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Calvin Klein (born November 19, 1942, The Bronx, New York City, United States as Richard Klein), is a well-known fashion designer. His name is also a brand name of clothing marketed by his clothing company, which was launched in 1968.

Calvin Klein was raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, New York. Calvin Klein was a proteg
of Baron de Gunzburg through whose introductions he became the toast of the New York elite fashion scene before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. Calvin Klein was immediately recognised for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week. He was hailed as the new Yves Saint-Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines and strait cuts on coats and suits.

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."

The Calvin Klein company, like many in the fashion industry, is known for its eye-catching advertising. It is noted by many conservative organizations for its use of seemingly-underage models in pseudo-provocative poses.

In addition to clothing, Calvin Klein also gave his name to a range of perfumes, including CK One and CK Be (fragrances for everyone, regardless of gender), now owned by "Coty Inc.". Swatch manufactures watches under the Calvin Klein brand (which it owns).

Klein was the victim of a pieing in 2001 at a fashion premier at New York's Lincoln Center.


  • Calvin Klein's advertising campaigns are frequently controversial, but prove this can be very successful - to the point of making a blitz career. One of his male underwear models, Mark Wahlberg, went on to fame as hip hop star 'Marky Mark', launching himself into the Hollywood scene as well. Another Hollywood star owing his respectable career to the Calvin Klein advertisements is Antonio Sabato Jr..
  • They also play with emerging technologies. When advertising cKone perfume in 1999, they employed a very unusual and groundbreaking campaign that displayed e-mail addresses in print advertisements, targeted at teenagers (such as or When these teens mailed these addresses, they would be placed on a mailing list that sent them mails with vague details about the models' lives, with fake details meant to make them more relatable. These mails came at unpredictable intervals, and were supposed to give readers the feeling that they had some connection with these characters. Though the mailing lists were discontinued in 2002, the campaign has inspired similar marketing tactics for movies and other retail products.
The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  1/8/06

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