Calvin Klein Underwear Celebrates 30 Years

Tom Hinthaus photographed by Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein in 1982. He was 24 years old in that time.

Millions of people ogled him wearing just Calvin Klein skivvies in a famous, nay iconic, 1983 GQ magazine spread, not to mention the giant billboard in Times Square!.


Calvin Klein Underwear Celebrates 30 Years: Where it all started. Olympian Tom Hintnaus was the first to appear in a Calvin Klein Underwear ad in 1982. Photographed by Bruce Weber (Click photo to enlarge).

Hintnaus, who now lives in Hawai’i Kai, he still occasionally models, but these days his day job is building docks, which means he can be on the water all day. Hintnaus, an Olympic pole-vaulter who still competes, has the genes to back it up. His mother and late father, both from the Czech Republic, were athletes; his father coached Cathy Rigby through her Olympic years

Hintnaus never took the modeling as seriously as he did the athletics. His brow furrowed as he talked about the appearance money that he’d earn, in cash, and under the table, to keep his amateur status to make the Olympics.

The modeling started his third year in college, when he’d gone home to California for the summer and remembered the card a manager had given him. His parents were skeptical: They’d been caught once before in a scheme in which a modeling agent tried to milk them for money. Imagine their surprise when the manager told them that not only would he not charge them, but later got their son signed to Los Angeles’ biggest name in modeling, the Nina Blanchard Agency.

The young Hintnaus did runway shows, commercials and print ads, yes, in those infamous undies. “I worked so hard at being the best pole-vaulter in the world, and I ended up being more well-known for putting on a pair of briefs,” he told The Los Angeles Times.

Glad he did! So… stil, afer all those years we could still enjoy. Like it was yesterday. And that he (Bruce Weber) has paved the way for many others…

by Jean Amr