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The Kinky, Controversial History Of Calvin Klein In 3 Minutes

The Kinky, Controversial History Of Calvin Klein In 3 Minutes
[Photos: PICTORIAL PRESS LTD/ALAMY (KATE MOSS AD); GLOBE PHOTOS/ZUMAPRESS.COM (MARKY MARK’S CALVIN KLEIN AD); ZUMA PRESS INC/ALAMY (CALVIN KLEIN AD); JEFF MORGAN14/ALAMY (COVER OF VOGUE); ART DIRECTORS & TRIP/ALAMY (CALVIN KLEIN STRAIGHT JEANS); ROSA BETENCOURT/ALAMY (FLORIDA ESTERO); ROBERT MORA/ALAMY (CALVIN KLEIN SCENT); CM STUDIO/ALAMY (DESIGNER SUNGLASSES); FAIRCHILD PHOTO SERVICES/CONDE NAST/CORBIS (CALVIN KLEIN SWIMWEAR); FAIRCHILD PHOTO SERVICE/CONDE NAST/CORBIS (CALVIN KLEIN FALL 2008); BETTMANN/CORBIS (CALVIN KLEIN AT FBI); H.ARMSTRONG ROBERTS/CLASSICSTOCK/EVERETT (BLONDE WOMAN BLUE COAT); THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES (GLORIA STEINEM); MIKE CLARKE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (GIANT UNDERWEAR ADVERTISEMENT); LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES (WOODY HARRELSON AD); ALBERT URSO/GETTY IMAGES (ACCESSORIES PREMIER); JOAN ADLEN/GETTY IMAGES (CALVIN KLEIN BACKSTAGE)]

Calvin Klein got his big start by accident, when a big department-store buyer mistakenly exited an elevator on the wrong floor and promptly ordered $50,000 worth of his merchandise.

By 1973, his clean, simple designs had become an iconic look. And soon enough, the brand would help launch the careers of Brooke Shields (who famously had nothing between her and her Calvins), Mark Wahlberg (of the famously sagging pants), and Kate Moss (still very famous), who all starred in controversial ad campaigns. Watch the video above to learn more about the company’s scandalous past and sensual marketing, what prompted an FBI investigation, and how it bounced back to rack up $7.1 billion in sales in 2013. AL