Calvin Klein’s Controversial Ads: Then and Now

A March 2011 CK ad campaign featuring Lara Stone may or may not have used the F-word.

Last month, Calvin Klein was in the news (again) thanks to a controversial ad campaign that seemed to contain a veiled use of the F-word. Sexual innuendo is nothing new for the retail giant who has garnered attention for controversial ads featuring a young Brooke Shields and a pre A-list Mark Wahlberg.

In 1983, Tim Hintnaus was the first male model to wear Calvins (and only Calvins) in a national ad campaign.

Back in 1983, it was Olympic pole vaulter Tom Hintnaus who became the first chiseled male model featured in a Calvin Klein Underwear ad, in which he appeared in nothing but a pair of white cotton briefs. The image of Hintnaus shot by photographer Bruce Weber appeared as a 70-foot high billboard in New York’s Times Square and caused quite a stir at the time. Now a bus-stop version of the poster printed on translucent plastic is for sale in Swann’s May 5 auction of Modernist Posters. It is one of several classic pop-culture images offered in the sale.