Brooke Shields and Calvin Klein: A Controversial Legacy

When you think of Brooke Shields and Calvin Klein, one catchphrase likely comes to mind: “I have nothing standing in the way of my Calvins.” Brooke Shields, a captivating actor and model, has left an indelible mark on the industry.

In the 1980s, Brooke rose to fame as the face of a sexually suggestive Calvin Klein commercial. At just 15 years old, her involvement sparked intense controversy, leading to the advertisement being outlawed in some countries. Unaware of the explicit nature, Brooke found herself grappling with the aftermath.

During a guest appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast, she spoke about the oversexualization of young actors and models in the media, leveraging her own experience with Calvin Klein as an example. However, it was her interview with journalist Barbara Walters that left a lasting impact.

Reflecting on the interview, Brooke now describes it as “maddening” and “practically criminal.” Barbara asked inappropriate questions, including whether Brooke had any secrets she kept from her mother, all while she was still a teenager.

In a Vogue interview published in October 2021, Brooke discussed the negative feedback she and her mother received after the controversial campaign. Paparazzi would chastise them, exclaiming, “How could you?” Brooke found it absurd, as the intention behind the statement was never sexual or suggestive. She was just a young woman with an open mind and no ulterior motives.

Interestingly, despite the backlash, the banned Calvin Klein advertisement brought even more attention to the campaign. Underwear sales surpassed jeans, establishing Calvin Klein as a boundary-pushing brand that understands how to captivate an audience.

Calvin Klein’s notoriety has only grown over the years, with their marketing tactics toeing the line of appropriateness and seductiveness. For Brooke Shields, the controversies surrounding Calvin Klein are not unfamiliar. Yet, the brand’s latest advertising campaign only adds to its allure. Despite criticism and condemnation, Calvin Klein continues to take risks in the pursuit of making a statement.

To see the banned Calvin Klein advertisement that sparked it all, you can watch it .