Photography: Willy Vanderperre
Raf Simons’s inaugural Calvin Klein campaign is a veritable who’s who of art you can’t afford, with massive canvases by the likes of Richard Prince, Andy Warhol and Sterling Ruby, as well as sculptures by Dan Flavin. There’s also a lot of baggy denim and white cotton underpants in the mix.
Titled “American Classics,” the campaign was styled by Olivier Rizzo and shot by Willy Vandeperre at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. It debuted today on the brand’s website and social media accounts, just hours after the release of their new logo. The titular “classics” seems to refer not only to artworks by notorious chroniclers of Americana, but to the trove of archival denim, tanks and little cotton briefs that appear on the bodies of these scantily clad model museumgoers.
“What remains of our popular culture after 50 years, after 30—like Warhol himself, who died 30 years ago this month—has to be good. What endures becomes a classic,” reads a statement on the brand’s website.
It’s certainly not the first time Simons has paid homage to the art world. He collaborated with Ruby while at Dior, has a collection of his own that includes the likes of Mike Kelley and, yes, more Ruby, and once drew design inspiration for a show from the work of Jeff Koons (he apparently wanted a Paris mansion to “look like the fucking puppy in Versailles,” which is a sentiment I think we can all relate to).
The campaign comes across as a statement from Simons that he’s about to simultaneously throw it back to the brand’s iconic roots while also classing up the joint with his requisite dash of high culture. Though we’ll all have to wait until his NYFW show on February 10th to find out what’s really in store.