In a time of political turmoil in the big USA – wherein the country’s leader acts more as a hypersensitive, 5-year old compulsive liar than an actual president – it’s hard to say many things about “American Identity” that more than a couple of people may want to stand behind. Even the biggest nation states need collective narratives – be it through food, cinema, or fashion choices. Ironically, the person who seems most interested in re-defining American identity at the moment is a Belgian – to be exact, Raf Simons, whose tenancy at the Calvin Klein empire only continues to unfold in brilliance. While his RTW line (subtitled 205W39 NYC in homage to the corporate headquarters) has mined America’s sartorial tropes for a couple of seasons, incorporating everything from quilts to plastic-wrapped sofas into his design universe, the accessory subsidiary Calvin Klein Jeans is now due for an update from the North West European mastermind. The result is a campaign inspired by the American flag, and featuring 36 people from across the world clad entirely in CK’s amazing new denim collection. From trucker jackets to western shirts, color blocking and patchwork, it’s a veritable journey through the history of this archetypal American material – while, at the same time, redefining its relevance in a millenial fashion logic. Perhaps Trump should have a browse through this gender-bending, multi-racial, and indeed patriotic collection instead of playing so much damn gulf.
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