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Fashion Advertisement – Gender Norms

Calvin Klein Jeans Fall 2018 Ad Campaign:

This ad, for Calvin Klein Jeans, promotes the idea and acceptance of unisex clothing in a subtle way. Kaia and Presley Gerber are seen wearing identical denim outfits and are even styled the same way. Kaia is not in heels or overtly feminine and Presley is tailored in a similar fashion. The classic cut of these clothes emulates a traditionally western aesthetic that has been around for years, especially in menswear. Susan Kaiser addresses the authority connotated in menswear by stating “I believe the staying power of male tailoring shows how visual form can have its own authority, it’s own self perpetuating symbolic and emotional force.” The Calvin Klein ad successfully communicated this idea by dressing Kaia the same way as her brother. Even though it is not as groundbreaking or monumental as a man in a skirt, it still perpetuates a great progressive trend towards acceptance. This uniformity is one tactic to promote gender non conforming clothing. Uniforms have had a history of conformity and are often seen as oppressive, however, this ad brings a new light to it by promoting the models and not just the clothing. When clothes are the same, there is more of a focus on the wearers personality, identity and point of view. This shift of attention is an important part of this ad campaign even though it is used to sell clothing. The clothes themselves are not groundbreaking or new, and the advertizer understands that, instead, they are capitalizing on the models influence and identity to catch the viewers attention.

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