Brooke Shields’ 1980s Calvin Klein ads are downright iconic, but she never expected to make fashion history.
The supermodel, 56, starred in the denim advertisements at just 15 years old, instantly sparking controversy with the line, “What comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
Several TV networks even banned the commercials for being too provocative.
“It just struck me as so ridiculous, the whole thing,” Shields told Vogue of the “shocking” backlash.
“I was naive, I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think it had to do with underwear, I didn’t think it was sexual in nature.”
As for the ad’s infamous tagline? “If they had intended on the double entendre, they didn’t explain it to me … It didn’t faze me,” she recalled.
Shields said viewers seemed to assume that she was “much more savvy” than she was at the time, adding, “I was a virgin. I was a virgin forever after that … and then that became the thing people hooked into.”
The brunette beauty did admit that she’s since realized her ads were more suggestive than she initially thought.
“The choreography was specific and intentional,” she said. “Yeah, at 56 I can go back and look at the camera and see, ‘Oh, well, they’re zooming in kind of on my crotch area and then it comes to my face, okay.’”
But, as Shields added: “Sex has sold since the dawn of time.”
Today, the mom of two daughters — Rowan, 18, and Grier, 15 — is proud of the commercial’s impact. In fact, Shields recently teamed up with Calvin Klein again for an underwear campaign, showing more than she ever did in her teenage years.
“On the one hand, I don’t think you could get away with a lot of what I did in the ’80s now — but by the same token, so much more is done now than what we would’ve ever dreamt of doing,” she said.
“And there is an assimilation of sexuality now that I certainly didn’t have when I was 15, whereas now I see my teenagers with different body images, and different fears and different insecurities.”
Added Shields, “We were pretty protected from a lot of that back then. I appreciate being so protected in my naiveté, because I feel as if I was relatively unscathed.”