Calvin Klein celebrates women
Throughout his career, American fashion designer Calvin Klein had the uncanny ability to sense changing cultural movements. From the audacious sexuality of Obsession to the romantic values of Eternity, he sensed when the next big cultural shift would take place. Ckone’s androgynous ad campaign that celebrated individuality still stands out as one of the most successful fragrances launches ever. I remember on the launch night watching customers line up at midnight in New York City to buy the unisex scent. That fragrance defined a generation.
I had the opportunity to meet him once in my career. It was a breakfast press launch for a men’s fragrance hosted in the basement of his flagship store on Madison Avenue. Two dozen journalists flew in from around the world to see the Calvin Klein team present the inspiration behind the scent. Fifteen minutes into the event there was a commotion at the front entrance and the designer arrived totally unexpected. He travelled with four body guards and quite honestly looked apprehensive. This was just after the death of Gianni Versace and Klein was understandably shaken.
Klein was very gracious and charming. He only stayed for a few moments but greeted the guests and thanked them for attending. I noticed that he was constantly looking at the displays and products. He called someone over when he noticed a bag wasn’t lined up exactly even with a table. Giorgio Armani is the same. They notice everything.
Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons
This month, Raf Simons unveils his first fragrance for Calvin Klein and is betting that the women’s movement will continue to gain momentum in 2018. “Calvin Klein Women draws inspiration from the multifaceted identity of femininity today – from the empowered reality of modern women and their myriad interpretations – to invent a new scent – the first by Raf Simons, Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein,” reads the official press release.
Developed with an all-female cast, the ad campaign champions iconic women of past generations and celebrates heroines of contemporary culture. “In approaching the campaign for Calvin Klein Women, I was curious to see if it was possible to create a different kind of image: an image that was both confident and empathetic, where the female subjects could articulate and project their identities,” says photographer Anne Collier. Actresses Lupita Nyong’O and Saoirse Ronan star in the ads. Each chose two women who have inspired them. Lupita selected Eartha Kitt and Katherine Hepburn. Ronan picked Sissy Spacek and Nina Simone.
“Earth Kitt and Katherine Hepburn are examples of people who didn’t accept the status quo; they made room for themselves. I am drawn to their integrity, and their ability to speak up and speak out for what they believe in, to change the course of history. I admire their fierce artistic points of view and that they did not betray themselves. I aspire to be similarly authentic and full of integrity,” say Nyong’O.
The fragrance itself is a modern, minimal woody-floral scent for her. It contains notes of eucalyptus, orange flower and Alaskan cedarwood. The creators are Honorine Blanc and Annick Menardo. The artwork on the bottle was created by Anne Collier and is a nod to the Pop Art screens made famous by Andy Warhol.
Calvin Klein Women is available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay and thebay.com