Success came to Calvin Klein very quickly and the brand's products, characterized by minimalism and conciseness, quickly became extremely popular.
When Calvin Klein Ltd., a small atelier specializing in tailoring men's outerwear, opened in New York in 1968, no one could even imagine how important this event would become for the fashion world. But the venture, with a seed capital of $10,000, was destined to become the most talked about fashion brand in the world.
The early history of Calvin Klein is inextricably linked with the founder of the delirium - Calvin Richard Klein, born November 19, 1942 in the Bronx. His father was an immigrant from Hungary, his mother was born in the USA, in the family of an immigrant from Austria.
The Kelvin family owned a small grocery store, was not rich, although not poor. There were no particularly noteworthy events in the boy's childhood and youth. He showed interest in the family business, but he was much more interested in fashion. His mother had a deep sense of style, it is believed that it was she who instilled an interest in the modeling business to her son. According to Kelvin himself, from a very young age he wanted to be a fashion designer.
Following a cherished dream, Calvin entered the New York High School of Art and Design (High School of Art and Design), then studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (Fashion Institute of Technology). The training, completed in 1962, was followed by several years of work in various fashion stores and ateliers. There was not enough money and Kelvin sometimes had to earn extra money as a street artist.
In 1968, together with a friend Barry Schwartz (Barry Schwartz), who became the sponsor of the enterprise, Kelvin opened his own atelier, engaged in tailoring men's outerwear. According to legend, Calvin Klein's first success came by accident. It is said that the owner of the boutique located on the floor above, one day accidentally got into a new atelier and was so impressed by the creations of Calvin that he immediately placed an order for $50 000. True or not, it is now difficult to say. But the fact remains that success came to Calvin Klein very quickly, and in the 70s, the brand's products, characterized by minimalism and conciseness, were already exceptionally popular. In 1973, Kelvin became the youngest designer to win the prestigious Coty Award. Subsequently, he would be awarded many other awards.
The Calvin Klein product range has been constantly expanding. The company gradually launched the production of women's clothing, fur products and accessories. And in 1978, the first line of CK jeans appeared - in fact, an extraordinary event, because in those years, representatives of the fashion world did not even look in this direction. Success came immediately and the company's jeans became very popular among young people. What has always been just a practical casual wear has suddenly turned into an extremely fashionable item. By the way, jeans are not the only thing that the company introduced into the fashion world, it is also considered the founder of the unisex style.
Over the years of existence, Calvin Klein has always managed to stay on top. The company constantly drew attention to itself with unusual models of clothing, for the promotion of which frankly scandalous advertising campaigns were sometimes carried out. It got to the point that they had to stop producing other products, make public apologies and even pay multimillion-dollar lawsuits. And all this because the public believed that the advertising used was blatantly provocative and simply unacceptable. Needless to say, only about the scandals around CK advertising, you can write a lot of separate articles.
The designer himself also got it, who was sometimes accused of frankly copying other people's ideas. Attempts to justify himself on his part only led to new attacks by the press. But in any case, all these years he managed the main thing - to create collections that attracted many buyers and had a huge impact on the fashion world as a whole. The small atelier has grown into a multi-million dollar business.
In 2000, Calvin and Barry announced their intention to sell Calvin Klein. Among possible buyers such well-known manufacturers of jeans as Lee and Wrangler were considered. But in 2002, a deal was struck with the American shirt manufacturer Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, paying $430 million (today, CK's revenues are already estimated at billions). The deal also included the founders' right to further interest payments on the company's earnings over the next 15 years. Kelvin remained with the company as an advisory creative director, while Barry left to pursue equestrianism.
Today, under the brand Calvin Klein, the widest range of products is produced, including casual, sportswear and denim, underwear, accessories, watches and perfumes. By the way, about perfume. The first attempts to enter this market were not particularly successful. Success came only with the advent of Obsession in 1985. But even then, this required an impressive advertising campaign. The French-American company Coty owns the rights to produce Calvin Klein perfumes.
Clothing from Calvin Klein is popular with a variety of segments of the population. And brand boutiques can be found in almost any major city. Having become a real fashion classic, this brand continues to have a huge impact on other manufacturers of stylish clothing.