Could it be true? Did Calvin Klein really draw inspiration from AMG to create one of the most controversial ad campaigns in recent history?
In Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader, the authors, Gail Dines, Jean M. (McMahon) Humez, briefly make reference to the studio in a footnote about the Calvin Klein porno-esque underwear ads that were banned in 1996.
Although the campaign also featured female models, the ads mainly showed young men recreating scenes from the super-8 films sold by the Athletic Model Guild in the 1950s and 1960s that were targeted at homosexual men. (pg. 211)
Now, there is no doubt that these videos reflect the spirit and aesthetic of the old AMG, but I think Dines et al may be a couple of decades off. These videos much more resemble the Anal Erotic and posing videos of the 70s and 80s. The wood paneling is a classic 1970s AMG backdrop, the man behind the camera even sounds like Bob, and the crappy recording quality and choppy intro/outros are ripped straight from the pages of the AMG handbook. Also typical of the cocaine age are the models. Bob often enlisted riff raff as models, however the scamps of the 50s and 60s were more Danny Zuko (Grease) than Tony Maner (Saturday Night Fever).
Oh yeah, and where's the dick?
It is nice that even the academics gives big ups to the studio that started it all, but it looks like this time they may have had some false intelligence.