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.
founder of the first department stores in US--Vincennes, Ind. in 1842. Sons founded the chain, which included Saks 5th Ave.
Introduced the American-style supermarket to Britain after WWII, in the process turning his small family grocery firm into the giant Sainsburys chain & turning himself into one of the richest men in Britain (and a member of the House of Lords). When he was made a baron in 1962, he chose the name, "Lord Sainsbury of Drury Lane," to commemorate his familys humble origins. Jewish mother. (Editors note: Wouldnt it be great if Americans could get titles the same way, i.e.,"Lord Ron Popeil of Maxwell Street".)
Known as "Mr. Cost-Plus". Took the West Coast based retail chain from one store to more than 20. Not that unusually, his parents were socialists and he brought their community-aware ethos to the chain.
Co-founders of Home Depot. Its ironic that Jews have always been big in the hardware biz. The stereotype, partially true, is that Jewish men are not big on doing home improvts themselves. Jewish mothers would rather have their manually deft kids become surgeons or violinists-not carpenters. (Well, I can think of one Jewish mother who was okay w/the kid becoming a carpenter).
Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream. Pay scale at company, in contrast to most companies, allows fairly little disparity between top and bottom. Ben & Jerry were the models for the ice cream moguls who traveled w/Billy Crystal in the movie "City Slickers".
Co-founder of Home Depot. Its ironic that Jews have always been big in the hardware biz. The stereotype, partially true, is that Jewish men are not big on doing home improvts themselves. Jewish mothers would rather have their manually deft kids become surgeons or violinists-not carpenters. (Well, I can think of one Jewish mother who was okay w/the kid becoming a carpenter).
Founders of the famous ice cream chain. Irvings only son, John Robbins, is a devout vegetarian who is opposed to dairy products. He is a "hero" on several veggie sites. Gee, it seems a bit unfair to us--I mean these guys werent exactly arms merchants and their ice cream was (is) kosher when most brands didnt know from kosher.
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.
Founder of Toys R-Us, which pioneered the warehouse toy store concept. Cleverly sold baby supplies practically at cost. One of the few American retailers to make a dent in Japan.
Founder and long-term President of Revlon Corporation. Chas. Revson Foundation is a major donor to Jewish and non-Jewish charities.