Calvin Klein

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Calvin Klein
Klein in 2011
Calvin Richard Klein

(1942-11-19) November 19, 1942 (age 81)
EducationFashion Institute of Technology
OccupationFashion designer
LabelCalvin Klein Inc.
Jayne Centre
(m. 1965; div. 1974)
Kelly Rector
(m. 1986; div. 2006)
ChildrenMarci Klein

Calvin Richard Klein (born November 19, 1942) is an American fashion designer who launched the company that later became Calvin Klein Inc., in 1968. In addition to clothing, he also has given his name to a range of perfumes, watches, and jewellery.

Early years[edit]

Klein was born on November 19, 1942, to an Austria-Hungarian Jewish family in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Flore (née Stern; 1909–2006) and Leo Klein.[1][2] Leo was born in Boiany in Austria-Hungary and had immigrated to New York, while Flore was born in the United States to immigrants from Galicia and Bukovina, Austria-Hungary (modern day-Ukraine).[3][4]

Klein went to Isobel Rooney Middle School 80 (M.S.80) as a child. He attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and attended New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, leaving for six months after his first year before returning to finish his degree. He received an honorary doctorate from FIT in 2003.[5] He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an old line cloak-and-suit manufacturer, Dan Millstein,[6] and spent five years designing at other New York City shops.[7] In 1968, he launched his first company with his childhood best friend,[8] Barry K. Schwartz.[8][9]

He became a protégé of Baron de Gunzburg,[9] through whose introductions he became the toast of the New York elite fashion scene even before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. He was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week. He was hailed as the new Yves Saint Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Klein married Jayne Centre, a textile designer, in 1964.[10] They have a daughter, television producer Marci Klein,[11] who is best known for her work on NBC's Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. The couple divorced in 1974.[10] In September 1986, Klein married his assistant Kelly Rector in Rome while they were on a buying trip in Italy.[10] She later became a well-known socialite photographer. After separating in 1996, they divorced in April 2006.[9]

In 2003, Klein bought an ocean-front estate in Southampton, New York, on Long Island[9] and demolished it to build a $75 million glass-and-concrete mansion.[12] In 2015, he put his Miami Beach, Florida mansion on the market for $16 million.[13] The Florida home sold in February 2017 for $12,850,000. In June 2015, Klein bought a mansion in Los Angeles, California, for $25 million.[14]

Calvin Klein dated gay ex-porn star Nicholas Gruber.[15][16][17] Klein is a supporter of the U.S. Democratic Party, having given over $250,000 to candidates and PACs since 1980.[18]


In 1974, Klein designed the tight-fitting signature jeans that went on to gross $200,000 in their first week of sales.[19] In that same year he also became the first designer to receive outstanding design in men's and women's wear from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award show.[citation needed] In 1983, he was placed on the International Best Dressed List.[20] Also in 1981, 1983, and 1993, he received an award from the CFDA.[21] In 1991, he received the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.[22]


Klein made a cameo appearance in season 3, episode 15 ("The Bubble") of the television series 30 Rock.[23] A fictionalized version of him also appears in season 4, episode 12 ("The Pick") of the television series Seinfeld.


  • The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Illustrated Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale 1998 (voice)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marsh, Lisa (April 5, 2004). The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-47895-9.
  2. ^ "Flore Klein". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on September 20, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Max Stern". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on September 20, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Max Stern". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on September 20, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Dakers, Diane (2011). Calvin Klein: fashion design superstar. St. Catharines, Ont. ; New York: Crabtree Pub. Co. ISBN 978-1-4271-9466-4.
  6. ^ "Calvin Klein". Fashion Elite. September 20, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  7. ^ "Calvin Klein".
  8. ^ a b Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  9. ^ a b c d "Calvin j". Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Gross, Michael. "The Latest Calvin". Originally New York magazine. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "Calvin Klein". Vogue. April 22, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Bernstein, Jacob (August 30, 2013). "The House That Calvin Built". New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "Fashion Icon Calvin Klein Snips the Price of His Fabulous Florida Estate". News. November 2, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  14. ^ "Calvin Klein Buys Big in the Bird Streets: Let's Go Inside!". At Home in Hollywood. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Moylan, Brian (August 31, 2010). "Calvin Klein's Underwear Model Boyfriend Also Starred in Gay Porn". Gawker. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  16. ^ Hannah Elliott (October 18, 2011). "Calvin Klein On Kate Moss, Ralph Lauren, Love And Other Drugs".
  17. ^ "Calvin Klein's Boyfriend Doesn't Want Any Gay People to Touch Him". August 19, 2013. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013.
  18. ^ [1] Archived December 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Morgan, Philippa (November 22, 2016). "Calvin Klein: How the Fashion Phenomenon Kept His Cool". Vogue. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  20. ^ "Introducing the International Best-Dressed List 2016 Hall of Fame". Vanity Fair. September 8, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  21. ^ "CFDA Fashion Awards". Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  22. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  23. ^ Odell, Amy (January 23, 2009). "Victoria Beckham Now in Russian Vogue; Calvin Klein Spotted at 30 Rock". New York. Retrieved March 11, 2010.

External links[edit]