The rise and rise of Calvin Klein underwear

April 10, 2017

Calvin Klein logod underwear has been a consistent hit for the past 25 years with no signs of abating sales of womenswear are also on the up. Why do we love the branded waistband so much?

Stealth wealth is a noble notion, but as Calvin Klein the American decorator who turned underwear into a status emblem, and by proxy, its wearers into sex symbols once said: The only style to advertise is by not focusing on the product. And lo, the logoed underwear was born.

Tom Hintnaus from the Calvin Klein Advertising Archive. Photograph: Bruce Weber/ Calvin Klein

Klein didnt devise it it, but he surely owned it, and never has the season-by-season rhythm of manner been so tested than it has been by Calvin Kleins perennially popular underwear which, according to Selfridges, has been a consistent bestseller for the last 25 years that indicates no signs of abating.

Jo Hunt, head of buying for womenswear at Asos, says it has considered a rise in the branded slogan or logo, or slogo over the past 18 months, and quotes Calvin Klein( among other authentic American brands) as key to this switching. And in high fashion, an entire photoshoot in the present issue of Vogue starsMica Arganaraz in a pair of Calvin Klein pants.

Mark Wahlberg. Photograph: Herb Ritts/ Calvin Klein

Thongs, boxers, briefs, running commando; theyve all come and gone like whispers, but Calvin Klein pants, briefs and boxers, and now bras and swimwear in womenswear, remain the resolute king of underwear.

The success is arguably down the jacquard waistband, and a mix of great product and smart marketing. The original Calvin Klein campaign image a 1982 Bruce Weber shot of Olympian Toms Hintnaus lying on a hot roof might have been less about logo and more about flesh, but it sanctioned the idea that underwear was more than underwear. It was designed to be seen, conferred status and wealth, and was totemic of its wearers tribe( from metrosexual, to lad to hip-hop to mass-market.

Robert Johnston, manner director at GQ, says the waistband logic is sound, and is fundamental to the brands success: If you spend money, you want people to know it. Wearing it, as people do, above the waistband, is a stamp of approval a sign that you feel confident.

Calvin Klein intense power thong, 21.00 at Asos. Photograph: Calvin Klein

The advertising campaign has always been minimal, black and white, starring big names and has been relentless in its pursuit of aspiration. But this doesnt explain the longevity. Other brands with the same prowess make overtly-branded underwear Tommy Hilfiger, Armani while other, newer brands have mimicked the monochromatic branding( most recently Ivy Park ). The most recent campaign up-skirt shoots, overt innuendo went viral. So too did a campaign that focused on personalities and their relationship with #MyCalvins.

Sam Diss, a style novelist who wore it in the 1990 s, may have the answers: It gave you a taste of being Mark Wahlberg without the talent or the hours in the gym, he says. Diss still wears it now, through a sense of nostalgia, and says the appear is suffering as it transcends manner: In a decade with no real original esthetic, it remains a much-needed piece of easy iconography to latch on to.

Read more:

About the Author

Leave a Comment: