Fashion designer Calvin Klein was born in 1942, in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in a middle-class Jewish community and it was evident from a young age that Klein harboured a strong passion for fashion, drawing and design, spending hours of his free time sketching women in attire including suits and dresses. He graduated from the High School of Art and Design and immediately set about preparing himself for a career in fashion, studying apparel design at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology. It was here that Klein met Jayne Centre who was also a student and the pair married in 1964. Klein and Centre had a daughter, Marci but the couple later divorced in 1974.
In 1968, Klein decided that he wanted to launch his own clothing line and was highly inspired by the unique, unapologetic and unpretentious style that the young people in New York embraced. With financial backing from his childhood friend Barry Schwartz, he commissioned a local seamstress to make a small number of coats and dresses. Having only just started out, Klein showcased his work in a dingy showroom but this didn’t stop him gaining attention and it wasn’t long before a merchandise manager from the super chic Bonwit Teller visited Klein's showroom and purchased $50,000 worth of merchandise and displayed the samples in eight of their coveted windows.
In the 1970’s the fashion industry was a smaller circle than it is today and the word about the new designer spread rapidly with buyers, editors and writers who were all highly impressed by Klein’s sleek and streamlined designs. Klein’s work was featured on a regular basis in prestigious publications including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In the early 1970s, he introduced his trademark jeans, which were tightly cut and featured his name on the back pocket. Calvin Klein jeans became the must have designer denim, selling over 40,000 pairs a week and a series of provocative advertisements were created; one including 15-year-old Brooke Shields and the tag line "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins."
In 1982, Klein began to embark on designing for the underwear market and by simply adding his sleek style and logo to boxers and briefs, Calvin Klein underwear became incredibly popular and are still so today with many men opting to wear the boxers, revealing the top band displaying the Calvin Klein branding. Also creating masculine inspired bikinis for women, there was a sense of the designer uniting male and female fashion which was highly unique at this point in the industry. In the late 1980s, Klein entered the fragrance market with the launch of Obsession and Eternity and the brand has now extended its product lines to accessories, cosmetics, hosiery, eyewear and the introduction of Calvin Klein watches.
As a way of emphasising the sleek and simple nature of his designs, Klein has often used controversial ad campaigns as a creative contrast, many of which have featured Kate Moss, Mark Wahlberg, and Antonio Sabato Jr. In 1995 however, perhaps going a little too far with his ad campaigns, particularly in regards to a series of commercials that featured young people in sexually evocative poses, Klein pulled the ads after being denounced by President Bill Clinton and the Catholic League.
Highly respected as a designer on a global scale and considered to be the most prominent American fashion designer, Klein was first awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award for outstanding design in both womenswear and menswear in 1982 and won this award for several years after. He also won the Coty Award in 1973, 1974 and 1975 (making him the youngest designer to win these awards) and the America's Best Designer of 1993 Award. A member of numerous committees, including the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Klein is also the designer of choice for many A list and high profile celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Helen Hunt, and his work has influenced designers such as Miuccia Prada and Donna Karan.
Calvin Klein watches are a core part of the Calvin Klein accessories collection and comprise of a wide range of sophisticated, streamlined and exquisitely styled designs, all featuring genuine high quality Swiss movement and highly representative of the entire Calvin Klein style, possessing a clean and ultra chic quality.
Made by the Swatch Group, the Calvin Klein watch range includes a number of super stylish and innovative designs for men and women and whether you like your watches and accessories to be elegant and sophisticated with a petite aesthetic or extravagant and bold, there is a Calvin Klein watch to perfectly suit.
Still liking to merge and unite male and female style, some watches boast the same design, but with larger versions for men and scaled down versions for women. Also appreciating that people like to use their watch as a way of expressing their personal style, Klein has incorporated a combination of highly masculine watches for men and ultra feminine watches for ladies in addition to more neutral designs, aiming to suit every style preference.
The designer likes to inject a sense of his own personality and character in his watches and thus the range in addition to featuring classic and traditional styles also comprises of unusual and incredibly unique designs such as prominent round dials contrasted with super slim bracelet straps, pretty but bold wrap around bracelet straps and chunky cuff style watches with minimal dials.
The Calvin Klein watch collection despite the variety in style, is very consistent in terms of tones and materials used. Favouring sleek silver stainless steel and metals, (some watches with textured straps for added definition), if colour is used, it remains neutral and understated therefore accentuating the aesthetic design and allowing the watch to maintain a sense of class and a timeless appeal.
Due to their style longevity and unique, visually striking designs and high quality construction, a Calvin Klein watch will always be your classic go-to accessory that adds the perfect finishing touch to your look, and will remain chic and ultra sophisticated, complimenting every seasonal trend and style for many years to come.