Born on 19th November 1942, Calvin Richard Klein is a celebrated fashion designer from America known for his company Calvin Klein Inc. Apart from giving his name to clothing, he also gave his name to an array of jewelry, watch and perfume collections.
Klein grew up in The Bronx, and studied at High School of Art and Design. Since his teenage years, he developed a fervor for drawing and fashion. He spent hours sketching dresses and suits for women. He later received his honorary doctorate from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, 2003. Prior to this, in 1962 he did his internship under Dan Millstein, a suits and cloaks manufacturer. He also spent five years working and designing at other shops in the city. In 1968, Klein and his friend Barry K. Schwartz established Klein’s company after gaining inspiration from the style of New York City’s youth.
Across the industry of fashion, word had spread that Calvin Klein’s designs are chic and sleek. His designs are regularly featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
Along with Ralph Lauren and Robert Denning, Klein was among the many great designers who were raised in a Jewish émigré community. He became Baron de Gunzburg‘s protégé. With the help of Gunzburg, Klein became highly recognized in the fashion industry of the elite in New York. He became popular after his initial major show at the Fashion Week New York, so much so that he was addressed as the new Yves Saint Laurent.
As far as Klein’s personal life is concerned, in 1965 he wedded Jayne Centre Klein and they have a daughter. In 1974, however they separated. Four years later, their daughter was abducted and was held for nine hours until a hundred thousand dollar ransom was paid. The culprits were eventually arrested by the police. Later in 1986, he married Kelly Rector, a graduate in fashion designing and a worker at Calvin Klein Inc., who later turned into a renowned photographer but they divorced 2006. In the start of 2010, he was in a relationship with Nick Gruber, an ex-porn star. Two years later, they separated when Gruber was admitted in rehabilitation centre.
Calvin Klein designed his signature tight-fitting jeans in 1974 that grossed more than $200,000 in sales in the first week. The same year, he received a CFDA Award in women’s and men’s wear. Klein in 1983 was included in the International Best Dressed List. Moreover, he received the American Councils of Fashion Designers‘ Award thrice in 1981, 83 and 93.
Klein not only conquered the market of jeans, he also elevated in rank as one of the best underwear designers by adding his logo and style to briefs and boxers. Moreover, in regards to undergarments he blurred the boundaries between women and men. Klein introduced a bikini design for women in men’s style.
In the 80s, Klein entered the perfume market by introduced his well-known fragrances, Obsession and Eternity. Over the years, his business expanded into industries of accessories, eyewear, swimwear, and hosiery.
The designer made a guest appearance in an episode of 30 Rock, a TV series. His imaginative version appeared in Seinfeld‘s episode of season four, The Pick.