BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: Scarlett Johansson seems to be going out of her way to make it evident that her appearance in an upcoming Calvin Klein cosmetics campaign is not a full-on endorsement. Not only did the actress turn up at the company’s racy underwear party on Friday night wearing another designer on her back, she sprinted down the street afterward to avoid photographers waiting outside. Meanwhile, the stars of the Calvin Klein Underwear campaigns — Hilary Swank and Freddie Ljungberg — gamely greeted a crowd now intimately familiar with their bodies at Milk Studios, done up as an elaborate boudoir with one long hallway filled with a row of male models standing behind a white curtain in the company’s latest styles, which vaguely resemble a thong worn in reverse.
Ljungberg had flown into New York that morning from an appearance in San Francisco, where he’d walked out of his hotel room into a similarly disturbing gauntlet — that day’s Examiner had been wrapped with advertisements featuring his naked torso and placed before every door in the hallway.
This story first appeared in the May 25, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’m looking at all this and it’s a bit embarrassing, really,” Ljungberg said. “I keep telling myself, ‘Don’t kid yourself, I’m just a soccer player.’” Ljungberg also had a shocking confession: Calvin Klein did a little enhancement on the campaign — the tattoo of a panther crawling up his abdomen in the ads is actually located on Ljungberg’s back.
Women’s wear designer Francisco Costa had another set of briefs on his mind, however, having just filed an application for a new co-op in Murray Hill, which should provide for an interesting board meeting. Costa’s package included personal letters of reference from his former employers — Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta and Eliza Bolen Reed, who wrote that her only misgiving would be not to have the chance for Costa to buy a residence in her building.