The Controversial Calvin Klein Ad that Launched Brooke Shields’ Career

Brooke Shields, a beloved actress and model, recently reminisced about a game-changing moment in her career – the infamous Calvin Klein advertisement from the 1980s. At the tender age of 15, Brooke became the face of this unforgettable campaign, which skyrocketed her into the spotlight while also stirring up a storm of controversy.

The ad, known for its provocative content, caused such a commotion that some countries even banned it. Looking back, Brooke admits that she didn’t fully grasp the provocative 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 shed light on how the media often sexualizes young actors and models. She pointed to her experience as a model for Calvin Klein to support her statement. The aftermath of the controversial ad plunged her into a world of unexpected interviews, including one that left a lasting impact – her sit-down chat with renowned journalist Barbara Walters.

Thinking back on that particular interview, Brooke describes it as “practically criminal.” She felt confused 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 worth remembering that Brooke was just fifteen years old then.

In a recent Vogue interview, Brooke opened up further about the negative feedback she received from the campaign. She remembers paparazzi shouting 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. Instead, she highlights her own innocence and naiveté. “I believed it was assumed that I was much more intelligent than I actually was,” she confesses. “I was a virgin at the time and remained so forever.”

Ironically, despite the controversy and backlash, the Calvin Klein campaign ended up going viral, unintentionally launching the brand to new heights. The attention may have been negative, but it undeniably piqued interest. As a result, the company became synonymous with pushing boundaries and setting trends. Their advertising strategies, which often faced criticism for being both inappropriate and seductive, have now become iconic in the fashion industry.

Brooke Shields is acutely aware of Calvin Klein’s notorious reputation. The brand’s current advertising endeavors continue to court controversy, earning attention and notoriety. Despite the criticism and condemnation they have faced over the years, Calvin Klein remains a brand unafraid to take risks.

To catch a glimpse of the controversial Calvin Klein ad that catapulted Brooke Shields into the limelight, watch the video below. Despite its contentious nature, it undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping both Brooke’s career and the brand’s legacy.