It’s ironic that the same brand who promoted “going commando” in a nothing-comes-between-me-and-my-calvins jeans advert would became the same brand to make designer underwear the fashion norm a mere two years later.
Ironic, or just plain brilliant.
That is the power of Calvin Klein.
The History of Calvin Klein
With just one image (of Olympic pole-vaulter Tomás Hintnaus in Santorini) Calvin Klein thrust the traditional Y-front underwear from a boring clothing necessity to a fashion must-have of iconic proportions.
The posters were stolen overnight from the 25 New York bus shelters they appeared in and stores couldn’t keep their stock at a level to deal with consumer demand.
To this day, the logo-emblazoned waistband remains a pop culture staple. The recent campaign hashtag #mycalvins has garnered 300,000+ user generated photos online featuring everyone from celebrities to us mere mortals.
Speaking of celebrities, since the 1980s every big name in the game has been lining up to feature in a Calvin Klein commercial. Who can forget the pairing of budding rapper Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg and his co-star, Kate Moss (then 17) in 1992?
Images that have gone down in fashion history. The star of the campaign may have been in the entertainment industry but the technical man behind the product form would change underwear fashion forever – as Calvin Klein’s head of menswear design from 1990-95, John Varvatos was pioneering the “boxer brief” hybrid.
The brand, their hybrid style innovation and cutting-edge campaigns remain lusted after to this day.
Calvin Klein Brand Partnerships
The brand’s innovation and commitment to the underwear movement continued into the new century, when in 2002 the first ever 6-figure contract for a men’s underwear model was given to CK-bearing Australian Travis Fimmel. A succession of famous footballing faces followed, with Swede Freddie Ljungberg becoming one of the most famous campaigns of the decade.
The brand, style and cutting-edge campaigns remain lusted after to this day.
Calvin Klein: The Modern Day Classic
And as the latest campaign starring uber stars like Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner prove; the popularity of the simple CK brief hasn’t waned even as the brand enters middle-age (celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2011).
And simple briefs they are. In design, structure and comfort.
The styles have become a classic brand unto themselves, often copied but never fully matched. And seemingly impossible to improve, as little has changed beyond fabric technology and poster faces over the decades.
The allure of Calvin Klein underwear for both women and men remains devoid of the need for “bells and whistles.” There’s no lace, no detailing, nothing that takes away from the natural fit and athleticism of the human body.
Proudly American, steeped in history, with a name band that imbues quality, effortless style and timeless design that has remained at the forefront of the industry for over three decades;
That’s why we all love Calvin Klein underwear!
In 2011, global sales for men’s and women’s Calvin Klein Underwear achieved more than one billion dollars at retail. The lines are available in thousands of points of sale worldwide.