The hero video, “Heron Preston for Calvin Klein,” is directed by Ricky Saiz with production firm Smuggler, and features American dancer Savion Glover.
The video opens with Glover tap-dancing, back turned, to a vocal narrative set by the rapper Nas: “Hope. It’s all a part of it,” he begins.
From this point, the tap-dancing is interspersed with what feels almost like home videos of various people, sometimes gazing at the camera, living and breathing, playing instruments, kissing, skating, bodies in states of repose or action. These are parenthetical moments, when time is syrupy and you find ways to fill the spaces.
“Things come and they go. On and on and on,” Nas says. “They come, they test us. Sometimes they bring out our best. Sometimes they don’t.”
Something in the imagery, and the nature of the camera shots, brings us back to 1990s Calvin Klein—those long shadows and inquisitive stares, a voyeurism into the intimate moments of others. But it’s more relaxed into our current world, and less posed. It reinforces CK’s contemporary identity, which pairs the sense of being you au naturel with an almost revolutionary call to personal and spiritual authenticity.
Today’s Calvin Klein is more interested in the truth behind appearances, not just with delivering a constructed vibe. The days of stripping down Kate Moss are over. Hello, Savion Glover and God’s Son.
“It’s the struggle that makes us stronger. Look around. There’s something stirring,” Nas recites. “Hope isn’t an empty vessel. Hope is a notion. Hope is a verb. It’s an act of rebellion.”
Black artists are at the forefront designing, dancing, setting the narrative tone. People of color confront the camera with their eyes. It is slow-moving but also intense, a biding of time in wait for something. The groundedness feels purposeful, heightened by magical surrealism.
The brand hopes this work will help young people “channel hope and optimism” while designing for the realities they like.
“Hope is power. And we got it,” Nas concludes. “Heron Preston for Calvin Klein.”
Director: Ricky Saiz
Creative Direction: Ricky Saiz, Antony Goldstein
Production Company: SMUGGLER
Executive Producer: Patrick Milling-Smith, Brian Carmody, Sue Yeon Ahn
Producer: Luigi Rossi
Production Supervisor: Gianfranco Svagelj
DOP: Ryan Helfant
Production Designer: Brittany Porter
Stylist: Heidi Bivens
Make Up: Jennifer Hanching
Hair: Jayson Medina
Editor: Adam Robinson
Colorist: Tom O’Poole
Score: James William Blades
Casting: Rachel Chandler, Midland Agency