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Calvin Klein fashion brand, the story of success

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Calvin Klein | February 18, 2011

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cK black and white ads

Calvin Klein is an American fashion brand founded in 1968 by the designer Calvin Klein. The story of the brand starts from the first coat store opened in 1968 in York Hotel in New York City. A success history started from 1969 when Klein shown his collections to the Bonwit Teller staff and gained a contract for the creation for men’s and women’s coats collection. Bonwit Teller was a well-known department store, renown for the high quality clothing and accessories range. In the same year Calvin Klein appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine. Lately, the same magazine named him “the supreme master of minimalism”. This main distinctive feature of the designer’s signature collections along with high quality brought him a great popularity among American consumers. The brand started to develop enormously, and by 1971 its range was expanded by sportswear, classic blazers, lingerie. In the following years the company licensed the production of scarves, shoes, belts, furs, sunglasses, and sheets, etc. Calvin Klein received honorable Coty American Fashion Critics’ Awards for womenswear collection during three consecutive years starting from 1973. By 1977, annual revenues of the company had achieved $30 million. Another important clothing line extension became the introduction of jeans wear in 1978. Calvin Klein claims that all the 200 000 pairs of jeans the company provided for retail were sold in the first week. With the introduction of cosmetic line and fragrances in the late 1970s company started to experience big financial loses, and the products were withdrawn from the market. However, the revenues of the company continued to rise. Another good marketing strategy was to introduce underwear and to make a special ads campaign featuring pop singer Marky Mark (lately known as a popular actor Mark Wahlberg). Eventually this new introduction led to a new stage of company performance. The new line of boxer shorts raised the sales of the company by $70 million in a single year. However, the company met new financial complications in the mid 1990s and there appeared the rumors that it’s up for sale. With the introduction of new fragrances, which become very popular the company eventually avoided bankruptcy, but in 2002 it was finally sold to Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation which also owns other fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Max Azria.
The true lovers of the minimalistic elegant design would appreciate the designer’s collections of Calvin Klein, even though nowadays they are already made by other designers. Worth noting, that these designers were approved by Klein.

Calvin Klein lines

  • Calvin Klein Collection- black label, hi-end designer line
  • ck Calvin Klein– grey label
  • Calvin Klein-white label, sportswear line
  • Calvin Klein Sport-sports version of the white label line
  • Calvin Klein Jeans – denimwear line
  • Calvin Klein Home – home interior collections
  • The Khaki Collection – youthful medium to high end bedding, towel, bath rug and accessories) discontinued in 2008
  • Calvin Klein Golf– luxury sportswear for golf players
  • Calvin Klein Underwear -underwear collections