Calvin Klein‘s #PROUDINMYCALVINS campaign celebrates the LGBTQ+ community around the world, encouraging people of all kinds to join together and celebrate what makes us human. One of the voices highlighted as a part of this campaign is Raisa Flowers. Flowers is a multi-hyphenate talent with skills that extend to the makeup world and beyond. Schön! spoke to Flowers about the new Calvin Klein campaign, authenticity and so much more.
You wrote several lovely Instagram posts when this campaign debuted. Without making you repeat what you’ve already said, simply put, what does being a part of #PROUDINMYCALVINS mean to you?
It’s all about visibility for me. It is difficult to know you can do or be anything if you have never seen it before, no reference point. I am so happy that I can be any black queer person’s reference point about what is possible when you really love yourself first.
What’s your earliest memory — artistic or otherwise — that you believe influences your work today?
Growing up watching music videos in the 90s. I love music.
In the accompanying video, you mention your creative rebellion of shaving your head in Catholic school and how it allowed you to be yourself. What’s a recent change or ‘rebellion’ you’ve made that has furthered that goal of being your most authentic self?
Being able to say no. It’s easy to say yes to everything and be over extended. I work with people and brands that resonate with me. If it just doesn’t feel right. I feel comfortable saying no. That feels authentic and freeing.
Many people who try to capture underground or club culture often miss the mark. Your work, in contrast, feels stunningly authentic. What do you think some designers or artists miss when they try to ’embrace the underground’?
Well, I think that is the problem. That culture can’t really be mimicked. As I have said before, this is what’s so brilliant about the club culture in NYC. Everyone gets to be their individual authentic selves. You can’t mimic individuality.
Do you have a larger, societal goal with the work that you do? If so, what is it?
Yes, to change the way we all perceive and value beauty. Especially for black peoples, queer peoples, and femmes. I want to think and exist beyond the monolith of beauty.
What’s been the most memorable moment of being a part of this #PROUDINMYCALVINS campaign?
Seeing people’s reaction. It’s so powerful to see how people are responding. I’m grateful that I can make an impact.
And why is Calvin Klein the ideal partner for a campaign like this?
Calvin is culturally iconic. They have the power and cultural pull to create visibility. I want to spread the message of self-love globally. Calvin Klein is willing to partner with me in that way, so I’m here for it.
photography. Ryan McGinley