Joining Calvin Klein’s new campaign, we introduce four boundlessly expressive creatives.
It’s finally out—we’ve joined Calvin Klein’s new I LOVE EVERYONE OF ME campaign! This is a particularly special one that hits all the right spots. Again and again, we’re forced to comply with straightforward expressions of what lies within. What if we’re a bustling multitude of emotions, desires and shapes, which simply cannot be contained? Well, good news is: it doesn’t have to be. One version of yourself ain’t it, and CK and us are here to show you just that. We join forces with four favourite creatives of ours—Gia, Giuliano, Jozef and Isa—all of whom embody the spirit of co-existing multitudes of expression(s).
GIA, model, hostess and overall legend
What is it about modelling that speaks to you?
The fact that you can be someone else. Of course I can be myself, but I can also be a completely different person, like a chameleon. You can do everything in fashion, nothing is too weird or crazy, and that’s something that I really appreciate. I’m trans, and fashion is also becoming so forward that it doesn’t matter—you are what you have. Appreciate the imperfections, because imperfect makes perfect. That what I love about fashion. Modelling is also like acting, so it’s the best combination ever. It also allows me to push my boundaries; going to shoots, getting out of my comfort zone, jumping in the deep end and going with the flow.
Are you a person who lives in the now or who looks to the future?
I live in the now. Looking to the future and where you want to go is, of course, important, but so is everything that’s happening now. You need to live in the moment, because you never know when you could suddenly lose that. It’s important to have the right balance though.
Who inspires you to push harder?
I wish that I could say my parents, but that’s not true! [Laughs] I guess my sister, Zoe. She’s the only family member that still lives here in The Netherlands. From when we were born, people always thought we were twins. When I see her and what she does, it pushes me to be the best person that I can be. She’s an activist and that’s something I wish I was a little bit more involved in.
You have a strong presence and a sparkling personality, have you always been so at ease with yourself?
No, definitely not. It took me ages! Growing up in the southern part of The Netherlands was different. When my sister brought me to Amsterdam with her friends, the whole wide world opened for me. But I still didn’t feel comfortable, because I knew that I was different, I knew that I was attracted to guys. There wasn’t anyone that I needed to be, but I did know that the body I was in was just not right. I wanted to be in the body of my sister. The first friend that I met in Amsterdam had already transitioned and she actually pushed me. She said, “Gia, I’ve noticed something,” when even I didn’t know what was going through my own mind! It took me a long while until I finally found myself attractive and at ease with my body. I think it was after the operations, so at age 25, which is quite a lot of time.
It’s so inspiring to see how you are now!
Now I literally don’t give a flying fuck, babes! This is me, whether you like it or not. This mentality has made me way stronger.
GIULIANO, ethereal tattooist and graphic artist
What is it that you love about what you do?
I love being able to portray—and hence materialise and manifest—very specific thoughts, feelings and fantasies on paper or, more recently, on skin.
Do illustrating and tattooing express different parts of your personality? If so, which ones?
Definitely! When I draw, I could say there’s an ethereal thing that happens, which allows me to be my dreamy self. I need to be completely isolated and “in the zone”. Sometimes I can reach this state, sometimes I can’t. Through tattooing, I like expressing a darker and rougher side of myself, but still with a touch of elegance and romanticism. I think the dynamic in between all those things is very interesting and something I identify with.
How did you make the step from illustration to tattooing?
Two summers ago, I complained to my friend Paul about how I didn’t know how to take my illustration work to the next level. He told me he had an old tattoo gun still lying around at home and that I should definitely try it. It honestly had never even crossed my mind to step into that realm, but he insisted and taught me the basics. I’m still so grateful to this day I listened and gave it a try! Every time I make a new tat, he’s the first one I show it to.
What elements of your character does your (clothing) style represent?
The fact that I’m always in between male and female. I like being in touch with both sides equally.
And if you had to pick any kinds of scents to fit your personality, which ones would you pick?
I’ve always loved smelling like a fresh woody, musky herb! So I think I would be a mix of “Black Orchid” by Tom ford, “Dancing on the Moon” by Margiela, and “Eleventh Hour” by Byredo.
How would other people describe you?
In fact, I really don’t want to know. I try not to think about this. Although I’ve been compared to Prince my whole life, which I kind of love.
And how do you see yourself?
I feel like deep down inside I’m just a sweet baby Chihuahua puppy, who enjoys acting like a Doberman.
Is there any message you want to give others with your drawings and tattoos?
Don’t be afraid of expressing yourself, especially when it comes to what you want and how you want it. Try your best to manifest and materialise your every wish with every single thing you do. Be soft and kind, but take no shit.
JOZEF, self-taught visual world-maker
How did you get into photography?
