Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fashion: Calvin Klein 30 Years Later, Still Pushing Buttons

It's been almost 30 years since a bold and beautiful 1983 Times Square ad featuring Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus posing in his Calvin Kleins... which revolutionized the advertising industry, if not the Klein signature. For the first time, men were allowed to be as sexy—and sexually overt—as women in print adverts, thanks to what was then considered a risque visual from Bruce Weber.

Today, thankfully, men are regularly objectified in underwear ads (praise god!), with celebrities from Mark Wahlberg to David Beckham and Mario Lopez happily strutting around in next to nothing. As with most trends in fashion, the entire undercurrent began in the what was then the gay-subculture. Both Klein and Weber are gay and had a vision, which they swiped straight from the pages of the Undergear and International Male catalogs, which were celebrating the male form long before it was splashed across a New York City billboard.

Things aren't so different today. Within the past five years, undies makers like 2(x)ist,Andrew Christian and Aussie Bum have made their fortunes marketing to the gay market boldly saying, at last, what everybody had always been thinking... "We're designing underbritches to lift and push." In a word: the package became mainstream.

Now, in 2012, Calvin Klein is introducing us to a new breed of strapping bucks wearing nothing but their Calvins—and bearing all for the world to see. Their latest breakout model is Matthew Terry, a Pennsylvania native who is the face... and crotch... of its new "Bold" line. Indeed. He is now gracing magazine covers, fashion spreads and gaining fame, all because he has such a... pronounced physique. Bring it on, baby. And let the men continue to have their day in the spotlight. *