Nick Kamen, star of the Levi’s ‘Launderette’, has died at 59

Sad news that Nick Kamen, who starred in what is still one of the most famous ads of all time, has died aged 59 after a long illness.

When he stripped down to his boxer shorts in a launderette, he sold not just Levi’s jeans but also introduced an alternative style of underwear to a nation of men who had grown up in y-fronts. Almost certainly, Kamen’s exploits also helped to sell advertising as a glamorous profession in the 80s and 90s.

A supreme piece of commercial creativity with a genius soundtrack provided by Marvin Gaye’s “I heard it through the grapevine,” it’s always a good time to take another look at Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s iconic 1985 ad.

Kamen was born as Ivor Neville Kamen in Essex. He went on to working with Madonna, who wrote his top five hit “Each Time You Break My Heart.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.