The story of Calvin Klein is truly captivating, and it's one of many examples of a person starting with absolutely nothing and building up an impressive empire through hard work, dedication and raw talent. Calvin Klein knew, at a very early age, that he wanted to be a fashion designer. He grew up in the Bronx, a New York City borough, and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology; he graduated in 1963. The ambitious Klein quickly decided to launch his own fashion company. A childhood friend, Barry Schwartz, loaned him $10,000 to get things off the ground.
Fortune struck soon thereafter when a lucky coincidence helped give Calvin Klein his first break. A top executive from Bonwit Teller, a hugely popular department store at the time, accidentally stumbled into Klein's showroom one afternoon. Instead of making a quick exit, the executive took a closer look. He was instantly impressed with what he saw and invited Klein to pay a visit to show his designs. That visit resulted in a $50,000 order from Bonwit Teller. In turn, Klein's designs were showcased in the store's Fifth Avenue storefront and shown in full-page ads in the New York Times.
Needless to say, this amazing exposure working wonders for Calvin Klein's fortunes. Suddenly, his one-man operation was transformed into an overnight sensation. Within its first year, the company - which focused on women's fashion - made a jaw-dropped $1 million in sales. By 1971, Calvin Klein was making more than $5 million in sales. This upward trend continued unabated. In 1976, Calvin Klein raked in $40 million; in 1977, the clothier earned an incredible $90 million in sales. Calvin Klein was officially on the map in a big way.
Calvin Klein started producing men's clothes in 1978; the company also unveiled its first fragrances that same year. The following year, Calvin Klein's jeans gained the brand even more exposure, especially due to the titillating ads that were used to promote them. The 1980s were, arguably, the heyday of Calvin Klein. This is the decade when the brand's first watches came out, too, and it's when the enduring fragrance called Obsession was first released. It seemed as if Calvin Klein couldn't be stopped; whether you were looking for a stylish pair of jeans or a sleek, sexy watch, Calvin Klein was the label of choice.
The nineties weren't particularly favourable for Calvin Klein; the company struggled during the early part of that decade with slumping sales and uninspired pieces. Fortunately, things turned around near the end of the 90's and Calvin Klein enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Since 2000, Calvin Klein has enjoyed a steady level of popularity; Calvin Klein watches are among their most popular items. To this very day, Calvin Klein watches display the ingenuity, top-notch craftsmanship and elegant look that has made the brand such a success since its inception. Without a doubt, people around the world can expect to see more great things from Calvin Klein in the future.