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Calvin Klein Upskirt Ad Enrages Instagrammers

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Photo: Calvin Klein

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Calvin Klein rolled out a spring ad campaign earlier this week titled "Erotica," which, as the name suggests, wasn't particularly subtle. It involved a butt crack with the slogan #belfie and Kendall Jenner posing with a grapefruit (why hello, vagina metaphor).

But one particular ad from the Harley Weir-lensed campaign is getting a particular amount of criticism on Instagram, as discovered by Digiday. It's a photo looking up the skirt of model Klara Kristin — who is 23 but may look younger to some — with the slogan "I flash in #mycalvin" along with the Instagram caption, "Take a peek."

There are over 1,330 comments on the photo, with people writing things like "Upskirt is a porn category!" or "Way to make everyone following CK a sexual predator" and "@calvinklein remove these pornographic pictures of teenage girls. #Distasteful."

Another person wrote "SO WRONG!!!! SO CREEPY!!! This isn't cutting edge, or innovative or directional or anything else you're trying to tell yourselves in the marketing department. It smacks of desperation. #notallpublicityisgoodpublicity."

Meanwhile, despite the comments, the photo has earned over 43,000 likes.

Take a peek: @karate_katia, photographed by @harleyweir for the Spring 2016 advertising campaign. #mycalvins

A photo posted by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

Another Calvin Klein ad featuring Kristin sparked a petition in March. It showed Kristin with the slogan "I seduce in #mycalvins," alongside a portrait of Fetty Wap that read "I make money in #mycalvins." Rival lingerie company ThirdLove petitioned Calvin Klein to remove the billboard, arguing that it portrayed "archaic and offensive gender stereotype that women are nothing more than sexual objects, while men are the breadwinners."

Courting controversy is obviously nothing new for Calvin Klein, which is how the brand established itself in its 1990s heyday. Some wonder if it's even possible for CK to shock like that anymore, given how much more skin we're used to seeing.

But between this image and the billboard, there is clearly still some degree of controversy. For some, it’s the sexiness of the ads that’s simply too inappropriate. For others, it’s the unfairness of the women being overly sexualized while the male models get to keep their clothes on. (Unless you’re Justin Bieber.) Either way, Calvin Klein has found a way back into the news, again and again.

Update: The National Center on Sexual Exploitation just launched a campaign calling "I flash in #mycalvins" image "a depiction of sexual harassment or assault," urging Calvin Klein to pull the ad. The online petition reads: "We are calling on Calvin Klein to not only remove this offensive ad, but also to suspend its Erotica advertisement campaign, and to issue an apology to victims of sexual harassment or assault everywhere."

Update: The CK model, Klara Kristin, posted an Instagram over the weekend in support of Calvin Klein and photographer Harley Weir.


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