Calvin Klein Shades Kendall But Says He Loves Justin Bieber

Calvin Klein ads featuring Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, and other hot young things seem to be plastered over every vertical surface nowadays. But one person isn’t 100% sold on them — and that person is Calvin Klein himself.

In a very candid chat with Fern Mallis at the Savannah College of Art and Design, he gave his unvarnished opinions on both Justin and Kendall.

When asked about Justin, here’s what he had to say, per Fashionista:

“I think they’re very good,” he said, when asked about Bieber’s in particular. “So many people wanted to be on a billboard or in an ad or in a commercial, and for sure Justin Bieber wanted to do it. I thought that was really good.”

That’s actually not super surprising. Back when Calvin Klein himself was at the brand’s helm, he picked Mark Wahlberg — then known as Marky Mark and basically the Justin Bieber of the early 90s — as the face of the brand. Real recognize real, right?

But when Fern asked about Kendall, he wasn’t so sold:

“You know, I’m really not that familiar with it,” he replied. “I’m honestly not.” There’s silence, then laughter. “I’m sure she’s a lovely young woman. It’s not the kind of thing I would have done, even today. Justin Bieber, yes.”

He continued:

“When [I say] I like Justin Bieber in the Calvin Klein Underwear [campaign], it’s because I like him — not because he’s got millions of followers,” he explained. “Now, models are paid for how many followers they have. They’re booked not because they represent the essence of the designer, which is what I tried to do — they’re booked because of how many followers they have online. I don’t think that, long-term, is going to work. I don’t think that’s a great formula for success for the product you’re trying to sell.” It’s not all bad news, though, so long as you prioritize the artistry. “However, if you take really exquisite photographs of the right people in the right clothes in the right location, and you put it online, that’s fine,” he said. “Just putting any old clothes on Kim Kardashian, long-term, isn’t going to do a thing.”

Sidenote: if you’re wondering why the brand bearing Calvin Klein’s name is featuring a model he’s not crazy about, it’s because like Donna Karan, he’s no longer the creative director of his brand. He just owns a big stake in it and advises from the sidelines.

Kendall hasn’t said anything about the remarks yet, but if we had to guess, we’d have to say she won’t be crying over her piles of Calvin cash any time soon.

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