ARTICLE ZOE CHODOSH
PHOTOGRAPHY MARIO SORRENTI
TO CELEBRATE THE 20TH BIRTHDAY OF CK ONE, CALVIN KLEIN ENLISTED SOME OF OUR FAVORITE YOUNG CREATIVES
The world of high brow fashion advertising is borrowing inspiration from the cavernous, underground realm of the internet recently, sometimes making the experience of flipping through the pages of a magazine feel a lot like scrolling through a Tumblr dashboard. With photographers using editing techniques like glitching, pages featuring hashtags instead of slogans, and images going viral before they’re even printed in ink, it’s almost surprising that all ad campaigns don’t come in ready-to-instagram squares (yet). The reason for this, besides the world’s inevitable shift to all digital everything, is that today’s most talked about up-and-comers in music and fashion more often find their fame first in the URL before IRL.
With this in mind, it’s fitting that the Mario Sorrenti-lensed campaign for Calvin Klein’s beloved CK One fragrance looks more like a collage of risqué selfies and Snapchat videos than, say, Kate Moss’s iconic photos for Calvin Klein's Obsession, also shot by Sorrenti. More importantly, the campaign stars a cast of young creatives whose recognition can be traced back to millions of Tumblr and Soundcloud users, rather than a renowned talent scout. These emerging artists are the voices for a generation that would much rather type in the comment section, lending their faces and Twitter handles to very current conversations.
Take 21-year-old photographer Petra Collins, whose work focuses on the real lives of adolescent girls, which, like puberty, does not exist without conflict. Collins’ first Instagram account was deleted after she posted a photo that the site felt was too close for comfort, and since then the photographer has been a prominent figure in the fight against censorship with regard to modern feminism. Also in the campaign are former V cover stars Say Lou Lou, the sisters who where discovered by the internet before they even thought of seriously pursuing music. Singer Kelela blends the sounds of classic R&B and futuristic electro, a combination that could only exist in the digital age which she feels is representative of her constant categorization as “other,” growing up in America as the child of Ethiopian immigrants. Visual artist Ally Marzella, better known by her screen name artwerk6666, mainly uses her MacBook’s PhotoBooth app as a medium. Photographer Michael Bailey Gates creates images that double as performance pieces, existing in their truest form as animated gif’s on a webpage. Evian Christ, like Say Lou Lou, did absolutely nothing to promote the first few tracks he produced and sent to friends, but a year later he was called in to help produce tracks on Kanye West’s Yeezus, all through of the power of a viral internet post. The list of artists commissioned to star in the CK One campaign goes on to include more international young figures like Dev Hynes, Samantha Urbani, Taeyang, and Soko, who all owe their budding celebrity status to the vast reach of the Web.
In keeping with its low-fi, digital age theme, the for-print ads are accompanied by a tumblr page containing more iPhone selfies and sexually charged gif’s, along with a Snapchat campaign.
Photos courtesy of Calvin Klein