raf simons’s new calvin klein campaign stars underwear, jeans, and andy warhol
Works by Warhol, Richard Prince, and his longtime collaborator Sterling Ruby star alongside equally iconic denim and relatively anonymous models.
Raf Simons knows art as well as he knows clothes, and both share the spotlight in his first campaign for Calvin Klein. The Belgian designer is a repeat Sterling Ruby collaborator, a Surrealism fan, and showed a wearable exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe photos just last summer. Now he has unveiled a new set of ads for Calvin's archival "American Classics." The photos were shot by Willy Vanderperre in front of some equally iconic works of American art. Ruby, Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol, and Richard Prince all get a shout-out alongside the jeans and singlets. The models, in contrast, aren't quite so recognisable.
"It's a celebration of Calvin Klein's iconic underwear and jeans, acknowledging their status as Pop and showing them in the world of art," Simons explained to WWD. Pieter Mulier, the brand's creative director, added, "Looks were specifically chosen from the Calvin Klein archive for the campaign; it's both a recognition of design firsts and the photographic history of the brand that made these garments famous."
The campaign comes just three days before Simons shows his first collection for Calvin Klein at New York Fashion Week on Friday. Seems like he's pretty stoked to finally be starting his CK revolution. Simons has already made the brand's ready-to-wear collections co-ed, reinvigorated the brand's made-to-measure service with Millie Bobby Brown, and introduced a new Calvin Klein logo — a collaboration, naturally, with Factory Records art legend (and his autumn/winter 03 collection collaborator) Peter Saville.
Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Willy Vanderperre