#mycalvins is everywhere just now. It all started way back when Brooke Shields had the ever-so-risqué campaign with the slogan “nothing comes between me and my Calvins”, meaning her CK jeans. Last season the campaign was revived in the form of the aforementioned hashtag. Cashing in on teenagers who keep buying 90s CK from vintage stores and Urban Outfitters, plus the thousands of girls who now pose on Instagram with their underwear peeking out from their waistband with one man’s name on it, Calvin Klein, the brand, have enlisted celebrities and models to front the latest round of adverts. Once again, Calvin Klein is the it brand.
Last season’s casting drew criticism from Calvin Klein himself, saying that he didn’t like Kendall Jenner (who at the time fronted a campaign – I took a photo of the billboard when I seen it in New York because I actually like the image) but he did like Justin Bieber. Odd. There was also some minor controversy over Fetty Wap’s advert (featuring the slogan “I make money in #mycalvins) or more so, the placement of the advert next to one of a woman who “seduced” in her own ad. People cried gender roles etc. However, I think that was misplaced anger. There are so many other things to be mad about and you’re also probably doing exactly what the marketing department wanted you to do. Adverts are designed to draw attention to the product, and as they say, all publicity is good publicity (at least people are paying attention to it).
At first I thought this whole campaign and the idea behind it was slightly gimmicky, then I was drawn in. Like the iconic images of baby Kate Moss in the 90s, some of these images, I think, will be remembered in the same way. I think this season is even stronger than last. For example, Bella Hadid’s recently released shots with messages like “I mirror you in #mycalvins” are not only stunning images, but are so striking that on a billboard I think they’d make you stop and stare. They’re sexy but not in a trashy way. Very realistic for a young person nowadays, sort of in the same way that Kate’s images were 20 years ago. This is something that you can be a part of, as long as you buy the underwear/jeans/swimwear/whatever the fuck they’re selling us. It’s an intangible cool.
Tyrone Lebon is a really fantastic photographer. He shot my favourite British Vogue editorial (in literally years) on location in Jamaica, linked in an upcoming post, and now he has shot this set of images. I think he has an interesting way of shooting people and it is rather distinct. I don’t know how to put into words what his photographs make me feel but I do know that I want to be a part of them. He makes everyone beautiful and soft and filtered, if that’s a way to describe things.
Apart from Bella Hadid’s images, I really like Anna Ewers’ set, Frank Ocean’s, Zoe Kravitz’s and Grace Coddington’s.
I wonder if these style of adverts will continue after a new creative director is appointed. Only time will tell.