It’s no secret that Calvin Klein Underwear looks great in black and white. From Mark Wahlberg to Mehcad Brooks, the brand has made good use of black and white campaigns. In fact, check out our Five Favorite Calvin Klein Underwear Models, and you’ll quickly notice the lack of color images. It’s not that Calvin Klein Underwear doesn’t do bright briefs, trunks, and boxers; their new Bold X-ray updates are especially vibrant. The fact is that the Calvin Klein Underwear basics are some of the most well-known, timeless products you can buy; the brand is proudly American with a classic, masculine emphasis rooted in tradition, and its these elements that lend themselves so well to the brand’s use of black and white photography.
The photo below is of Brian Shimansky shot by Cliff Watts. Shimansky might be better known for his D&G ads from 2009, but here he channels James Dean. He’s cool and seemingly relaxed, but he’s also trapped by his environment–symbolized by the high walls behind and bars in the foreground across his face. The Rebel Without a Cause image is exactly what Calvin Klein Underwear was going for with the Mark Wahlberg ads back in the 90s. The concept of a cool, confident American man in a claustrophobic environment is an accessible notion that most guys can embrace whether they’re wearing Calvins around the house or on a special occasion, and Shimansky concretes that fact.
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