After their controversial but well-deserved win for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, beating out crowd favourite La La Land for the golden statuette, the cast of Moonlight is back in the spotlight. This time it’s fashion related.
Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes are the faces of Calvin Klein’s iconic, black-and-white underwear campaign. And we suspect this won’t be their last foray in fashion, especially after these amazing images shot by Willy Vanderperre under Raf Simon‘s new creative direction. The cast agreed to do the campaign primarily because they thought that it would be a cool opportunity to represent black men and the LGBTQ community, echoing the message of their film.
The cast dons Calvin Klein’s signature briefs and t-shirts for the Spring 2017 campaign. Feast your eyes on all the incredible ad images that encapsulates youth and masculinity:
Of course, we can’t have a Calvin Klein ad without the classic “taking-off-the-shirt” image, this time though it’s a pensive Mahershala Ali totally rocking that pose.
In an interview with WWD, the first ever Muslim Oscar winner says,
“Any time I found myself in situations of affluence, opportunity or access, I was often the black guy. So to see a campaign flush with black faces being marketed to the general public, and not just the black populace, is somewhat groundbreaking.”
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Alex Hibbert is bringing back the cap sleeves, made better with that 100-watt smile.
Ashton Sanders is a haunting image of vulnerability and boyish masculinity.
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The majestic Trevante Rhodes on his leather throne sees these campaign images as a continuation of Moonlight, shining a light on diversity and inclusivity. He says,
“It’s great to see yourself represented in all mediums. I think it represents the minimising of an ideal we as an industry have held onto for too long—out of fear. I believe the win coupled with the campaign hits those prejudices in the mouth.”
Calvin Klein and the cast of Moonlight were all on the same page when it comes to using this outwardly superficial campaign of scantily clad men as a way to inject greater meaning into the ad images and highlighting black men of varying ages.
Creative director of Calvin Klein, Pieter Mulier publicly stated,
“Since the beginning, Calvin Klein’s underwear imagery has always made big statements about masculinity; the performances of these actors in Moonlight affected us deeply and made big statements about masculinity in a different way. Somehow we wanted to bring the two together.”
Twelve-year-old Hibbert encapsulates the moment perfectly by saying: “I thought the movie was it. But this is way more.” Looks like we will be seeing the numerous ripple-effects that such a powerful movie like Moonlight will create, not just in the film industry but in fashion, art and all around the world.
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By Hanan Haddad