Calvin Richard Klein (born November 19, 1942) is an American fashion designer who launched the company that would later become Calvin Klein Inc. in 1968. In addition to clothing, Klein has also given his name to a range of perfumes, watches, and jewelry.
Klein was born in The Bronx to Jewish-Hungarian immigrants. He attended the High School of Art and Design and matriculated at, but never graduated from, New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, receiving an honorary Doctorate in 2003. He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an oldline cloak-and-suit manufacturer, Dan Millstein, and spent five years designing at other New York shops. In 1968, he launched his first company with a childhood friend, Barry K. Schwartz.
Klein was one of several design leaders raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, New York, along with Robert Denning and Ralph Lauren. Klein became a protégé of Baron de Gunzburg, 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. Klein was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week. Klein was hailed as the new Yves Saint-Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines.
In 1964, Klein married Jayne Centre, with whom he had a daughter, Marci, who currently works as Talent Producer for NBC's Saturday Night Live. Klein and Centre filed for divorce in 1974.
In 1974, Klein moved on to design the tight fitting jeans that would sell $200,000 in their first week. Klein was also the first designer to receive outstanding design in men’s and women’s wear from the CFDA award show in the same year.
In 1978, Klein's daughter Marci was kidnapped and held for 9 hours until a $100,000 ransom was paid. Police apprehended the culprits.
In 1986, Klein married Kelly Rector, who worked for the company and is also a graduate of the Fashion Institute in NYC. She became a well known socialite photographer. The two were divorced in 2006.
Currently, Klein is dating model Nick Gruber.
In 2003, Klein bought an ocean-front estate in Southampton Village in the Hamptons, Long Island, NY.
Klein is a prolific donor to Democratic Party political causes, having given over $250,000 to candidates and PACs since 1980.
In 1983 Klein was placed on the International Best Dressed List. Also in 1981, 1983, 1993, he received an award from Councils of Fashion Designs of America.
Klein made a cameo appearance in Season 3, Episode 15, of the television series 30 Rock.
Famous clothing designer who was born in the Bronx in 1942. His parents were immigrants from Europe. Klein was always known as the best dressed boy on the block. He began his company in 1968 with $10,000 and the help of his childhood friend, Barry Schwartz. The rest is fashion history.
Karan, born Donna Faske, is a design mogul. She began with Anne Klein and took over as chief designer of that firm with Kleins death in 1974. Ms. Karan is one of many celebrities reported to be studying kabbalah, Jewish mysticism.
Bauer was born and raised in the state of Washington, he was a husband, a father, a businessman, an innovator and a true outdoorsman. Eddie Bauer lived a full life filled with ideas and inventions.
Lauder was a famous cosmetics manufacturer who was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Queens, NY. Her married name, Lauter, was later changed to Lauder. Named to Time Magazines list of the 100 most influential business people of the century. She built the company from scratch; based on great service, free gifts, and a great sense of the market.
Mizrahi ia an American TV presenter, fashion designer, and was the creative director of Liz Claiborne. He is best known for his eponymous fashion lines. As a child Mizrahi attended a yeshiva.
Cole is a famous shoe designer. Rather than sell from an exhibitor space, he registered the company as a movie production company with NYC officials. He thus got permission to park a forty foot trailer in midtown and sold 40,000 pairs of shoes out of the trailer in a matter of days. Cole has recently been reported to be studying with the orthodox group Aish Ha Torah.
Bakst was born Lev Rosenberg in Russia in 1864. Bakst was his mothers maiden name. He converted to Christianity as a young man, but later returned to Judaism. Bakst was the principal costume designer for Diaghilevs famous Ballet Russes.
Strauss is a German-Jewish founder of the Levi Strauss Company. The company, which began in San Francisco in the 1850s, made clothes gold miners wanted. His sisters descendants, the "Haas" family, still control the company.
Jacobs is an American fashion designer. As one of todays premier clothing designers his line can be found in Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. He has been the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton since 1997. Jacobs is on Time Magazine's 2010 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Azria is a French fashion designer of Tunisian Jewish descent who founded the contemporary women's clothing brand BCBGMAXAZRIA. Azria is also the designer, chairman and CEO of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, a global fashion house that encompasses over 20 brands. He is based in Los Angeles.