In 1995, Calvin Klein launched his most controversial ad campaign to date. The campaign, shot by photographer Steven Meisel for Calvin Klein Jeans, received an immense amount of backlash due to how risqué it was for the times. The models, dressed in skimpy denim shorts and tank tops, were shot against a wood-paneled wall, and on a purple carpet. Not only were the images controversial due to how young the models looked (they were all over 18), but the videos accompanying the images were reminiscent of casting videos for 1970s porn. The outrage was swift, with the Catholic League, parent groups, child welfare authorities and the American Family Association leading the outcry. Within days, the campaign was pulled from circulation.
Fast forward to 2018, and Calvin Klein has launched a new collection for Spring Summer 2019 evocative of this past campaign. While less provocative, the new collection features the denim shorts and tops characteristic of Calvin Klein. Even though the brand is paying homage to its 1995 collection, the line is updated and modern, with a sense of youth, fun, and style. -GM
Images courtesy of Calvin Klein