Published: 2022-12-12 ǀ Updated: 2023-05-29
Calvin Klein Biography
The U.S. fashion designer Calvin Richard Klein (* November 19, 1942, in the Bronx, New York City) is known primarily for underwear and clothing such as suits and coats, but shoes, accessories, perfume, and jewelry are also part of the brand's assortment. Characteristic are always simple-puristic, timeless-modern designs with clean lines in discreet monochrome fabrics.
CK graduates from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Chelsea in fashion design.
After working for fashion houses in Manhattan for a few years, the designer founded Calvin Klein together with his school friend Barry K. Schwartz.
He presents his first collection for women. The first orders from the fashion houses Bonwit Teller and Macy's followed.
Klein received his first Coty Award for his collection. Others followed in 1974 and 1975, making him the first designer to win the award three times in a row for a women's collection.
1970s and 1990s
Since the end of the decade, the company grants licenses for perfumes, accessories, and, since the 1990s, watches.
Klein founds the Calvin Klein Underwear division, which was marketed to a young target group thanks to famous models such as Marky Mark and Kate Moss in provocative advertisements.
With the sale of the company to PVH, CK also leaves as a designer. However, a contract stipulates that he will continue to work for PVH in an advisory capacity until 2017.
Since then, CK has lived in seclusion in the Hamptons and shuns public appearances.
- CK is credited with bringing jeans to the mass market.
- A TV commercial in which Brooke Shields says, "Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." is banned from television. Further ads draw legal scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department in 1995 due to allegations of pornographic content of underage models. (https://www.biography.com/fashion-designer/calvin-klein).
- Numerous celebrities posed for CK, including Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Mehcad Brooks, Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Eva Mendes and FKA Twigs. With his underwear models such as Mark Wahlberg, Klein contributed to the staging of men as sex objects.