“Brands, too, were different back then; every brand stood for its aesthetic,” Leon says. (In high school, he had worked at the Gap and Lim at the Body Shop in their respective local malls.) “There was a purpose to every store: You’d go to Miller’s Outpost for your jeans, you’d go to Esprit for the colorful striped tops.” And underwear, carefully positioned so the waistband was in plain sight, had to be Calvin Klein. “From our very ‘mall’ perspective, that’s what we knew and what we could buy,” Leon says, “and in a sense, that and Calvin Klein perfume was our first step into luxury.”
In their roles at the now-teenage Opening Ceremony, Leon and Lim have partnered with Calvin Klein on several clothing collections, including a line of underwear. But their newest collaboration, which goes on sale today with all of the proceeds going to amfAR, centers on ’90s artifacts: David Sims’s photographs of Kate Moss, from a 1993 Calvin Klein Underwear campaign, which they decided to reprint on a set of T-shirts. “These images might as well have been shot today, they’re so fresh,” Leon says, referring to the resurgence of all things ’90s. Lim adds: “Calvin Klein had a specific point of view that was innovative. I don’t think that we like being nostalgic or bringing things back for the sake of trends. It’s about moments that have been ingrained in us.”
Feel like CK nostalgia is about to come back, but does anyone remember Calvin Klein being distinctly not cool in the '90s?