Streetwear’s New Muse Is…’90s Comedians?

Bryan Cranston stars in Kith's newest campaign — and he's not the first

February 9, 2023 2:27 pm
a photo of Bryan Cranston in Kith clothing siitting on a vintage car in the desert
Bryan Cranston stars in Kith's latest campaign. Why? Ask streetwear.

It’s not usual for fashion to draw big names from stage and screen alike. Harry Styles and Jared Leto were unofficial muses for much of Alessandro Michele’s recently decapitated tenure at Gucci. Calvin Klein’s whole business model is predicated on celebrity-directed horniness. And today, another star joined the fold, albeit not who you might think. Indeed, NYC-based streetwear perennial Kith’s latest campaign features none other than Breaking Bad actor-comedian Bryan Cranston.

Shot against the backdrop of a dusty desert in Palm Springs, California, the collection’s whopping 197 pieces invoke the same elevated feel and sneaker-inspired cuts we’ve come to expect from Kith. Drapey knits and tonal basics round out statements pieces ranging from expertly blocked chore jackets and what appears to be new colorways of silos like the Stan Smith and Samba, expected additions from the annual Kith x Adidas collections. But we’re much more interested in the presence of Cranston, who’s swapped his typical demure persona for a bomber jacket-wearing, pool-playing baddie, with a very full head of hair given his tender age of 66.

This unexpected emergence presently demands numerous questions. Is Cranston a closeted hypebeast? (Answer: all signs point to yes, as is his right as a white guy with questionable taste and money to blow.) Was Walter White secretly drippy? (Answer: no, but Hal was.) And what is with Kith’s oldhead obsession?

While Cranston’s majestic, leather-ladden appearance is less of a mindfuck if you consider Kith’s recent antics — the Ronnie Feig vehicle broke headlines and divided menswear Twitter when they similarly shot comedian Jerry Seinfeld in last year’s Fall campaign, and then a baffling suave Ed Norton a month later — it’s still a jump from the bread-and-butter hotties and skate-folk (and hottie skaters) and worth considering. Is it merely a celebrity-accompliced ploy for publicity, or something more? Has Kith finally realized the increasingly geriatric status of streetwear and decided to craft some 5D chess-type commentary? Much to chew on, much to chew on.

Not that this the only time comedians have flirted with streetwear, of course. The likes of Pete Davidson and Seth Rogen are known sneakerheads, but you can date comics’ flirtation with the dark arts of streetwear back to the ’80s, with Robin Williams famously courting Japanese visionaries and high-concept styles from the likes of Visvim, Bape, Acronym and even the recently deceased Issey Miyake.

Perhaps we’ll never know Kith’s true intentions with their decade’s dream team, or maybe it’ll culminate in a pure, dripped-out spectacle of swagged-out oldheads. Either way, we’re here for the intrigue — and Cranston in a fire chore jacket. The Kith Spring ’23 collection releases tomorrow, February 10 at 11:00 AM EST at Kith’s webstore and app.

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