• The Rise of Calvin Klein

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Luella Bartley & Raf Simons join the CK team

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Luella Bartley & Raf Simons join the CK team

American brand Calvin Klein, founded in the late 1960’s, and who are known for their signature jeans and provocative underwear advertisements, make two exciting new appointments.

Raf Simons

The first announcement was made back in August last year with Belgium designer Raf Simons named as Chief Creative Officer. Having previously been Creative Director at Christian Dior, Simons is already proving to be a great fit for the brand. He has introduced a brand-new logo and a “By Appointment” collection is already underway, planned to be sold in 300 stores this Fall – a considerable increase on last year’s 34 stores. He has also created with his friend, artist Sterling Ruby, a new vivid splatter effect showroom.

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Images: Sterling Ruby

In addition he released his new Spring 2017 campaign, which we mentioned on the blog back in early February. This debuted last Tuesday. Lastly he displayed his standout debut show at New York Fashion Week looking back to the label’s minimalist Nineties heyday though moving it forward with a coolly abstracted remix based around the tropes of classic youth culture. Simon’s really has made his mark over the last six months across many of the different departments, from advertising, art direction and marketing, to of course his signature design.

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Luella Bartley

Just when you thought Calvin Klein couldn’t get much cooler, a second new appointment was announced only last week. Luella Bartley has been named as Head of Global Design for Calvin Klein Jeans, the accessibly priced and denim-led part of the brand. Bartley is formally known more for being the designer of the women’s ready-to-wear at Marc Jacobs diffusion line by Marc by Marc Jacobs, co-founder of the ready-to-wear and accessories brand Hillier Bartley, and manager/designer of her own label Luella for more than 10 years. At CK, Bartley will report to Franck Belochi, President of Calvin Klein Jeans Europe and Pieter Mulier, Creative Director of Calvin Klein and Raf Simon’s right hand man.

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Image: Calvin Klein Spring Summer 2017 Campaign

The Brands Mission

In a statement welcoming the designers, Calvin Klein has set out its mission as “a global lifestyle brand that exemplifies bold, progressive ideals and a seductive, and often on-trend minimal aesthetic. We seek to thrill and inspire our audience while using provocative imagery and striking designs to ignite the senses.”  So the mix of British designer Luella’s trademark London cool and Simon’s conceptual style could prove fruitful for Calvin Klein; the brand with the minimal aesthetic. There is a definite synergy between the two designers, they both seem to have the same approach to gender, Simon’s with his gender-blurring collections and Luella with Hillier Bartley who makes womenswear taking inspiration from menswear.

The Rise of Calvin Klein

Images: Calvin Klein Collection Fall Winter 2017-18

It’s definitely a time of change for the brand, and a change we feel for the best. Watch this space!

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The Rise of Calvin Klein

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