If 2014 was the year of the ass and nipple, its successor is shaping up to be the year of everything else. This week we got to see a lot more of household names in music thanks to their new fashion projects. There was Justin Bieber’s #bulgegate, Sam Smith’s chest, Rita Ora’s sparkly nude body, and Tinashe and FKA Twigs topless, all in the name of fashion. Let’s dissect.
Justin Bieber Is the Latest Musician to Endorse Calvin Klein—And Not Without Controversy
Last year, CK had one of the greatest low-key campaigns ever when they brought together Blood Orange, Kelela, and Evian Christ for an intimate video. This year, they’ve taken their brand in a very different direction, tapping Justin Bieber as their spokesperson. The bigger contrast, however, is how that grainy, home-shot 2014 video compares to their assaultingly hi-res new campaign with Biebs; that, and the fact that there’s probably nothing real about their latest campaign, as the leaked unretouched pic suggest. Or is that fake? This week anyone paying attention to this particular PR fiasco became their own detective, combing through a handful of stories to get to the bottom of whether or not Biebs’ package was padded. If you want to see the real photophopped before and after—look no further than this Noisey exclusive. If you ask Calvin Klein’s reps, who have a fire to put out, and the singer’s personal trainer, who is a paid employee of Bieber, if that unretouched photo was real, their answer is no. CK stands behind the ads, but I think it’s healthy for everyone else to remain skeptical. We at least know that Bieber’s happy trail was photoshopped.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 6, 2015
— Calvin Klein (@CalvinKlein) January 6, 2015
Sam Smith, FKA Twigs, Tinashe, and Jessie Ware Cover V Magazine
We’re only two weeks into the new year but it feels safe to say that V already landed the magazine cover suite of the year, at least in terms of music. The publication not only showed the beautifully styled FKA Twigs and Tinashe in a new light, they also transformed Sam Smith (and Sam Smith’s chest) and gave Jessie Ware’s usually classic style a dark update. The portraits are all shot by Inez and Vinoodh, who clearly have a gift for capturing musicians—they’re the team behind the artwork for Kanye’s new single “Only One.”
Rita Ora Strips Down for Adidas Campaign
Adidas is bringing back their Superstar shoe, and, for the occasion, they created a video campaign all about what superstardom is—and isn’t— to people like Pharrell, Rita Ora, David Beckham, and Damian Lillard. Even with that cast, spokeswoman-for-hire and occasional singer Rita Ora manages to steal the show, if only because her appearance is completely bonkers. She swims to the depths of the ocean alongside an animated school of fish, and then bursts into one nude sparkly speck floating in the black sky. Pharrell also gets mystical in the clip, making some tracksuits levitate. Props to Adidas for the campaign though—last year they became the hub of music and fashion collaborations and it seems as though they’re setting the same tone for this year.
Marissa G. Muller does this every other week. She's on Twitter.