Manhattan, New York City, USA
Calvin Klein and Barry K Schwartz
For decades Calvin Klein ads have been following the same formula: saucy, provocative and occasionally controversial. From a saucy Brooke Shields to a topless Kate Moss and a Marky Mark shoot that had Funky Bunch fans screaming, the revolutionary campaigns, originally shot by Richard Avedon, turned jeans into a fashion staple. The revamped #MyCalvins campaign, first launched in 2014, pays homage to Shields’ original 1981 campaign, while tapping into the modern social celebrity.
CK ads were also known for their celebrity appearances as much as their controversial styles. As well as Shields and Moss, Christy Turlington is one of the best known models for the brand, appearing in ads since the 1990s and fronting the famous Eternity fragrance campaign. Lara Stone famously appeared with Justin Bieber in the 2015 Jeans campaign after appearing in her first campaign in 2008. From 2010 to 2015, Stone fronted advertisements for Calvin Klein Jeans, Underwear and the Calvin Klein Collection lines. Recently, A$AP Rocky, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner have all been part of Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaigns.
The designer appears on the cover of the September issue of Vogue.
Calvin Klein holds his first fashion show costing around $10,000.
Klein adds sportswear, classic blazers, and lingerie to his women’s collection.
The designer becomes the youngest recipient of the first Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for his 74-piece womenswear collection. Winning again in 1974 and 1975 when he was voted into the Coty Hall of Fame.
Brand revenue hits $30million with licenses for scarves, shoes, belts, furs, sunglasses, and bedsheets.
200,000 pairs of the infamous CK jeans are rumored to be sold within the first week of sales thanks to a saucy series of ad campaigns.
15-year-old Brooke Shields fronts a controversial ad campaign.
Klein launches a successful line of women’s boxer shorts and a men’s underwear collection combined with a $500,000 ad campaign. The CK underwear collection would later gross $70 million in a single year
The brand breaks into the world of fragrance for a second time after originally closing the cosmetics branch of ck in 1979. Named Obsession, the fragrance is still produced today.
Financial problems, employee turnover, and licensing disputes led to the attempted sale of the company. A crashing stock market is said to have thwarted plans, but the business survived.
The brand avoids bankruptcy and pioneers the men’s boxer/brief with an infamous and saucy ad campaign fronted by Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg) and fledgling model Kate Moss.
Calvin Klein is named America’s best designer.
CK is sold to sold to Phillips Van Heusen Corp with a deal estimated at $400 million in cash on top of stock, licensing rights and royalties.
Calvin Klein launches the #MyCalvins campaign, with reference to the now seminal Brooke Shields ad.
Belgian designer Raf Simons joins as Chief Creative Officer with his debut collection debuted for the Fall 2017 season.
The iconic lower-case logo is replaced by Simons for a new all caps version, with the help of art director and graphic designer, Peter Saville.
In December 2018, Calvin Klein and Simons announced they were “amicably parting ways.”