Calvin Klein’s sexy advertisement controversial?


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Calvin Klein is an American fashion brand founded in 1968 by fashion designer Calvin Klein.   The brand is well-known for their Underwear, Jeans and Fragrances. Calvin Klein is now currently owned by Phillips-Van Heusen.

Dutch supermodel, Lara Stone exposed in wearing underwear in the 2011 Calvin Klein’s billboard, and also spells the word ‘fuck’. The illustration of the F word caused controversy around New York and in the streets of lower Manhattan.

“There’s a small table in the background of the image, which is partially blocked by Stone’s leg, thus creating an “F” shape. The model is strategically leaning forward, and the top of her black briefs strategically creates a “U” and then Calvin Klein’s “ck” signature is cunningly placed alongside.” according to CBS 

Debates had been going on about whether it’s a coincidence or carefully constructed. But the question is, will Calvin Klein do this? Why would one immolate their brand and their fame? CK is a designer’s fashion brand and are on the top competing with other designer brands such as Zara and DKNY to produce best edgy and high-fashioned products to regular customers.

Well, you tell me, does it spell the F word to you? It doesn’t to me.



Picture source

This is another advert from the campaign with Lara Stone and other supermodels in it. In this case, the signifier, Lara Stone and the other models, signifying if a purchaser wears Calvin Klein’s products, they will look as appealing and sexy as the models. It’s a marketing tactic as it follows the desires of the younger generations and on how the younger generations dressed themselves these days. The targeted audience would also be attracted to the jeans and underwear because supermodels wear them. It all comes down to marketing strategy.

Read more about Calvin Klein’s ad


Grinspan. I. (2011). Spot The Dirty Word In Calvin Klein’s Soho Ad. Available: Last accessed 21st March 2014.

McKay. H. (2011). Calvin Klein Controversy: New Billboard Dropping the F-Bomb?. Available: Last accessed 21st March 2014.

Raphaely. V. (2011). THE LATEST CALVIN KLEIN AD. CONTROVERSIAL, SUBLIMINAL OR ACCIDENTAL?. Available: Last accessed 21st March 2014.

Sanchez. K. (2013). The Most Controversial Calvin Klein Ads. Available: Last accessed 21st March 2014.


About Vivyan Foo

19 years young. Internet, EDM & Food 🙌
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One Response to Calvin Klein’s sexy advertisement controversial?

  1. bra036 says:

    I love this! I don’t see the f-word at all either- is it supposed to be or is that just what someone decided it looked like?
    And that’s so sneaky how they get us to want to buy things because we’ll look ‘hot’ like the models do if we wear they’re products! I’d love to see some clothes etc modelled on someone with a regular body shape!

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