‘You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.’ When those words were spoken by a teenage Brooke Shields in a 1980 underwear campaign, they became one of the most iconic fashion slogans of the 20th century. And that’s the thing: when you think about Calvin Klein’s most memorable moments, you inevitably come back to underwear — or the lack of it. But Calvin Klein is about far more than tighty whities and underdressed models; one of the most seminal brands of the 1980s and 90s, it has shaped the way we think about beauty and fashion. As Raf Simons (one of the most forward thinking menswear designers today) comes on board, we look at the American label’s most influential looks.
So when we said we weren’t going to focus on underwear, that doesn’t mean we can’t mention it, right? Back in 1992, when Mark Wahlberg was known as Marky Mark, he fronted arguably the most memorable male underwear advert of all time, posing in a pair of tight boxers with then model-of-the-moment Kate Moss. This was followed up last year with a campaign featuring Lara Stone and a tattooed Justin Bieber, who suddenly seemed a lot more grown-up than he had before.
Okay… so our pledge to not talk about underpants isn’t going exactly to plan. But some of the most memorable photographs taken over the past two decades have been of the world’s most desired women in their white Calvin Klein briefs: Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, Lara Stone and Christy Turlington. Come find out more about their latest campaign targetting millennials fashion trends.
Thanks to this seminal SS94 collection of pastel silk slip dresses, Klein is the designer we can credit with kissing goodbye to the 80s power suit and saying hello to the feminine waif, personified by the delicate yet sassy Kate Moss. The clothes he debuted for this collection lived by the motto ‘nothing is stiff’, which meant they could be worn anywhere, at any time of day.
If slip silk dresses were the sensual look of the 1990s, then Calvin Klein Jeans with their distinctive baggy leg and high-waisted cut were the everyday style of the decade. Worn by everyone from Brooke Shields to Mossy, they epitomised the grungy, laid-back look of the decade, in direct contrast to all the flash and glitz of the previous one.
In 2000, Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the most famous young actors in the world: she had recently won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and was riding high on the success of films such as Sliding Doors and The Talented Mr Ripley. Not happy with just one Academy Awards CK moment, Paltrow chose to wear sleek, sexy, metallic Calvin Klein numbers to both the 2000 and 2011 Oscars, looking equally gorgeous in both.