Nothing was as cool back in 1994 as the Calvin Klein unisex perfume ck one. It was a huge success and was followed up by my signature perfume of the 1990s: ck be. The coolness faded with the introduction of ck one Shock, Red and Summer. But back then, ck one defined 1990s androgyny, it featured a minimalistic bottle and the ad shot by Steven Meisel featured Kate Moss and Jenny Shimizu, among others, was inspired by the work of legendary photographer Richard Avedon.

Ck-one-1It was size zero for men before it became size zero for boys a few years later “thanks” to Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme and it suited me perfectly. Over night, I went from feeling awkwardly skinny (180 cm/52 kg) and ugly to feeling kinda cool. Well, at least cooler than before. I swore that I would never gain any muscles, this was it. This is who I am.

ckone-4  ckone-3I am aware about the discourse of the body and the negative consequences of ideals far from reach but to me, the ad was pure empowerment. And it gave me a reason to lift my left eyebrow every time I was asked to join a gym. But being a size zero was fine when I was in my teens or when I was 20-something. Not now.

End note: To this day, I have never put ck one on my skin. It was the perfume of the first boy to break my heart.