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Calvin Klein (fashion designer)

'' For the company of the same name, see Calvin Klein

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.

Early years

Born Richard Klein in The Bronx to Jewish-Hungarian immigrants, he attended the High School of Industrial Art and matriculated, but never graduated, from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, receiving an honorary Doctorate at the graduation ceremony in 2003. He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an oldline 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.

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 1987, 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.

References

External links

  • http://www.calvinklein.com
  • http://au.askmen.com/men/business_politics/36_calvin_klein.html
  • http://www.infomat.com/whoswho/calvinklein.html
  • http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biography_story/298:130/1/Calvin_Klein.htm
  • http://www.vogue.co.uk/whos_who/Calvin_Klein/default.html
  • http://www.fragrancewholesale.com/somhisandbac4.html
  • Interview with Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa

See also

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