This is the first time that Klein, who began the company in 1968 and sold the business and retired in 2003, has told his story in a book.
Known for his sexually charged ad campaigns that continually pushed the envelope and his minimalist aesthetic, Calvin Klein, now 74, has put it all out there in a new book called simply “Calvin Klein.”
Published by Rizzoli New York and designed by Fabien Baron, the 480-page book features 330 color and black and white photographs and sells for $150. While not heavy on text, it includes the back story behind many of these provocative images and Klein’s personal stories about his upbringing, how he launched his business, the early days of building the company with partner Barry Schwartz, his minimalist design philosophy, and how the company became a global phenomenon.
“I worked hard and surrounded myself with enormously talented and like-minded individuals that helped to make it happen. I took many risks and made many mistakes, but I never compromised. That’s what it takes and means to have a vision. I stand by everything I did and would not have done it any other way,” he writes in the book.
Seductive and controversial imagery, combined with his minimalist fashion collection, jeans, fragrances, underwear and home, turned Klein’s label into one of the most recognizable and successful fashion brands in the world. This is the first time that Klein, who began the company in 1968 and sold the business and retired in 2003, has told his story in a book.
From a teenage Brooke Shields with nothing between her and her Calvins — which elicited the 1982 “Pig of the Year Award” from Women Against Pornography to Kate Moss’ sensuous semi-nude series, to shockingly seductive photography of male models in his underwear, Klein’s advertising constantly broke barriers. Photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber and Patrick Demarchelier, and models such as Christy Turlington, Marky Mark, Kate Moss and Natalia Vodianova all contributed to images that were seductive, original and at times, shocking.