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Calvin Klein's Biography

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Calvin Klein was born on 19 November 1942 in New York, USA.

One of the fashion world's biggest names, Calvin Klein developed a passion for fashion and drawing from a young age and studied fashion design at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1968 Klein set up his own company with lifelong friend Barry Schwartz and he put together some examples of his design ideas. A rep from the exclusive department store Bonwit Teller visited his collection and immediately agreed to buy $50,000 worth of merchandise for the store.

This led to Klein's work being featured in glossy magazines such as Vogue and Harper's & Queen. This early success was heightened by the introduction of his classic, trademark jeans. Designer jeans were an instant hit, with their tight cut and controversial advertising campaign featuring Brooke Shields; they were selling enormous numbers every week.

In the early eighties he launched the Calvin Klein underwear range with boxer shorts and briefs providing chic under garments for both sexes. This was quickly followed by Klein's entrance into the fragrance market with Eternity and Obsession. In the nineties Calvin Klein launched the CK label, designing clothes for a more middle-market customer. The clothes were more casual in design and were accompanied by a range of accessories including swimwear and eyewear. Klein followed this with products for the home and a cosmetics range.

Throughout these years Calvin Klein was often frowned upon for his use of provocative advertising. Along with images of Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg, an advertising campaign featuring pictures of adolescents in sexually suggestive poses received damning criticism and he was forced to withdraw the ads.

Calvin Klein has been the favoured designer for many celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts, and many young fashion designers have felt his influence.


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