Shoutout for having a psychic on deck, it's the only way. In an uncannily prescient next day move, Calvin Klein just released their latest underwear campaign featuring the male stars of Moonlight, Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Trevante Rhodes, and Ashton Sanders. Obviously, they couldn't have known the huge Best Picture La La Land Oscar mix-up was coming, and as Racked points out, the brand dressed the stars on the carpet, so something was in the works regardless. Still! The spotlight's on, and following Moonlight's swoop-in win, there's no denying this is the cast's time to shine. Released today, the Moonlight Calvin Klein underwear ads are so good — and a huge change of pace for the yesteryear Marky-Mark brand.
In a sharp twist from their former campaigns of Bieber and Sexy Co., the new ads are simple, stripped down, and raw. Sexy in their own way, but less, "Look at this. Look at me. Are you looking? Good." (My personal interpretation). The new campaign, the first from Calvin Klein's new chief creative officer Raf Simons and creative director Pieter Mulier, is more frankly human, with cinematic images capturing the human condition. IMO the images do a great job of capturing the emotion of joy, mostly. And it works.
These images are seriously cool in every possible way.
Beautiful stretched out on a chair, pulling a shirt off with eyes closed, cracking up in front of the camera (not technically in the underwear campaign, but posted prior to the cast's red carpet walk). The ads don't pigeonhole the men as anything other than the complex, layered individuals they are, and that's a huge step for a commercial brand.
Underwear is a second skin, and portraying every state of emotion in them is a move that resonates. Things obviously aren't glossy all the time, and while Calvin Klein famously staked its name on "nothing comes between me and my Calvins," tapping into emotional honesty holds true to that promise.
These deserve a billboard.
The images show the men realistically, as dynamic, full-fledged people. Now, time for women's lingerie ads to do the same.