In the run up to their show at New York Fashion Week, Raf Simons’ first as chief creative officer, Calvin Klein have just unveiled a new campaign. This follows Simons’ first collection for the brand, ‘Calvin Klein by Appointment,’ that was revealed last month. Shot by regular collaborator Willy Vandeperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo, new campaign ‘American Classics’ shows models in front of works by great twentieth-century artists such as Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, Richard Prince, and Sterling Ruby, with the images having been shot on location at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The models, who are all mostly unknown, pose playfully in front of the artwork, wearing the brand’s classic jeans, white vests, and underwear. Creative director Pieter Mulier commented, “Looks were specifically chosen from the Calvin Klein archive for the campaign; it’s both a recognition of the design firsts and the photographic history of the brand that made these garments famous.”
The lives, work, and influence of the artists is detailed on the Calvin Klein website, where examples of their work are showcased alongside the campaign images. The decision to contrast the models with great artworks is also explained, with Simons stating, “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.” Warhol’s iconic ‘Screen Tests’ have even been recreated, seeing the models answering questions in black and white short videos edited to appear like the 16mm film originals. Warhol created almost five hundred ‘Screen Tests’ of both famous and unknown visitors to his studio between 1964 and 1966, including Salvador Dali, Dennis Hopper, and Edie Sedgwick.