From Our Editors
Calvin Klein, a Bronx-born son of two Hungarian immigrants, opened his first store in the York Hotel in 1968. Though he sold only coats, he was soon able to debut an entire collection of both coats and dresses at a New York City department store. By the following year, he was on the cover of Vogue.
He was, for all intents and purposes, the embodiment of someone who achieved the American dream. So it's fitting that Klein has sewn himself so intrinsically into the fabric of American culture. In the 1970s, model Brooke Shields teased that nothing came between her and her Calvin Klein jeans. In the 1980s, Marty McFly time-traveled in Calvin Klein briefs. In the 1990s, Marky Mark was flashing his Calvin Klein waistband everywhere he could.
Of course, the brand is more than just designer jeans and underwear. But the bridge between these casual garments and the high-fashion collections isn't a long one. Whether with the prestigious Calvin Klein Collection or the White Label lifestyle brand, the design house's garments are rooted in sportswear, clean lines, and timeless silhouettes—all elements many Americans can relate to. Even the red-carpet gowns—including the stunner Naomi Watts donned at the 2014 Oscars—are prized for their simple elegance.
Today, the Calvin Klein umbrella covers much more than just men's and women's fashions. Its fragrances are perennial favorites, as are its minimalist watches. The brand has even expanded into home decor, designing everything from geometric-print sheets to brushed-platinum dinner plates.