I got into it about six years ago, when I was living in California. I started out on Instagram and overtime I went from using apps to working with Photoshop. It was more of a “practice makes perfect” kind of thing. I gradually evolved until I started doing real shoots with people. I also went to (and quit) art school; it did help me grow though.
And what is it about photography that gives you life?
Oh, that’s really tough. Before I got into photography, I used to do giant composites. I’d make huge landscapes or crazy CGI photos, and that gave me a really good feeling, because I could create my own world and escape in a way. I toned it down a little bit since I started working with models, but I still retain that idea in my personal work.
You like to stand both behind and in front of the camera. What are the things on either side that sparks joy in you?
When I’m in front of the camera, it’s interesting to see myself through other people’s eyes. When I do self-portraits, it’s completely different than when someone else would shoot me. So it’s a nice experience to see the difference between how someone perceives you versus how you perceive yourself. Being behind the camera is really great too, because I get to interpret other people the way I see them and in the way I find them beautiful. When I’m a photographer and the subject is like, “I don’t like this side of myself”, I always wonder about how they can’t see just how perfect they are. In my head, I understand how I feel when somebody photographs me. Maybe the things you see yourself as in your head are a little bit dysmorphic. It’s not something that you should be ashamed about however, as you should just love yourself.
In which way is photography an expression of your personality?
For the last year, I’ve been shooting a lot of nudes on my personal Instagram and I feel that in that way I’ve reclaimed my body. I grew up very conservative—my dad is a pastor, so I was never allowed to express myself sexually. It’s nice being more comfortable with expressing myself and not really caring when someone says, “You post a lot of nudity.” So what?
Do you have any personality traits that contradict each other?
I’m an ambivert, which means I’m neither introverted nor extroverted; I’m a little bit of both. Sometimes I need to recharge my energy before I can share it with other people.
What’s your inner child like?
Really hyper, super happy about everything, and a little bit naïve as well. Sometimes I think of the world as a utopia and when the adult in me snaps back, I’m like: no!
ISA, hair curator and ultimate babe boxer
You work on all types of different creative projects, can you tell me some more about the things that you’ve one?
When I first started doing hair, I did it everywhere: for performers and clubs, fashion weeks, photoshoots, everything! Then, when I started meeting more and more people, I was also moved on to new things, like DJing and modelling. There’s just so much to do.
What is it about working with hair in particular that reflects your personality?
I grew up with my mum taking me to the hairdresser’s to get crazy things done with my hair. I had green hair when I was 6 years old! I once went to school with half of my hair black and the other half pink, because my mum told me to use my hair to show people how I felt about myself. Hair is a big part of our identity, so for people to just walk around with natural blonde hair and look like each other is a waste of time and of beautiful hair opportunities.
You do have almost natural hair right now!
Right now, yes! I was so over it, because I’ve had everything done with my hair. For me, this is more of a moment to find out if I’m able to maintain this strong personality even with regular, boring hair.
Do you have any personality traits that contradict each other?
Can you name a few?
I’m super chaotic, I like to do everything at once, but I‘m also really organised. I can paint, cook, study and read a book all at the same time, but with each thing having its own little space.
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Did something with @glamcult x @calvinklein, shot by the amazing @piet_oosterbeek. Thanks to everyone involved and @glamcult for creating this wonderful video. This is the first time I’ve ever felt like I had something more to show than just a picture of a girl in her Calvins. I got to do this with a body that shows confidence, inside and out. A body that shows off all the work, effort, time and discipline that I had to put in to making it look so healthy and strong. A body of someone who is me and I’ve never felt closer to being myself than I am now. I feel like it’s the only right thing to thank @aboroacademy for introducing me to this new sportive energy, and @yasdniltje for taking me with you to the gym. We women rule. ?? And of course I am my own valentine’s date this year because who else woke me up everyone morning, made me breakfast and drove me to the gym? I ❤️Me #ckone #ckeveryone #alsochickswithguns Art Direction: Rogier Vlaming @rogiervlaming Casting: Julie Barnasconi @julie.barnasconi HMU: Britt Breider @brittbreider Soundscape: Know V.A. @kn0wva
And what are the qualities you admire the most in others?
I’m really impatient and I’m scared to go for long-term things, so I admire people who can (be and) do those things. Maybe because I live from day to day, I don’t like to know where I’m going to be tomorrow.What if I wake up one morning and I want to move to Mexico? I want to be able to do that. So I admire people who really go for something and commit.
What is the quality in yourself that you cherish the most?
My energy and the way I turn everything into something good. I always end up smiling at the end of the day.
What does your inner child want at the moment?
Just attention! [Laughs] Someone please tell me to finish school… I don’t know, what are the things people say? Just give me love and attention. I don’t think you can ever have enough of those as a young kid. You need someone, who pushes you to make the most out of everything.