Calvin Klein premiered its Fall/Winter 2016 ad campaign on Tuesday night [July 5], with a series of Snapchat videos that were then posted up on Instagram. The #mycalvins brand follows up its January line-up of Hip Hop influences Kendrick Lamar, Fetty Wap, and Joey Bada$$ among others, with Atlanta rapper Young Thug and Grammy award winner Frank Ocean. Citing the artists as an "evolved cast of talent," the ad seems to place greater focus on sexual and gender identity, with both Frank and Thug having come to represent the otherness in their generation.
“In my world, of course, it don’t matter. You could be a gangster with a dress, you could be a gangster with baggy pants. I feel like there’s no such thing as gender,” Young Thug says as the camera shutters over his bare body.
While Thugger's slot simply captures him giving thoughts in regards to his history of androgynous fashion [wearing dresses], Frank's minute stretches a more poetic introduction to the CK consumer, with him lolling around a room pensively as a voice over reflects on his creative process. While considering that it's been four years since he put out "Channel Orange," fans are sure to scratch their heads over Ocean's insinuation that he'd feel like something were missing from his day if he stopped making music, Thug's dismissal of gender captures the social implications of where fashion has taken pop music over the past year.
The commercial is in line with Calvin Klein's moves in 2015, during which they released a genderless fragrance. Earlier in the year Jaden Smith made waves when he was featured by Louis Vuitton, with a skirt on. The new campaign also features Punk legend Henry Rollins, who himself alludes to sexually radical experiences he's had in his CK jeans. Frank and Thug join Kate Moss, Zoë Kravitz, David Blaine, and Bella Hadid among CK's young class of models.