How much is Calvin Klein worth?
|Net Worth:||$600 Million|
|Profession:||Professional Fashion Designer|
|Date of Birth:||November 19, 1942 (age 80)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)|
About Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein is a fashion designer who is best known for his eponymous company and was once crowned the new Yves Saint Laurent after his first New York City fashion week. The designer hasn’t just produced clothing, but also perfume, watches, and jewellery. People love Klein’s style for it’s clean and simple look, but the way that Klein has marketed his products has been the subject of a lot of controversy for being overly sexually suggestive.
On top of his major role in the fashion industry, Klein is a pop culture icon, as he has appeared in modern comedies and mentioned in huge blockbuster movies.
It’s thanks to his grandmother that made Klein want to go in to fashion, as she was seamstress who encouraged him to start sewing as a child and he often hung out in her tailoring shop. Instead of playing outside and taking part in sports, Klein was sketching potential dress designs and sewing.
After spending five years in the 60s being a suit manufacturer for Dan Millstein, he eventually launched his own company in 1968. Years later, he would become one of three leaders in the fashion industry that was raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, along with Ralph Lauren and Robert Denning.
Klein led the vision of the designs of the company and he focused on designing suits, coats, and dresses. Then the 70s came and Klein took on denim, creating jeans that would go on to become the brand’s signature. It caused major competition in the industry, especially when the designer dove in to underwear design, and then swimwear and several different kinds of accessories. Before long, Calvin Klein ltd. had its fingers in designing every type of clothing and was the leading designer for each one. In the 1980s, Klein had dabbled in everything but fragrance design, so that was when the company released the now iconic fragrance, Obsession.
Klein continues to innovate in the fashion industry, as he was the first designer to create women’s underwear that looks like men’s boxers, and was one of the first designers to use sexually suggestive marketing to help sell the products. However, Klein has gotten in to a lot of trouble for many of them, with several Calvin Klein ads being banned in Europe. And in the years since, Klein has gotten in to bother for using Brooke Shields in an ad, as it was revealed that she was only 15 at the time.
Now, everyone across the world knows Calvin Klein’s name, and he is the subject of many references in tons of media, including TV and movies. The designer had a cameo in the comedy 30 Rock, which is a satire about comedy writing in New York. Seinfeld also parodied the designer as a fictionalized version of him appears in one of the best episodes of the show, The Pick. But most famously, in Back To The Future, Lorraine thought Marty McFly’s name was actually Calvin Klein because that was the name that was written on his underwear, and she continued to call him Calvin’ throughout the movie.
At one point in time, after he graduated from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Klein worked in the garment district for as little as $75 per week. But his life changed massively, especially in 1980, when several commercials for Klein’s tight jeans were released of Brooke Shields saying, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”
After this commercial, Klein sold 200,000 pairs of those jeans in just its first week. Though Klein went through a slump when it came to denim before this, his jeans were bringing the company $250 million per year from that point onwards.
The other major money maker for Klein’s company is his fragrance, Obsession. In the 1980s, It was fighting for the top spot of the nation’s best selling perfume against Giorgio, and the scent brought in an estimated $150 million per year in sales. Now, every season’s collection makes hundreds of millions for Calvin Klein Ltd., and his men’s boxer-briefs are the most popular brand of boxers in the world.
The designer also has a long real estate portfolio, which includes an enormous estimated $100 million dollar estate located one hour outside of Manhattan.
Klein quickly realized early in his career that sex sells. The designer’s provocative marketing massively helped his success, and it kept the public and the press talking about him. If it wasn’t for the sexually suggestive advertising, his popular fragrances, such as Obsession, Eternity, and Escape, might not have been as popular. He is also successful for being the first designer to use male underwear models to sell their boxer-briefs. Klein even had movie star Mark Wahlberg model for the underwear, along with other famous models, actors, and athletes, instead of just an unknown.
It wasn’t long until Klein started to cross over from provocative to outright controversial in his marketing, as the ads for the perfumes CK One and CK Be showed teenagers idealizing and partaking in drug culture. The glamorization of addiction and irrefutably controversial marketing led to some criticism. Famously Hillary Clinton, who was the First Lady at the time, spoke out against them. Which was followed by anti-porn organizations seeking to abolish CK’s ads. But it’s almost as if it had a reverse affect, as Klein’s sales spiked around this time and revenue was higher than ever thanks to all the exposure and publicity.
Klein’s legacy is unlike any other fashion designer’s and has changed the course of the industry several times over. Though it isn’t without a ton of controversies, Klein has had an incredible storied and successful career with hundreds of stores all over the world. Thanks to taking it upon himself to prompt these much needed paradigm shifts, Klein now has almost unimaginable wealth. As of 2023, Calvin Klein’s net worth is estimated to be $600 million.
Klein has learnt from his mistakes as the most recent campaign for CK One features powerful young voices that range from filmmakers to environmental activists, instead of barely legal models.