With the tagline, “They’re essentials, but they’re not generic,” Heron Preston for Calvin Klein launched this week, offering men’s, women’s and unisex “baseline pieces” that can be incorporated into any individual style.
Spanning underwear and T-shirts to core denim silhouettes, the collection appeals to consumers who are seeking elevated basics made with the planet in mind. Raw denim is used to save water, organic and recycled cotton are heavily featured and packaging is plastic-free.
Preston joined Calvin Klein first as a consultant to familiarize himself with the garments that he considers iconic to the brand.
“This goes beyond just a normal collaboration,” Preston said. “I call it a collaboration 2.0., as the work we did, and how we did it, goes beyond just product design and placement. We tried to reshape and develop a new business language, while still fully embracing and respecting Calvin Klein’s culture, experience and history.”
Plain white T-shirts are updated with underarm gussets. Others come in heavy 8-ounce cotton that connects back to workwear. Pieces are finished with raised ribbing and stitching that almost looks 3D.
“When you come from streetwear and skateboarding, with my background, the t-shirt is something you start designing first and is what you’ve got to do best,” Preston said. “It’s like social currency for us.”
Classic straight-fit jeans and denim jackets are offered in both the men’s and women’s ranges. The pieces are garment dyed and made with organic cotton-blend canvas. The denim is marked with subtle branding like a custom interior leather Calvin Klein patch, single orange label on the fly front and orange chain stitch on the inside of waistbands. Orange thread is carried throughout the collaboration.
The unisex collection includes hoodies, heavyweight sweatshirts, lightweight long-sleeve tees, socks and accessories such as sunglasses and weekender bags. The collection, available in sizes XS-XXL boasts a tight color palette of neutrals punctuated by blue and Preston’s signature orange.
Calvin Klein’s partnership with Preston is a first for the heritage brand, but more collaborations are planned. Jacob Jordan, Calvin Klein global chief merchant, head of product strategy and new product ventures, said the brand intends to work with different creative people to tell the brand’s story through their perspective.
“Working with Heron was such a perfect place to start. He sits at the crossroads of culture, interconnecting various disciplines—threading ways between youth and creativity,” Jordan said. “His modern way of thinking, and his approach to design and sustainability are very much aligned to the Calvin Klein brand. Heron brought a level of integrity to this collaboration, one that goes beyond the hype and actually wants to change from the inside out and influence the product.”
A roster of famous faces is featured in the collection’s campaign. The campaign focuses on natural moments and features a diverse cast from Preston’s close circle and people who inspire him, including models Ashley Graham and Kaia Gerber, rappers Nas and Lil Uzi Vert, skater Stevie Williams and others.
“I see this project as a first step; it’s a reawakening for the brand, moving us closer in our connection to culture and creativity,” Jordan said. “It is about forming interconnected partnerships who can help us tell our story in a way that maybe we couldn’t on our own.”