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Calvin Klein’s Super Sexual ‘Upskirt’ Ad Is Making the Internet Uncomfortable

Calvin Klein Advertisement ControversyCalvin Klein Advertisement Controversy
A Calvin Klein advertisement is displayed on a city bus August 23, 1995 in New York City. The advertising campaign, which included print ads and television spots, incited nationwide controversy because of its similarity to child pornography.Photograph by Evan Agostini—Getty Images

Looks like nothing comes between Calvin Klein and its controversial ads.

On Tuesday, the retailer posted a photograph on its Instagram page showing an “upskirt” shot of model Klara Kristin as part of it’s new “Erotica” campaign. The photo was accompanied with the caption, “Take a peek,” which hit too close to home for some women.


“It’s specifically that it is an upskirt shot and those should not be encouraged or promoted or depicted as something that women want when we currently have a problem with men taking pictures exactly like this in public without consent,” commented Instagram user @gory_gilmore. Other users have complained that, because of how young Kristin looks—she is 25 but could pass for a teenager—the ad encourages pedophilia.


Last month, another of Kristin’s Calvin Klein ads caused controversy, though more because of its sexist undertones than nudity. In the ad, a full-body image of Kristin appeared next to the face of rapper Fetty Wop; her caption read “I seduce in #myCalvins” while his read “I make money in #myCalvins.” The brand took down the billboard with the ad following a petition—started by Heidi Zak, CEO of lingerie brand ThirdLove—that demanded that it do so.

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Calvin Klein has a history of racy advertising. As Quartz points out, the brand came under fire for its so-called “kiddie porn” ads in the 1990s. In one of these ads, a shirtless young man is told by an—invisible, presumably older—man he has “pretty blue eyes.”

Protesters lined up to protest Calvin Klein’s ads back then. Will we see anything other than Insta-activism now?

Calvin Klein did not respond to a request for comment.