Calvin Klein Praises Justin Bieber But Throws Shade At Kim Kardashian & Kendall Jenner: Fashion Industry Flops?

Justin Bieber is making Calvin Klein proud by serving as one of the celebrity faces for the fashion firm, but when it comes to other celebrities starring in a new campaign for his brand, Calvin isn’t so thrilled. In particular, Klein threw shade at Kendall Jenner, reported People.

It’s not that Kendall lacks experience. Although many know her only as a member of the Keeping Up With The Kardashians clan, Jenner has succeeded on her own in the competitive world of modeling, from strutting down major designers’ catwalks to flaunting her face and figure in ads. And those ad campaigns include one for Calvin Klein underwear.

Calvin Klein throws shade at Kendall Jenner. Calvin Klein throws shade at Kendall Jenner. [Photo by China Photos/Getty Images]There’s a difference between the brand Calvin Klein and the man himself, however, and Klein confessed that if he were still in charge of the brand, he would not have chosen Kendall.

The revelation occurred when Calvin was giving a talk at Savannah College of Art and Design with former CFDA president Fern Mallis. Reflecting on the overall fashion industry, Klein termed it “disappointing.”

As for Jenner, however, who is now one of the stars of the ads for the Calvin Klein brand (although he founded it, Francisco Costa now is in charge), the fashion maestro said that he would not have chosen her, and then compared Kendall to Bieber.

“I’m sure she’s a lovely young woman,” commented Klein. “It’s not the kind of thing I would have done, even today. Justin Bieber, yes.”

In addition, Calvin praised the pop star’s “My Calvins” ad campaigns.

“I think they’re very good,” noted Klein. “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.”

As for the role of social media in boosting a brand? Calvin is not convinced that it makes a difference, even though he acknowledges that many others in the fashion industry choose models based on the number of followers they have acquired rather than whether they truly showcase the designer.

What makes a good Calvin Klein ad? What makes a good Calvin Klein ad? [Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]“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,” clarified Klein. “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.”

And the fashion maven disagrees with that approach to matching a model to a brand.

“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,” added Calvin.

Justin Bieber shows off his Calvin Klein attire. Justin Bieber shows off his Calvin Klein attire. [Photo by Jerome Favre/Getty Images for Calvin Klein]Although it’s been many years since he was involved in designing the brand, which was purchased by Phillips-Van Heusen corporation in 2002, Klein has suggestions on how to utilize social media. And in making those suggestions, he also succeeded in discounting Kim Kardashian just after throwing shade at her sister Kendall Jenner.

“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. Just putting any old clothes on Kim Kardashian, long-term, isn’t going to do a thing.”


However, not everyone agrees that Kim Kardashian makes no difference when it comes to influencing fashion choices. Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing has experienced a phenomenal sales growth in recent years, and one reason may be Kardashian, according to Racked.

It’s a dramatic improvement compared to 2004, when Balmain almost went bankrupt. What helped? Kim began sporting Balmain in February, 2009. In addition, Kardashian has continued to flaunt her fondness for Balmain fashion, including starring with Kanye West in ad campaigns.

And that’s not all when it comes to the Keeping Up With The Kardashians clan. Teaming up with H&M, Rousteing achieved a fashion hit, and Kendall was one of the key models.

[Photo by Xaume Olleros/Getty Images for Calvin Klein]