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 1965, Klein married Jayne Centre Klein, with whom he had a daughter, Marci, who currently works as Talent Producer for NBC's Saturday Night Live. Klein and Centre Klein filed for divorce in 1974.
In 1986, Klein married Fashion Institute in NYC graduate Kelly Rector, who worked for Calvin Klein Inc. at the time. She later became a well-known socialite photographer. The couple divorced in 2006.
Calvin Klein is an American fashion designer who launched Calvin Klein Inc., in 1968. Klein has also given his name to a range of perfumes, watches, and jewelry. In 1965 Klein married Jayne Centre Klein, with whom he had a daughter, Marci. They divorced in 1974. In 1986 Klein married Fashion Institute graduate Kelly Rector. The couple divorced in 2006. Since 2010 Klein was in a relationship with former male porn star Nick Gruber. They separated in April 2012 when Gruber entered rehab.
Evening Ensemble, 1987-88
Top and Skirt, 1996
Evening Dress, 1993
Evening Dress, 1996-97
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.
Klein was in a relationship with former male porn star Nick Gruber beginning of 2010. They separated in April 2012 when Gruber entered rehab.
In 1974, Klein designed the tight-fitting signature jeans that would go on to gross $200,000 in their first week of sales. In the same year, Klein became the first designer to receive outstanding design in men’s and women’s wear from the CFDA award show.
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.
Calvin Klein made an appearance on "Seinfeld" as himself on the episode "The Pick". Klein made a cameo appearance in Season 3, Episode 15 ("The Bubble"), of the television series 30 Rock.
Obsession: The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein by Steven Gaines
Paperback: 451 pages
Publisher: Avon Books (Mm) (May 1995)
Amazon: Obsession: The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein
For more than a quarter century Calvin Klein, one of the most brilliant and honored designers in the world, has attracted an enormous following and unparalleled curiosity. The genius behind a $2-billion-a-year fashion empire, Klein is one of the greatest trendsetters and most recognizable celebrities of our time. His quintessentially American styles, his controversial erotic advertising, and his trademark on jeans, underwear, and fragrances have made his name known around the world. Yet the private man behind the dazzling image has until now remained a mystery. With Obsession, bestselling author Steven Gaines and investigative reporter Sharon Churcher trace Calvin Klein's steady rise from a modest background in the Bronx to his $5-million beach-front mansion in East Hampton. This is a compulsively readable tale of fashion, power, and self-creation - a riveting business story of an ambitious man who scaled his way to the top of New York's cutthroat garment industry, building an influential and far-reaching financial kingdom. The result of years of research and more than a thousand candid interviews with intimates, lovers, and business associates, Obsession also brims with personal revelations, many as shocking as they are fascinating. With extraordinary and unprecedented detail, the authors chronicle the collapse of Klein's first marriage, his glittering nights at that paradigm of seventies discos, Studio 54, his weekend escapes in the summer mecca of the Fire Island Pines, the terrifying kidnapping of his daughter, Marci, and the inside story of his secret romantic obsessions and his alcohol and drug abuse. Here, too, is the story of his marriage to Kelly Klein and their refined,redefined lifestyle. Already hailed as "an engrossing American success story" (Booklist), this explosive biography reveals the real Calvin Klein - intelligent and creative, self-indulgent and driven, a man plagued by dark demons while basking in the spotlight of fame.
The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession by Lisa Marsh
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 18, 2003)
Amazon: The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession
A fashion world insider and journalist reveals the secret world of Calvin Klein
The House of Klein for the first time tells the inside story of the rise of a fashion legend and the mammoth empire he built. Calvin Klein is the world's most well-known (and successful) fashion designer and has created one of the most recognizable brands in existence, but the tale of his ascendancy to the top of the fashion industry has never been fully told. The House of Klein is the warts-and-all expos? of a boy from the Bronx who made his name synonymous with high fashion by making his brand synonymous with sex. This book offers an informed, insider's account of the defining moments of a fashion legend's life, a life circumscribed by personal and professional struggle. Fashion writer Lisa Marsh pulls no punches in presenting the true story of this mammoth of the clothing industry, complete with corporate battles, lawsuits, petty personal vendettas and backroom dealings. Marsh reveals the underbelly of the glittering world of high fashion-a world characterized not so much by beautiful people and wild parties, as it is by money and power, above all else. The House of Klein brings to life this compelling figure through the author's own research and interviews with the man himself, as well as with other figures in the industry-such as Isaac Mizrahi-who finally come clean about the man behind the brand.
Lisa Marsh (New York, NY) focused on the bottom line instead of the hemline while working at the New York Post covering the fashion and retail beat. A veteran of the fashion industry, she began her career in journalism writing financial news stories for the fashion industry bible Women's Wear Daily.
More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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