Reflecting on a Defining Moment: Brooke Shields and the Controversial Calvin Klein Advertisement

Brooke Shields, a beloved actress and model, recently looked back on a pivotal moment in her career that forever changed her life – her controversial Calvin Klein advertisement from the 1980s. At the tender age of 15, Brooke became the face of this unforgettable campaign, thrusting her into the spotlight and igniting a firestorm of controversy.

The advertisement, infamous for its provocative content, sparked such heated debate that it was even banned in certain countries. Looking back, Brooke now admits that she didn’t fully comprehend the suggestive nature of her line in the commercial at the time. Innocently, she 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 portrays young actors and models in a hypersexualized manner. She pointed to her experience as a model for Calvin Klein as evidence of this. The aftermath of the controversial advertisement catapulted her into a world of unexpected interviews, including one that left a lasting impact – her sit-down conversation with renowned journalist Barbara Walters.

Reflecting on that interview, Brooke describes it as “practically criminal.” She felt bewildered and upset by the inappropriate questions she was asked. Barbara delved into personal matters like her body measurements and even probed into whether she had any secrets hidden from her own mother. It’s crucial to remember that Brooke was just fifteen years old at the time.

In a recent interview with Vogue, Brooke opened up further about the negative feedback she received from the campaign. She vividly recalls paparazzi yelling at her and her mother, leaving her utterly bewildered by the absurdity of it all. She emphasizes that she never interpreted the slogan as having any sexual connotations, highlighting her own innocence and gullibility. “I believed people assumed 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 undeniably 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, attracting 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 crucial role in shaping both Brooke’s career and the brand’s legacy.