Flashback to 2014, a time before Instagram Stories but certainly not a time before Instagram vitality: Dads Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony snapped a mirror selfie of a typical early morning spent doing their daughters’ hair—a post that included the heart-melting caption: “This is a typical day in our household. It’s not easy but we enjoy every moment and [every] minute of #fatherhood,” as well as hashtags #prouddads and #gaydads. Naturally, the post went viral, capturing the hearts (both the digital ‘like’ kind and the actual beating kind) of Instagram users around the globe. Now, three years later and with two more children on board, the Lewis/Anthony family are the face of a new family-centric Acne Studios campaign.
“I have been thinking about families for a long time,” Jonny Johansson, the Swedish fashion brand’s creative director, shared in a press release. “Since Acne Studios started as a collective, we would see each other as a family back in the days. I therefore wanted to portray households of today, in all constellations—this is how we found Kordale and Kaleb.”
Courtesy of Acne Studios
The campaign sees Lewis and Anthony with their four children—Desmiray (10 years old), Maliyah (9), Kordale Jr (8), and Kaleb Jr (6 months)—in a New York City hotel room, wearing coordinating ensembles from Acne Studios’s new Face Motif Collection. The lineup of apparel and accessories showcases the brand's signature emoticon. When asked about the photo shoot, shot over a holiday weekend by notable fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Maliyah summed it up best to InStyle, “I loved jumping in that bed; it was so LIT!” Desmiray added, “I loved posing for the camera, and they were cheering me on, and I loved it! The day was just fun!”
For just nine and 10 years old, Maliyah and Desmiray recall family memories the same way you would a perfect day on vacation—excitedly with a hint of nostalgia. “My favorite memory [I have of my family]—I have so many,” Maliyah said. The girls listed everything from a light-up party at a skating rink to a Universal Orlando Resort trip to every time the entire family comes together at “Ma Dukes” house, “because we get to see all of our cousins and play and run around,” as Desmiray explained. Perhaps their trip to the Big Apple for an Acne Studios’s photo shoot made the list, too. For the Atlanta-based family, a photo shoot in New York City had to, of course, come with a side of sightseeing. Maliyah shared: “It was the best time. We went to Toys R Us, and we walked around all the stands! We walked a lot, but I really loved it when we rode the horses with our granny around the park.” It’s clear that both Lewis and Anthony are loading up the kids with a wealth of vivid family memories.
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The proof is in the way the girls define “family.” Maliyah shared, “‘Family’ means the people who are there for you, always by you, and next to you for everything. I feel comfortable and blessed when I hear the word family.” Older sister Desmiray chimed in with. “‘Family’ means people that you can count on and who will always be there for you in the hardest times of your life.”
Scroll through to see the photos from the campaign, and hop over to an Acne Studios store or acnestudios.com to shop the newly launched Face Motif Collection.