Calvin Klein: The Dyslexic Collection

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Calvin Klein: The Dyslexic Collection

Jan Dirk van der Burg travled the world collecting knockoff underwear branded Kalvi Klan, Galvin Klain, Calven Kiein, Colvin Kloin, and Calvni Klain.
March 11, 2015, 2:26pm

"In 1982, American fashion designer Calvin Klein launched his men's underwear line. The design of Calvin Klein's underpants was almost identical to competing brand Jockey's classic brief, except closer fitting in the behind, and produced by the same manufacturer as Jockey. The significant difference was that the name Calvin Klein was woven into the waistband. Klein himself had worn the several dozen sample briefs that were manufactured prior to the launch of the underwear, so that he could personally check the durability and fit."

—From Shaun Cole's The Story of Men's Underwear, 2010

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On vacation in the Middle East, Dutch photographer Jan Dirk van der Burg bought a couple of pairs of knockoff Calvin Klein underwear and noticed the name on the band had been misspelled "Calven Klain." Over the next three years, he visited markets in Tehran, Damascus, Odessa, Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Fethiye, and Bangkok, collecting different counterfeit Calvins along the way. The photographer has now released a book of his collection, in which each typo-ridden undie is photographed on a hunky guy, in the timelessly sexy style of Calvin Klein ads. It also includes directions for how to find each pair, in case you're ever in Teheran, desperately searching for #mygalvins.

Buy the book here, and see a preview of it below.

Calven Kliem
Kiev, Ukraine
10 Hryvnia ($0.44)
"Leave the metro station in a northerly direction towards Verbova Street. Turn left just before the DVD section and continue straight ahead for 400 metres. When you see the words 'Pынок Петровка' (Petrovka market) in metre-high letters, turn right at the FASHION VIP clothes store. Three stalls along, you'll find Sasha selling Calven Kliem."

Calvni Klain
Isfahan, Iran
140,000 Rial ($5.01)
"The entrance to the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan is on the north side of Imam Square, opposite the Jameh Mosque. Ignoring the pushy carpet sellers, walk straight ahead past the souvenir shops. Turn right at the end along the lane with herbs and spices. Turn left at the T junction and you'll find three underwear stalls at the end. Mohammed sells Calvni Klain."

Colvin Kloin
Zugdidi, Georgia
5 Lari ($2.29)
"Walk behind the bus station towards the taxi rank. At the end, near to the minibuses to Kutaisi and Batumi, there is a market with two rows of women's clothing. Georgi's stall, brimming with underwear and socks, is about 50 meters along. He not only sells Colvin Kloin underwear (featuring the FC Mozdok emblem), but also iPhone underpants and Facebook perfume."

Calven Kiein
St. Petersburg, Russia
60 Ruble ($0.96)
"Starting from the main entrance to Udelnaya metro station, take the first left towards the flea market. Turn right into the first lane of the permanent market, just beyond the railway lines. After passing three men's shoe shops, you will find a small underwear shop where Vasily sells Calven Kiein underpants."

Galvin Klain
Teheran, Iran
50,000 Riaal ($ 1.79)
"Leave the motorbike parking area, cross the square, and join the masses heading for the entrance to the Bazaar. Walk past the tourist carriages and clandestine currency brokers, and on the right you'll see a group of traders on rugs selling just one product. One of them is Reza, who sells black and red Galvin Klain underwear."

Kalvi Klan
Odessa, Ukraine
6 Hryvnia ($0.26)
"Go through the main entrance to the Privoz market and cross the food section. You'll see the clothing department at the end of the meat stalls. Turn right again after the wedding dresses and then take the third left. Sergey running the socks and pants stall on the corner sells Kalvi Klan underwear."

Calven Kliem
Fethiye, Turkey
6 Lira ($2.28)
"If you stand at the canal side, you will see the market stalls on the left bank. Keep left and you'll find a sock and underwear-stall just before the next crossroads. In addition to a huge range of underpants with English texts such as 'I LOVE KISS', Burak also sells yellow and grey Calven Kliem underwear. (only on Tuesdays)"

Calvin Klain
Odessa, Ukraine
15 Hryvnia ($0.65)
"Starting at the 'No photographs' sign close to the main entrance, take the third lane to the left and walk the length of the street with the pink containers. Turn left into the street with the phone covers until you find a small lane with underwear. In the third container on the left, Kirill is selling Calvin Klain underwear and washing instructions for Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace."

Calvin Klain
Odessa, Ukraine
6 Hryvnia ($0.26)
"Go through the main entrance to the Privoz market and cross the food section. You'll see the clothing department at the end of the meat stalls. Turn right again after the wedding dresses and then take the third left. Sergey running the socks and pants stall on the corner sells Calven Klain underwear."

Model: Pascal at Mega Model Agency Hamburg
Female Model : Eefje Suijkerbuijk
Make-up: Klairung
Styling: Marloes Otker
Photography Assistant: Marijn Kuijper

See more photos by Jan Dirk van der Burg on his website, and order his book Calvin Klein: The Dyslexic Collection here.