Calvin Klein Jeans billboard upsets Manhattan

By Kimberley Foster on June 17th, 2009 2 comments


Calvin Klein is in hot water yet again after a provocative billboard for its womenswear and menswear jeans line was unveiled in New York this week. The racy ad which depicts a young female semi-naked model lying across one man and kissing another has caused uproar amongst appalled Manhattanites. However CK designers are at a loss to see the problem.

“It’s my favorite campaign ever!” said CK menswear designer, Italo Zucchelli. “I hope they’re going to be, ‘Ooooh, what is that?’ And then they buy our jeans. In the best tradition of Calvin Klein.”

As we reported in January, the Steven Meisel-shot commercial has already been banned from late night cable TV. So, I wonder how long the billboard equivalent will last?

The label’s womenswear designer, Francisco Costa, also loves it: “Please! It’s so, like, old news. Don’t you think we should be a little ashamed for even having to discuss? But there was no intention of making that controversial. Just make beautiful ads. And I think, you know, we’re such a forward society, but we tend to be a little prudish sometimes. It’s New York City! It’s the 21st century! Honey, we have to move on! We have to move on.”

Sadly for him, not everyone agrees. “It’s borderline pornographic,” says Lisa Marchese, a marketing specialist. “And to portray them in a threesome – it’s just taking it too far.”

Calvin Klein has a long history of pushing the envelope with their advertising. Just last year they came under fire again for their steamy commercial to promote fragrance, ‘Secret Obsession’ starring Eva Mendes, which was also banned from TV.

Maybe by Francisco’s account I’m a prude but this ad does little to inspire me to buy a pair of CK jeans. The sexualisation of such a young woman is also a real cause for concern.

[via NY Mag]

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  • viv

    The billboard is not appropriate– I’m done with your jeans!!!!!


    You can’t immagine how Italian towns are now often upseted by similar iniatives…

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