Raf Simons has been at Calvin Klein for just over a year, and the Belgian creative director continues to have Americana—with a twist of Pop Art via Andy Warhol—as his main influence. Read: there’s still a barn.
Simons’s Pre-Fall 2018 collection, shot by longtime collaborator Willy Vanderperre, features models hanging out in a barn (a recurring theme), the same barn that the Kardashians and Solange hung out in for the AW18 campaign. The Pre-Fall collection also continues to use the works of Andy Warhol, in a collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation that runs through 2020. This time, the artist’s iconic florals are used on leather accessories.
Simons juxtaposes streetwear with vintage Americana—think quilt motifs on logo sweaters and slips paired with Pendleton barn jackets. There is also a dose of sex appeal found in secretary-style heels. The designer gives Calvin Klein a feeling that’s rarely captured in fashion—pared-down minimalism with genuine (and not trite) Americana.
In an interview last year with Vanity Fair, Simons said that his goal with Calvin Klein was to incite the kind of brand loyalty the designer saw early on in his career.
“When I started to go to some shows in Paris, I would see Comme des Garçons women, Martin Margiela women, Gaultier women,” Simons said. “Now women might have a bag from one brand, shoes from another, and a skirt from a third. But all these brands stand for completely different things . . . I’m very dedicated to Coca-Cola Zero, you know what I mean? I don’t want something else. I think when somebody connects to a fashion brand, it’s not only for the clothes. It’s two different things, clothes and fashion.”
With an all-encompassing spirit of pieces both playful and chic, sexy and athletic, practical and luxurious, Simons’s Pre-Fall collection continues to be all-American.