Calvin Klein (b.1942) American fashion designer

Calvin Klein featured image
Calvin Klein featured image

Calvin Klein (born 1942) is an American fashion designer and the founder of Calvin Klein Inc., which he founded in 1968.

Klein was born to a Jewish household in the Bronx on November 19, 1942, Flore (née Stern) (1909–2006) and Leo Klein.

Leo was born in the United States to immigrants from Galicia and Buchenland, Austrian Empire, while Flore was born in the United States to emigrants from Galicia and Buchenland, Austrian Empire (modern day-Ukraine).


Klein earned his bachelor’s degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1962. He then worked for several garment companies until launching his own company in 1968 with his childhood friend and business manager, Barry Schwartz. They currently control one of the world’s leading fashion conglomerates.

Klein’s excellent, modest tailoring and beautiful sportswear lines, as well as his casual separates created in the finest linens, silks, and cashmere, had earned him a name by the mid-1970s. His name is also linked to the debut of ‘designer jeans,’ which have remained fashionable for almost a decade and produced annual sales of over $150 million in the late 1980s alone. Klein designs underwear for men, women, and children; in 1983, he introduced a collection of women’s underwear that was aggressively created along menswear lines. For example, boxer shorts came with a fly, and thigh-high bikini briefs had thick, labelled, elasticated waistbands. These patterns were widely imitated. In addition, he creates his cosmetics. Klein has effectively promoted his designs by marketing himself and his luxurious lifestyle.


Klein produced his iconic tight-fitting jeans in 1974, which grossed $200,000 in their first week of sales. In the same year, he became the first designer to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award for outstanding design in men’s and women’s clothing. In addition, he was named to the International Best Dressed List in 1983. He was also honoured by the CFDA in 1981, 1983, and 1993.

New York, NY- Star in another of designer Calvin Klein’s business…

New York, NY- Star in another of designer Calvin Klein’s business ventures, men’s underwear, is Tom Hintinhous, appearing on this 40×50 foot billboard in Times Square wearing nothing but his bikini… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

Reading List


Dormer, P. (1999). The illustrated dictionary of twentieth century designers: the key personalities in design and the applied arts. Greenwich Ed.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 29). Calvin Klein. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:13, June 3, 2021, from

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