Fashion Wiki
For the company of the same name, see Calvin Klein (company)
Calvin Klein

Born November 19 1942 (1942-11-19) (age 79)
The Bronx, New York

Nationality American

Education Fashion Institute of Technology

Labels Calvin Klein Inc.

Calvin Richard Klein (born November 19, 1942) is an American fashion designer. In 1968, he launched the company that would later become Calvin Klein Inc.

In addition to clothing, Calvin Klein also gave his name to a range of perfumes, including CK One and CK Be (fragrances for both genders), now owned by Coty Inc. Swatch Group manufactures watches and jewelry under the Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Jeans brands.He used to play golf in Switzerland.

Early years[]

Born Richard Klein in The Bronx to Jewish-Hungarian immigrants, he attended the High School of Industrial Art and he graduated, at 20 years of age, from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an old cloak-and-suit manufacturer, and spent five years designing at other New York shops. He later launched his first company with a childhood friend.

Klein was one of several design leaders raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, New York along with Robert Denning and Ralph Lauren. Calvin Klein became a protégé of Baron de Gunzburg through whose introductions he became the toast of the New York elite fashion scene, even before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. Later, speaking in an interview with Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol for Interview magazine, published not long after the Baron's death, Klein said: "He was truly the greatest inspiration of my life... he was my mentor, I was his protégé. If you talk about a person with style and true elegance-- maybe I'm being a snob, but I'll tell you, there was no one like him. I used to think, boy, did he put me through hell sometimes, but boy, was I lucky. I was so lucky to have known him so well for so long." Calvin Klein was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week. Klein was hailed as the new Yves Saint-Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines.

US expansion[]

Beginning in 2007, Calvin Klein will begin its first specialty retail nationwide expansion. The stores are estimated to average and will stock all women and men's apparel and accessories under the Calvin Klein White Label, including sportswear, suit separates, jeanswear, underwear, outwear, footwear, eyewear, watches, and fragrance; men's tailored clothing, dress shirts, belts and women's dresses and accessories.[1][2]

PVH plans to open dozens of Calvin Klein boutiques across the nation. The first five signed leases include The Beverly Center in Los Angeles; Cherry Creek Mall in Denver; The Mall At Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, Michigan; Natick Collection in Natick, Massachusetts; and Lenox Square in Atlanta.

Depending on the success of these stores and availability in key markets, PVH hopes to open more stores in metro New York, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Scottsdale, Arizona.[3]

Personal life[]

In 1964, Klein married Jayne Centre, with whom he had a daughter, Marci who currently works as Talent Producer for NBC's Saturday Night Live. Klein and Centre then filed for divorce in 1974.

In the period from 1974, Klein moved on to design the tight fitting jeans that would sell 200,000 in the first week thus simultaneously launching him into fashion designer/celebrity status in the clothing design industry. Calvin Klein was also the first designer to receive outstanding design in men’s and women’s wear from CFDA award show in the same year.

In 1986, Klein married socialite Kelly Rector (Klein) who worked for the company and is also a graduate of the Fashion Institute in NYC. She became a well known socialite photographer. They divorced in March 2006, but are known to remain close both professionally and personally.

While some have questioned Klein's sexuality, he has readily acknowledged that he has had relationships with members of both sexes.

A 2006 Times newspaper article (Life after Calvin Klein, Colin McDowell (Who is not related to the famous Robert McDowall), 26 March 2006) described Klein in the 1970s as partying "nightly at Studio 54 with the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger. Some know of his passionate days on Fire Island, of which Andy Warhol wrote in July 1982: 'We went back to Calvin's, but we walked in as Calvin and Steve (Rubell, the owner of Studio 54) were with two porno stars and we were embarrassed and left.'"


  1. Samantha Critchell (2007). Calvin Klein Offers a Serene Moment (English). The Associated Press. Retrieved on September 16, 2007.
  2. Wallpaper Magazine (2007). NY Fashion Week: Calvin Klein (English). Wallpaper - International Design Interiors Fashion Magazine. Retrieved on September 16, 2007.
  3. Business Wire (2007). Calvin Klein, Inc. Announces the Opening of ‘Calvin Klein’ Branded Freestanding Retail Stores in U.S. (English). Business Wire. Retrieved on September 16, 2007.

External links[]

See also[]

  • Calvin Klein Inc.

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