Fashion Designer Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein was born in 1942, in Bronx, New York to European immigrants. At a mere five years old Klein knew that he was destined to be a fashion designer and later, after realizing he needed an education to be successful, attended Manhattan High School for the Arts in order to follow his dream. Upon graduation, Klein was hired by the Dan Millstein House of Design and he soon noticed magazines, such as Family Circle, displaying his work. After seeing his designs in print, Klein decided that it was time to go into business for himself.

It was in 1968 that Klein and a friend, Barry Schwartz, opened their first apparel company, which designed and sold women’s coats. The combination of Klein’s design talent and Schwartz’s business smarts proved successful when a Bonwit Teiler buyer unexpectedly placed a substantial order. This was the beginning of Klein’s recognition in the fashion world. From there he designed a sportswear collection, a full ready-to-wear line, the original designer jeans (you may remember the famous Brooke Shields advertising campaign), designer underwear (which revolutionized the way that the world viewed underwear), and, finally, a fragrance.



All of Klein’s visions and designs contributed to him being presented with the Coty Award, a prestigious fashion honor, on three separate occasions: 1973, 1974, and 1975. He was the youngest designer to ever win the Coty Award and broke another record in 1986 when he became the first designer to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award for both women’s wear and menswear in the same year; he also won the Council Award in 1982 and 1983 as well. Klein is still designing, still winning awards, and his company is poised to continue doing well in both the U.S. and the world markets.