Calvin Klein Accused Of Sexism For Offensive Ad Placement


Photo courtesy of Heidi Zak

When the latest advertisements for Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins campaign started rolling out a few weeks ago, we were all about it. (Our personal favorites have been FKA twigs' ones, obviously.) All of that changed this morning when we received an e-mail with the subject "Take Down Calvin Klein's Sexist Advertisement—#MoreThanMyUnderwear" though.

In the message, Heidi Zak, the CEO and co-founder of ThirdLove, addressed a letter to Calvin Klein in regards to one of the brand's billboards in New York City. Apparently, the image located in the SoHo neighborhood features side-by-side images of actor Klara Kristin ("I seduce in #mycalvins") and rapper Fetty Wap ("I make money in #mycalvins"). Zak notes that the combination of their captions is offensive because it propagates "outdated gender stereotypes: men go to work and make money while women are nothing more than sex objects."

"I'm a CEO, and I work hard," Zak adds. "I make money just like Fetty—and I do so while wearing underwear, just like all the other amazing women out there working every day. We should be illustrating that women do more than simply 'seduce.'"

Many people have started petitioning for the ad's removal and have been using the hashtag #MoreThanMyUnderwearWe reached out to Calvin Klein for comment, and in addition to sending us a statement, the company informed us that the advertisement has since been removed:

This billboard was taken down overnight as part of the planned rotation of our Spring 2016 advertising campaign. We take all of our consumers’ concerns seriously and as a global brand, we promote gender equality and the breakdown of gender stereotypes across the world. Our global advertising campaign images feature many different musicians, artists and models wearing all of our product categories, including our underwear products, sharing how they feel about and live in their Calvins.

Watch Zak make her case in the video, below.