News & Runway

CALVIN KLEIN’S RACY NEW ADS

There has been plenty of juicy gossip surrounding fashion designers this week – from Jason Wu’s supposed outing by the New York Times to rumors that Oliver Theyskens might be in the market for a new job. But the steamiest news to come out of the fashion world concerns a certain commercial put out by a prominent jeans company.

While the name Calvin Klein is synonymous with its own unique brand of cool, clean minimalism, it has also taken on connotations of raw and sometimes controversial sensuality. Who could forget the iconic images of Natalia Vodianova on a dark rocky beach, her lips hovering tantalizingly over a half-naked Jamie Dornan? The new commercial and ad campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, features some of this season’s hottest young models stretched out on a sofa wearing nothing but the brand’s signature denim, with their long limbs entangled indiscriminately and expressions of utter euphoria on their faces.

The grainy quality of the video and the basement-like setting only adds to a sense of voyeurism on the part of the viewer. The commercial has been deemed so risqué, in fact, that it has been banned from even late night television. While Calvin Klein has often come under fire for its provocative images and in-your-face sex appeal, the brand has remained true to its identity as creative pioneer, a pusher of envelopes and a classic American label that is not afraid of challenging America’s traditionally conservative social norms.