Rooney Mara for Calvin Klein’s “Down Town” Ad Campaign

Posted on July 11, 2013

The Audreybot stars in the latest ad campaign for Calvin Klein’s new fragrance, Downtown, directed by her Svengali, David Fincher, director of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network.

“I am very excited to be included in the group of amazing women that have been featured in the iconic advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein fragrances. It’s an honor to be part of a brand with such a legacy of breakthrough advertising,” Rooney Mara told WWD.

She’s so perfectly the face of the CK brand right now – an icy, severe American aristocrat who never wears colors – that we’d bet she’s likely to become synonymous with it for a good while the way Brooke Shields and later, Marky Mark did. It’s funny how the brand image has changed over time. From tight jeans on teenagers to homoerotic thugs in tightie whiteys to the embodiment of the young NYC socialite with an edge.


It’s a gorgeous ad, but don’t even try to tell us they’re not deliberately doing a sort of post-punk Audrey thing there.



[Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Mondino for Calvin Klein – Video Credit: Calvin Klein]

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  • Ediths_Head

    Off topic, but…

    I think she’s excited to be “included in the group of amazing women WHO” have represented blah blah blah. Can’t anyone write or speak properly anymore? Besides the impeccable T and Lo and their kittens. Honestly, it’s almost the only website I can bear to read anymore.

    • MoHub

      Thank you! I was going to say the same but was afraid of being accused of being a Grammar Nazi. And as a person of the Hebrao-American persuasion, I never want to be called a Nazi.

    • Cz

      I think they used “that” because the pronoun refers to the group, not the women. I think it would be WHO if it was “included with the women who…”

      • AnaRoW

        I agree with you. Either way it’s not really wrong. You can use “that” to refer to people. It’s just not preferable.

      • Little_Olive

        But then it would have to be “…that has” instead of “have”, no?

        • Cz

          Absolutely right. I guess it’s more of what AnaRoW says below then that it’s not preferrable but acceptable.

    • Little_Olive

      Thank you! As a non-native english speaker, I appreciate the correct grammar and colorful vocabulary in this blog so much. You cannot imagine the poverty of people’s (Spanish, my native) language and spelling in the local newspaper -journalists and commenters alike.

      • Malve Lyborg

        Same here! And I really enjoy learning (especially fashion-related) new words on this site.

        And same for german newspapers and (tv, radio, paper-) journalists. In German, there’s this phrase that expresses the feeling when you really dislike something, “da rollen mir die Zehennägel hoch” (“this makes my toenails curl up”). This is the feeling I have when people are using wrong grammar and have no clue of semantics. And even worse if those people earn their living by writing.

    • omg_dora

      It’s not a mistake. A quick Google search tells me that the American Heritage College Dictionary says both “who” and “that” are appropriate when referring to a person. The Chicago Manual of Style accepts both options as well. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage records a lot of historical evidence for writers using “that” to refer to a person. Strunk & White may forbid the use of “that” — I can’t find my copy right now — but those guys are notorious for making up rules based on personal preference and/or local conventional wisdom. 🙂 Go by their suggestions in your own writing if you like, but it’s really a pity if you prevent yourself from enjoying perfectly good sites because of writers who choose to be more flexible about the who vs. that issue (or that vs. which, or split infinitive = bad, or many other “rules”).

  • PlethoraofBooks

    Almost too severe… she’s what, 27? Dear gosh, go and live a little and have fun sometime!

  • Tess Danesi

    I wonder if anyone can help with this. One some posts lately when browsing in Chrome, the images don’t come up. When I try it in Safari, they work. What is going on? This is one of those no image posts 🙁 So over to Safari it is. I hate Safari but I hate missing T-Lo posts more.

    • hyperionic

      If you’re using Adblock it’s blocking the images.

      • MilaXX

        That might be a possibility, because I’m using Chrome and not having this issue.

      • Tess Danesi

        Yes, yes, yes, That was it, Thank you all for helping me fix this! Yay!

    • Daisy Walker

      Thank you so much for asking about this! I’ve been having the same problem. And thanks to hyperionic for the solution!

    • BrooklynBomber

      The others are probably right. You can temporarily unblock by going to the AdBlock icon and clicking Pause. It worked for me for this post. I wasn’t able to see the Project Runway video in yesterday’s post, though, for some reason – not any any browser.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Damn, can I get David Fincher to stage my life too?

  • leahpapa

    It smiles!

  • Jessica Freeman

    I do not find this ground breaking advertising. Quite the opposite.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Is it supposed to be groundbreaking? I’m not sure it is. But from the music to the images I don’t find it at all appealing or compelling.

      • Jessica Freeman

        I was referring to her statement, where at the end she references “groundbreaking advertising”…and then we get this………….snooze.

        • BrooklynBomber

          Oh, this? It’s an honor to be part of a brand with such a legacy of breakthrough advertising,” Yeah, I hadn’t bothered to read that.

