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If you are old enough to remember the buzz around CK One perfume, will also remember how Calvin Klein ruled the 90s. From CK Jeans campaigns with Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg, going through the shows that helped define the minimalist aesthetic of the era, and the memorable Obsession and Eternity fragrances ads, the brand was desired by teenagers, fashion editors, celebrities and it girls (Carolyn Bessette, the top icon of the period, used to work there before marrying John Kennedy Jr.)
Fast forward to 2016 and when was the last time Calvin Klein was on your radar? Ok, Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber are the faces of Underwear and Jeans lines, and Francisco Costa’s work was highly appraised by the media during his 13 years at Calvin Klein Collection. However, the news about Costa and Italo Zuchelli (the menswear designer) outings is probably the only thing that comes to your mind, right?
Maybe because of the excess of lines, products and price points that range from almost fast fashion to high end luxury, a formula that doesn’t work anymore, maybe for trying to recreate iconic moments from the past instead of looking up for the present. Examples: Lottie Moss, Kate’s half-sister starring the CK Jeans campaign and CK2 being promoted as the fragrance of millennials don’t mean anything to them… The crude reality is that since its founder leaving, Calvin Klein is no longer an innovative, trend-setting brand, it’s only a follower. Consequently, the image was weakened in the process.
Raf Simons possible hiring as creative director of all lines can be a very welcoming light at the end of the tunnel. His minimalist style, close relations with the art world and a less fickle vision of fashion could bring back harmony and relevancy, besides a renewal in the brand identity and appeal.
By looking at the images above, from past and recent campaigns, it’s clear that Calvin Klein needs more than Kendall and Justin to stand out in the crowd….