Calvin Klein Slammed For Promoting Sexual Harassment In Raunchy Upskirt Ads

Calvin Klein Slammed For Promoting Sexual Harassment In Raunchy Upskirt Ads

Last week, Calvin Klein unleashed its latest string of ‘I ______ in my Calvins’, part of its international campaign, and let’s just say it didn’t leave everyone racing for the stores.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

The provocative ads, in particular an upskirt shot of model Klara Kristen, have resulted in claims they are promoting sexual harassment, with calls to ban the ads and get them removed.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has requested the ads be taken down, insisting they glamourise sexual assault, especially given the issues in recent years of men taking upskirt photos of women on their mobile phones.

“Once again, Calvin Klein has used a depiction of sexual harassment or assault in its advertisements,” executive director Dawn Hawkins said in a statement.

“The American fashion house has continued to stand by its most recent ad campaign, not-so-subtly entitled Erotica , despite the backlash over its glamorized depiction of an ‘up-skirting’ victim.

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“Up-skirting is a growing trend of sexual harassment where pictures are taken up a woman’s skirt without her knowledge, or without her consent. By normalising and glamorising this sexual harassment, Calvin Klein is sending a message that the experiences of real-life victims don’t matter, and that it is okay for men to treat the woman standing next to them on the metro as available pornography whenever they so choose.”

The organisation is not only requesting the ad’s removal, but the removal of the entire series of ads, as well as demanding an apology to victims of sexual harassment and assault. The NCOSE also set up an online petition to add some heat to its protest.

But it’s not the first time this particular campaign has stirred the pot, with a billboard of Kristen and the caption, ‘I seduce in my Calvins’, getting reactions back in March.

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The CEO of lingerie company Third Love, Heidi Zak, called on Calvin Klein to take the billboard down, arguing it was both sexist and portrayed out-dated gender stereotypes. Zak had success too, according to Hollywood Reporter, with the billboard eventually being removed.

Calvin Klein hasn’t made any comments on the controversy, merely posting this to its Instagram page:

Hold up: @saskiadebrauw, as photographed by @harleyweir for the Spring 2016 campaign. #mycalvins

A photo posted by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on