  • lexilexi

    Me too, and I have to say… she is unrecognizable in that shot… that’s how unused to seeing teeth we are….

  • MilaXX

    I’m getting kind of bored with her and as interesting as she was in the movie, I still prefer the original.

    • Introspective

      i didnt want to be the one to say it. as soon as i saw this post I yawned. this girl never ceases to underwhelm me. even at the height of the dragon tattoo poledance.


      • Kristin McNamara

        I actually just watched her movie “Side Effects” last night and thought she was remarkable in it. Creepy as hell, but a really great performance, in my opinion. It was only the second thing I’d ever seen her in besides GWTDT.

        • lobsterlen

          Second that. Side Effects was good. Creepy yes and an interesting mystery.

  • hughman

    “I’m Sally Struthers. Innumerable movie stars are now feeling pensive and often sad as they wear outrageously expensive clothes and give press conferences. But for only a few pennies a day, you can give them a perfume that will make them at least smell better. Won’t you help? Do it for Rooney, do it for Nick Gruber, do it for Calvin.”

  • BrooklynBomber

    Roman Holiday meets Notting Hill.

  • Monzerrat Ontiveros

    awful hairdo! :S

  • bertkeeter

    Tedious footage…her sweetner going into a coffee cup, really? I’m waiting for CK’s fragrance “CLONE” to come out, follwed by the final fragrance “DENIAL”!

    • decormaven

      Don’t forget the SNL parody, “Compulsion.”

      • cowper

        The fake “commercial” with the OCD gal vacuuming, right? Love that!

        • OrigamiRose

          By Calvin Kleen!

          • decormaven

            Right and right! Loved that one.

          • Shawn EH

            Or Kristin Wiig selling “Red Flag!”

    • Little_Olive

      “her sweetner going into a coffee cup, really?”


  • NMMagpie

    This is all gorgeous work but man alive… I am tired of her and whomever is repping her continuing to hit the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” bar. It’s getting tired. Or perhaps, that’s just me getting tired of it.

  • decormaven

    Love the way she looks up with her eyes at the staged press conference. Her face is a photographer’s wonderland.

  • Lesley

    she fits Calvin Klein perfectly. she has that “heroin chic,” kate moss, early 90’s vibe about her, which i feel like they’ve kept true too all these years.

  • Ozski

    Also, the packaging looks like a generic nail polish bottle you would find at a Dollar store. Zzzzzzz.

    • decormaven

      Truly. And the way the name of the fragrance is typeset on the bottle, it’s weird. Having Down stacked on top of Town, all I see is “own.” And is purple the color of downtown?

  • Laylalola

    I don’t see her becoming synonymous with the brand — she has zero sex appeal or charisma or whatever it is that makes the crowd want to look up at the billboard for hours.

    • Little_Olive

      Idk about charisma -she definitely has *something*- but yes on the sex appeal. Apparently A LOT comes between her and her Calvins.

  • crash1212

    The girl’s got face. Gorgeous.

  • Little_Olive

    They’ve over-exploited her quiet, mysterious aura and now she just looks medicated.

    ETA: which is probably on-point for the target audience.

  • prismamars

    Kind of off-topic, I’ve been having trouble seeing the ad campaign posts in the past couple of months (can’t see the images at all actually); I can see all the other posts just fine though. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • sunsetwalker

      yeah i used to have this problem you need to pause your adblock for the ad campaign pages lol

      • prismamars

        lol It seems pretty obvious when you say it like that- thanks for the info!

  • Jecca2244

    For some reason she strikes me in this ad as a dark and broody Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. I saw Side Effects recently. She is a very good little actress. I can’t imagine what it was like raising her and Kate side by side. Two very different girls, it seems!

  • Airkisses

    No one’s mentioned the music? It’s the Yeah Yeah Yeahs!

    ETA: Unless I’m so out of the loop that this is a widely known song and I’m just the last to find out 🙂

    • Shawn EH

      It’s “Runaway,” from their 2009 album: I’m betting it’s just one that David or Rooney personally likes. I love her “acting” expressions in this, clearly flipping the Audrey-Bot emotion switch on and off.

  • rougeort

    Her makeup is done really well, but that scruffy bun/ponytail thing is REALLY bugging me…

  • Claudia

    Has anyone read The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters…? I’m thinking Contessa Lacquer-Sforza. I read somewhere Johnny Depp’s production company purchased film option. Shall I give him a ring and let him know?

  • lobsterlen

    Well at least Rory likes puppies.

  • anotherkate

    Perfume ads are just the stupidest. Women doing things! Fans blowing their skirts! Laughing in the rain! Fame! Smiling at puppies! Brooding on the subway! Because fragrance? I don’t get it.

    • Shawn EH

      She’s totally going to eat that puppy!