The official news naming Raf Simons as chief creative director for Calvin Klein broke Tuesday while I was enjoying a day at the beach. The entire industry has been anticipating the announcement since April but because of Simons’s non compete agreement with Dior the official word was delayed.
Simons is well suited to take over the helm for the house known for its minimalist approach to fashion. I worked in collection design under Mr. Klein in the late eighties and saw first hand how ideas were explored and reduced to their essence. Zack Carr, Klein’s long time right hand man, set the tone for the collection with his artful line illustrations. I thought I’d take this moment of transition to reflect on some of the high points of Calvin Klein in the early years when the DNA of the collection was formed. No doubt Simons will bring press attention and excitement to the house. My hope is that he also produces beautiful clothes that women can really wear in their daily lives as Calvin did in his day.