Calvin Klein Men’s Underwear’s Spring 2017 Ad Campaign, Featuring Moonlight Stars


BY SAWYER GAINES 

Calvin Klein makes a bold, head-turning move by casting the male stars of Moonlight in their Spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign. Released with perfect timing, the morning after the film’s stunning Best Picture victory at the Oscars, it’s even more important to know that this ad was planned months in advance, long before the film was on everybody’s radar. Make no mistake, this was a daring move by Calvin Klein showcasing a group of incredibly talented up and coming actors and it payed off big time.

The ad shows the world the stunning beauty of black men in a victory for diversity and representation in the fashion industry. Under creative direction from Raf Simons the sleek black and white photography by Willy Vanderperre highlights each actor’s individual features and lets them bask in a Moonlight-esque glow.

The campaign does a masterful job of feeling like an extension of the film as both explore black masculinity in a unique and vulnerable but strong and powerful way. The actors themselves agree with this connection; the 21-year old Ashton Sanders (who plays the teenage Chiron in the film) described the campaign as “a really cool opportunity to represent black men.” He further states “it’s ironically one and the same – they kind of coincide with each other… which is actually pretty rare.”

Its not often that we get to see this sort of representation, bold design and vision in a single ad for intimates that becomes conversational as well as timely. We hope that this ad inspires more intuitive risk in the industry and that it can set a tone of showcasing diversity and burgeoning talent in communities of color in the connected worlds of art and fashion.

Creative Direction | In-House
Creative Director | Raf Simons
Photographer | Willy Vanderperre

Models | Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, & Trevante Rhodes
Stylist | Olivier Rizzo