Brooke Shields, a beloved actress and model, recently reflected on a pivotal moment in her career – her controversial Calvin Klein advertisement from the 1980s. At the tender age of 15, Brooke became the face of this memorable campaign, catapulting her into the spotlight but also sparking a firestorm of controversy.
The advertisement, known for its provocative content, caused such a stir that it was even banned in some countries. Looking back, Brooke admits that she didn’t fully grasp the pornographic nature of her line in the commercial at the time. Naively, she innocently delivered the now-iconic slogan, “Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
In a recent interview on the Armchair Expert podcast, Brooke discussed how the media often oversexualizes young actors and models. She referenced her experience as a model for Calvin Klein as evidence of this. The aftermath of the controversial advertisement thrust her into a world of unexpected interviews, including one that left a lasting impact – her sit-down conversation with journalist Barbara Walters.
Reflecting on that particular interview, Brooke describes it as “practically criminal.” She felt perplexed and upset by the inappropriate questions she was asked. Barbara delved into personal matters like her dimensions and even probed into whether she had any secrets hidden from her own mother. It’s important to remember that Brooke was just fifteen years old at the time.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Brooke further opened up about the negative feedback she received from the campaign. She recalls paparazzi yelling at her and her mother and feeling utterly bewildered by the absurdity of it all. She emphasizes that she never interpreted the slogan as having any sexual connotations, emphasizing her own innocence and gullibility. “I believed it was assumed that I was much more intelligent than I actually was,” she admits. “I was a virgin at the time and remained so forever.”
Despite the controversy and backlash, the Calvin Klein campaign ironically ended up going viral, inadvertently propelling the brand to new heights. The attention may have been negative, but it certainly generated interest. As a result, the company became synonymous with pushing boundaries and setting trends. Their advertising strategies, often criticized for being both inappropriate and seductive, have become iconic in the fashion industry.
Brooke Shields remains well aware of Calvin Klein’s infamous reputation. The brand’s current advertising efforts continue to court controversy, garnering attention and notoriety. Despite the criticism and condemnation they have faced over the years, Calvin Klein is a brand unafraid to take risks.
To get a glimpse into the controversial Calvin Klein advertisement that brought Brooke Shields into the limelight, watch the video below. Despite its contentious nature, it undeniably played a pivotal role in shaping both Brooke’s career and the brand’s legacy.
Note: The video may depict content that some viewers may find inappropriate.