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Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein is an American fashion label founded by Calvin Klein headquartered in New York City and is currently owned by Phillips-Van Heusen. The fashion house was founded in 1968 by Klein and his friend Barry Schwartz, with its first collection a mix of youthful coats and dresses that was featured in the New York City store, Bonwit Teller. Calvin Klein has men’s, women’s, jeans, underwear and accessories line. By 1971, Klein had expanded the company to include sportswear, classic blazers and lingerie for its women’s collection. In 1973, he received the COTY American Fashion Critics’ award for his 74-piece womenswear collection, making him the youngest recipient at the time. The company was making around $30 million in revenue by 1977 (equivalent to $117 million in 2015), and expanded to include licenses for scarves, shoes, belts, furs, sunglasses, and sheets, and then cosmetics, jeans and menswear. In 1978, Klein sold 200,000 pairs of jeans in its first week of release, creating a designer jean craze. In 1982, Calvin Klein introduced a line of highly successful men’s underwear collection, which would go on to gross $70 million a year. Despite being a highly successful company and establishing its name as an American mainstay, the company almost faced bankruptcy in 1992. However, Klein managed to regain popularity, mainly with its underwear, sportswear and fragrance lines. During his tenure as head of menswear design, John Varvatos pioneered the boxer brief -- a mix between a boxer short and a brief, the design was made popular through a series of print ads featuring Mark Wahlberg. The company was sold to Phillips-Van Heusen Corp in mid 2002, for about $400 million USD in cash, and $30 million USD in stocks, as well as licensing rights and royalties over the next 15 years that was estimated to be around $200 - $300 million USD. The company named Francisco Costa as the creative director for women in 2003, and he remains in this role to this day. Italo Zucchelli, a former Jil Sander and Romeo Gigli designer, became head designer of the Calvin Klein Collection menswear line in spring 2004. Since 1998, Kevin Carrigan has been the creative director of the ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein White Label brands and their related licensed products.

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PVH unites Calvin Klein formal, underwear, jeans and sportswear lines


Label sold to Phillips Van Heusen Corp (PVH)

Late 1980s

Sees financial problems surfacing


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