Calvin Klein was born in 1942 in the Bronx, New York.
The legend goes that the first order was obtained by accident. A coat buyer from Bonwit Teller (a large New York City clothing store) got off on the wrong floor of a hotel and wandered into Klein’s workroom. She placed an order for $50 thousand.
Whatever the reason, the coats sold and the brand started to do pretty well, featuring regularly in Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.
In the 1970s, he introduced his trademark jeans, which he elevated to designer status by cutting them tight and branding his name on the back pocket. A series of provocative advertisements (that had 15-year-old Brooke Shields cooing the line, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”) created a designer jean frenzy among consumers, who were purchasing over 40,000 pairs a week.
Klein’s world soon included his couture (fashionable custom-made women’s clothing) line, Calvin Klein Collection for men and women, CK sportswear for men and women, and CK jeans. He also licensed arrangements for his menswear, coats, accessories, intimate apparel, hosiery, swimwear, eyewear, furs, socks, and fragrances, all under his careful control and management.