Calvin Klein mixes three campaigns in one with Raf Simons debut, plans global exposure

Calvin Klein has unveiled its global multi-media advertising work for autumn/winter 2017/18 and it’s a campaign that’s bound to be more closely watched than most others this year given the still-new impact of Raf Simons on the mega-brand.

So what has he given us? A shoot by photographer Willy Vanderperre and a cast of 22 models shot against a series of billboards that, interestingly, feature images from last season’s Calvin Klein: American Classics campaign. The billboards of the previous campaign, which include works by artist Andy Warhol, were erected in the California desert in the days leading up to the shoot and give the company a two-for-one hit that’s very unusual and, arguably, even a three-for-one hit (more of that later).

Calvin Klein campaign

Calvin Klein latest campaign

The company said the campaign “is a study in art and artifice, of the real and the imagined, the mannered world of high fashion combined with a sense of the everyday. Ultimately, [it] explores the cinematic and romantic outsider’s view of America, something of a dream world that has become concrete” for chief creative officer Raf Simons and creative director Pieter Mulier.

It also said that with over 850m impressions planned across 22 global markets with an integrated media mix, this campaign will deliver on the continued evolution of the brand under Simons.

The brand will be featured extensively in fashion and lifestyle publications around the world during September’s fashion-focused issues. And the “re-appropriation of the American Classics campaign will come to life” in large format and high impact outdoor in key locations such as New York, Paris, Brussels, China, Korea and Hong Kong.

Of course, at the heart of the work is the actual collection and it’s clear the company is pulling out all the stops to promote the new season’s mix of marching band uniforms, plastic coated protection, “power broker tailoring”, antique handcrafted quilting, workwear, and western wear.

Importantly though, it’s also putting major backing behind pieces that will have more than a single season airing. Simons’ first collection also includes the introduction of the Calvin Klein Jeans Established1978 designer denim line that will be housed under the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC  business. This campaign is designed to help establish that new label as a more enduring sub-brand within the Calvin Klein universe.

And while the A/W 17 ad campaign also features images from the previous season’s shoot it could be said that the overall imagery actually features three campaigns in one as pieces throughout the denim line are emblazoned with an exclusive patch that features a silhouette inspired by the famous Richard Avedon advertising image taken of actress Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein Jeans in 1981.

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