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Calvin Klein

Born on November 19, 1942 in the Bronx, New York, Calvin Klein decided at an early age that he wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, so he spent much of his time sketching outfits for both men and women.

By developing his talents as a young man, Calvin Klein became a natural as a clothing design artist and an expert in the world of fashion, which would pay dividends for many years to come.

After graduating from the High School of Art and Design, Klein entered the Manhattan Fashion Institute of Technology to study the art form that he had grown to love. After graduating, he decided to start his own clothing line so with financial help from Barry Schwartz, a childhood friend, he went to work on his designs.

Soon, Klein's fashion designs were being noticed by others and within a short time, his work started appearing in store display windows. Shortly thereafter, Klein created a line of designer sportswear and word quickly spread about his talents.

Harper's Bazaar Weekly, Vogue, and other fashion magazines quickly picked up on Klein's quickly rising popularity and featured his work in their publications.

The early 1970s were pivotal years for the Calvin Klein label. With the launching of his tight fitting trademark jeans with the Calvin Klein brand name written on the back pocket, Klein reached new heights in sales.

His television commercials featuring a young Brooke Shields made Calvin Klein a household name. The ads made fashion history with Shields making the statement that "Nothing comes between me and my Calvin's." That started a buying frenzy and thousands of pairs of Calvin Klein jeans were sold per week.

The Calvin Klein brand enjoyed more success in the 1980's with the release of his underwear line that included boxers and briefs that proudly displayed the Calvin Klein name. He also enjoyed a successful run with his first line of fragrances, Eternity and Obsession.

The 1990s were pivotal years for the Calvin Klein label. Although profits were still being made, in 1982, the company almost went bankrupt. Klein engineered a turnaround with the launching of a new, more affordable line of clothing called CK, and with the opening of his Calvin Klein Collection stores in Europe and Asia.

Calvin Klein and his business partner, Barry Schwartz, sold Calvin Klein, Inc. in 2003 to the Phillips Van Heusen Corporation, the maker of Wrangler and Lee jeans, eventually making Calvin Klein, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Heusen.

In 2007, Calvin Klein opened a 10,000 square foot Calvin Klein branded specialty store in the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado.

In 2008, Calvin Klein announced the signing of actress Eva Mendes who will be featured in their upcoming fragrance, and underwear, advertising campaigns. Mendes will be featured in outdoor advertising and global print.

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