by John Russel Jones

While we suppose we could go back as far as Greek athletes wearing – well – nothing, as they frolicked around vases and posed for statues as examples of jocks endorsing underwear (what do you wear under a loincloth, anyway?), more recent memories, might bring to mind Jim Palmer scandalizing readers while wearing nothing but in his Jockeys back in the 1970s. Michael Jordan took up the mantle, modeling for Hanes in the early ’90s, and David Beckham gave new meaning to fast fashion for H&M in the 2010s.

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In the spirit of athleticism, PVH’S iconic underwear brand Calvin Klein has brought some of the world’s leading soccer (okay, football) players onto the pitch for its latest campaign, just in time for this year’s ever-popular, if controversial, World Cup. The brand has tapped Premier League athletes Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Antonee Robinson (Fulham and U.S. National team), Kai Havertz (Chelsea and the German national team), Richarlison (de Andrade) (Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazilian national team) and Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool and the Netherlands national team) for the latest installment of its “Calvins or nothing” series.

Continuing the visual narrative established earlier this season with footballer Romelu Lukaku and actor Maya Hawke (Stranger Things), these intimate black-and-white portraits, shot by renowned photographer Alasdair McLellan, showcase each athlete’s strength and confidence through Calvin Klein’s distinctive, sensual lens. Key styles include Modern Cotton, Cotton Stretch, and Embossed Icon.