Thursday, September 8, 2011

10 most controversial ads in fashion history

In honor of fashion week which starts in New York tomorrow, Toponlinecolleges did a lookback at ads that have fueled the industry.

In 1980, 15-year old Brooke Shields launched Calvin Klein's career by announcing to the world she was going commando. "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins." In those gentler times, this ignited public outcry against child pornography and the ensuing controversy (and sales) fueled a voracity in the industry for younger models.

Now, of course, the ads seem benign. Last year Brooke told the New York Post: "I look at these pictures now and I still am sort of shocked that they became so legendary. For me, it was just a huge job I went to after school at 3 o'clock. The one with my leg up, I just remember my arm hurting."

In 1997, creative director for Brooke's Calvin Klein campaign Sam Shahid teamed up with photographer Bruce Weber to produce another piece of fashion marketing that would inflame moral outrage: a 100 pg catalog targeted to middle schoolers with photos suggesting nudity, group sex (with dogs) and articles by "experts" advising sexual experimentation in college. It wasn't a catalog, exactly. A+F dubbed it a "magalog" and sold it in stores, ostensibly only to those over 18. (No ID required, of course.) Numerous lawsuits and boycotts ensued and they discontinued production in 2003, issuing limited editions to more tolerant European markets. The cover pictured at left was for the last issue which can be yours on ebay for $34.95.

The other 8 ads (including Sisley ad featuring models snorting white spaghetti straps) can be found in the post which inspired this one.

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