laid-back vibe. Hansel’s charm and easy-going personality should guide your portrayal.

Mugatu’s costume is all about extravagance and eccentricity. His signature look includes a black and white outfit with bold patterns, often with exaggerated collars or cuffs. The key to Mugatu’s look is his distinctive white hair styled with a curl at the front. Don’t forget his poodle, either as a plush toy or a handbag to mimic his pet. Mugatu’s flamboyant villainy and outrageous expressions are crucial for an accurate representation.

The “Magnum” look, Derek Zoolander’s ultimate facial expression that supposedly stops a throwing star in mid-air, requires mastering the art of the perfect pout combined with intense, smoldering eyes. To emphasize the “Magnum” moment, consider holding a prop throwing star near your face, paused in action. Wearing Derek’s signature modeling attire will set the scene, and practicing in front of a mirror to perfect the expression will ensure your “Magnum” is as impactful as in the film.

Including memorable quotes from “Zoolander” can add humor and authenticity to your costume or themed interactions. Here are a few iconic lines:

“What is this? A center for ants?” – Derek Zoolander

“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.” – Derek Zoolander

“So hot right now.” – Mugatu, about Hansel

“The files are in the computer?” – Derek Zoolander

“I friggin’ invented the piano key necktie!” – Mugatu

Choose quotes that fit your character and the situation, and be ready to deliver them with the appropriate comedic timing and flair for a truly immersive experience.


About Zoolander

Zoolander is directed, produced, and portrayed by Ben Stiller. After its commercial success, it paved the way for Zoolander 2 which came out in the year 2016 and the animated TV series titled Zoolander Super Model came out the same year. Many of the fashion lines in the movie are parodies of actual fashion lines created by famous designers. These consist of clothes inspired by the destitute found on the streets of New York.

Zoolander was banned in Malaysia and neighboring Singapore as it depicts an attempted assassination of the PM of Malaysia. Despite its raw edginess and purposefully dumb sequences, the film was critically acclaimed and was termed as a deliberately dumb comedy that can provide genuine laughter. There are various character costumes available for you to cosplay. Which Zoolander character will you cosplay to deliberately upset the general fashion culture?

Zoolander Costumes