In the 1990s, Calvin Klein’s adverts ruled the billboards and Christy Turlington was – quite literally – the poster girl. The American model, one of the original Peter Lindbergh-lensed Supers, was on Calvin Klein’s books from 1987. She starred in ads for ready-to-wear, underwear and perfume. Her ads for Eternity – often on a beach, often with an equally photogenic man – were stripped back, natural and, most importantly, sold perfume by the bucketload.
The Christy and Calvin classic is now back – in the hope that in can do the same for 2014. Calvin Klein has reissued the 1995 advert with a 25-year-old Turlington and male model Mark Vanderloo, fresh from a dip in the ocean, sporting the most 1990s hair ever. The tagline reads: “Time can’t touch us. Celebrating 25 years.”
After last year, when Turlington, now 45, starred in a Calvin Klein underwear campaign, this revisiting of her previous outing is a clever move – one that encourages nostalgia from a generation that remembers the first time, and introduces a brand’s heritage to a younger one.
The 1990s revival has clearly been noticed by the marketing execs at Calvin Klein. A recent social media campaign saw the brand send its classic underwear, with name in the waistband, to the likes of The Man Repeller’s Leandra Medrine and model Miranda Kerr. They promptly posted scantily clad selfies of themselves wearing the underwear, with the hashtag #mycalvins – name-checking both the classic Brooke Shields 1981 ad, and Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg in their undies, which followed just over a decade later.
This strategy has drifted into ready-to-wear too. The sweatshirts in the men’s autumn/winter collection bearing the Obsession and Eternity logos were a stroke of genius, and a way to give this brand – maybe not on the radar of younger customers – a hip spin. Turlington’s classic ad back on our billboards only adds to the message: the 1990s are back and Calvin reigns supreme once again.