May 13, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: New Campaign Launched Against Exploitive Calvin Klein

Public Encouraged to Cut Up, Return Clothes


Washington, DC – Calvin Klein’s recent advertisement depicting “upskirting” has attracted widespread criticism and builds on its history of sexually exploitive advertisements. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is calling on Calvin Klein to stop normalizing and glamorizing sexual harassment.

“Calvin Klein’s recent upskirting ad builds on the fashion brand’s legacy of promoting sexually exploitive advertisements,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “From a 2010 jeans ad that suggested gang rape, to photographing a topless, underage model Calvin Klein continues to promote child exploitation and rape culture in a desperate effort to remain relevant. In fact, Calvin Klein once produced a child-themed ad campaign that was so provocative and akin to child pornography that it was investigated by the Department of Justice. The latest sexualized ad by this fashion house features a glamorized image of upskirting—a growing form of sexual harassment that affects real women. While some have defended this ad by claiming it’s about female body empowerment, I would argue that sexual harassment is never empowering. The real women who are victims of upskirting do not feel ‘in control’ or empowered, and promoting a sanitized version of these women’s real-life traumas is not “girl power,” its anti-woman. Calvin Klein needs to get the message that just because women’s bodies are in public doesn’t mean they are public property.”

“We are asking the public to pledge on social media to boycott Calvin Klein using #ICutCalvin,” Hawkins continued. “In addition to this, we are asking anyone who owns Calvin Klein clothing to cut up the items and to mail them to the company’s headquarters to send them the message that sexual harassment is never fashionable. Calvin Klein’s headquarter address is: 205 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018.”

NCOSE has also launched a petition at endsexualexploitation.org/calvin.

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