Founded in 1982, Calvin Klein Underwear is credited with being the first designer underwear brand. Twenty-five years after its introduction, Calvin Klein Underwear continues to be one of the best-selling men’s and women’s designer underwear brands worldwide.
Calvin Klein, Inc. is one of the leading fashion design and marketing studios in the world.
Known for being an industry leader, Calvin Klein underwear created the now ubiquitous boxer brief silhouette and greatly expanded men’s wardrobe choices in underwear, loungewear, and sleepwear.
The brand also brought a sexy, modern, minimalist aesthetic to women’s underwear. As the first women’s brand to bring men’s styling to its product, the women’s business has today expanded to include a full range of lingerie styles that offer fashion, fit, and everyday comfort.
“ We turned the idea of underwear on its head, gave a utilitarian product a designer sensibility. We paid attention to details, re-shaped and re-fit the basics, focused on comfort, quality and construction. We made underwear sexy, something fun for everyone to enjoy.” –Calvin Klein
To create the brands iconic advertising campaigns the company works with some of the world’s most renowned fashion photographers. The iconic image of Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg was photographed by Herb Ritts in 1992.
The Calvin Klein brand has become known for featuring some of the most provocative men and women in attention-getting advertising campaigns and packaging.
Mark Wahlberg- very masculine, “guy’s guy”, fitting male stereotype
What are some specific things that Wahlberg does to portray this stereotype?
Kate Moss- very passive, silent, fitting female stereotypes
What does Moss do that makes her fall into the female stereotype?
The layout/ storyboard of the commercial
How does this play on gender roles? What message is Calvin Klein sending to his customers about gender?
Woman in a MEN’S underwear commercial???
What is the significance of Kate Moss in this commercial? Why is she there? Do you think her role is needed?
Objectification- Wahlberg Quote
“ Mark actually wasn't very satisfied as a model. He wasn't allowed to say anything he wanted and it did nothing in promoting his music. In the end he felt like a "torso." So he was happy to leave it behind and start a very successful acting career.”
What does Wahlberg’s feelings say about objectification and how does this play on gender roles? Was he being objectified? Would it be something to mention if Kate Moss felt this way instead of the Mark?
Gender Roles Continued… What do the male model ad’s say about sexuality and gender? In today’s day and age does the idea of homosexuality come to mind when looking at these ads?
Lack of any colored models throughout entire campaign
Same race couple in the advertisement- How would a mixed couple work? Would it?
Mark Wahlberg was a RAP ARTIST at the time of his appearance in the Calvin Klein 1992 campaign- Do you feel his placement in the music industry made a difference on the success of the campaign?
Do you think Mark’s involvement in the rap industry helped in targeting a minority culture to this brand? Why or why not?
*** Refer back to the reading by David Leonard – “The Real Color of Money: Controlling black bodies in the NBA” – The article mentions the Hip-hop industry and talks about music’s influence on colored youth. ***
The AID epidemic- Wahlberg mentions that the underwear are a good protection against aids. How is this significant? How would discussion on Aids through the commercial change if an African-American model took Wahlberg’s place? Or how about Kate’s place? Keep in mind the Ad is from 1992.
Would a commercial like this really convince consumers to protect themselves and stay abstinent? Is it too sexual to convey this message?
*** Refer back to the reading by Blaney and Wolfe- “Critical Theories of how Media shapes Culture, Values, and Perspectives” – The article discusses how mass media shapes not only cultural beliefs and behaviors but also reflects the attitudes and actions that members of culture come to share.