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Acne Studios’ Face Motif ad campaign

The Anthony-Lewis family, from left: Kaleb Anthony, 29, Desmiray, 10, Kordale Jr., 8, Maliyah, 9, Kordale Lewis, 28, and Kaleb Jr., 8 months, having fun in a suite in a NYC hotel. (Photo: Inez & Vinoodh for Acne Studios)

Instagram-famous gay dads front new major fashion campaign

Cult-favorite Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios has tapped a surprising source for its latest “face motif” collection: Kordale Lewis, Kaleb Anthony, and their four young children. The Atlanta family has been in the public eye since becoming a viral Instagram sensation in 2014.

That’s when Lewis and Anthony posted their initial photo on Instagram, in which they are seen styling their two daughters’ hair. The photo garnered more than 50,000 likes and touched off debates about what makes a family — with plenty of commentary by those who were supportive of the clan, as well as those who were in some way shocked or offended by the notion of men, particularly men of color, being not only gay, but gay dads to three children at the time.

“African-American fathers, in my experience, have often left their families. We are like an eye-opener for many African-American women,” Lewis told Yahoo in 2015, back when the family made its first debut in an ad campaign, with Nikon’s “I Am Generation Image.”

Fast-forward to today, and the family has grown even bigger, with the recent addition of 8-month-old Kaleb Jr. Their other children — Desmiray, Maliyah, and Kordale Jr. — are 10, 9, and 8, respectively, and all six are prominently featured in the new Acne Studios campaign.

“I have been thinking about families for a long time,” explained the brand’s creative director, Jonny Johansson, in a press statement. “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. How does the face motif fit into all of this? Well, it’s just an ordinary Swedish citizen. Not too happy, not too sad, but somewhere in between. Lagom in Swedish. Like me.”

The fashion line behind the campaign the family fronts is a mix of athletic apparel ranging from rugby shirts and track pants to winter accessories like beanies and scarves. The collection takes inspiration from the idea of family uniforms — and, essentially, the notion that every family is one and the same when it comes to love between parents and their children.

As Lewis says in an extended Acne Studios limited-edition zine interview as part of the campaign’s launch, “I’m a parent. I love my kids as much as you love yours. I want the same great things for my kids as you do for yours. [But] what I do in my bed is none of your business.”

The interview, by American writer and father Xerxes Cook, is filled with joyous family photos, shot for the campaign by Inez and Vinoodh.

Click ahead to see images from the campaign and shop the new collection in Acne Studios stores now and online. (And keep an eye out for the publication, available in select Acne Studios stores worldwide from mid-August, as well as at acnestudios.com.)

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