Calvin Klein is probably one of the most well-known fashion brands out there. You can see their ads everywhere, from online ads to signboards on the world’s busiest streets. However, is Calvin Klein a good brand?
Calvin Klein is a good fashion brand compared to brands similar to it. The fashion brand is known for making its fashion products high-quality materials, with suits, jeans, and underwear remarkably popular with many. Calvin Klein is also very well designed, giving you a dashing, fashionable look.
This article discusses Calvin Klein, focusing on quality, reputation, and popularity. We also explore why Calvin Klein is expensive, and why the brand is controversial to some.
How Did Calvin Klein Begin?
Calvin Klein began as a coat shop in 1968 in a hotel lobby in New York City. It staged its first fashion show in 1970 and has since built itself into a major success, with products such as suits, jeans, bags, and underwear their top bestsellers.
In 1960, Klein attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in fine arts. Once graduated, he worked as a sketcher for the coat company Dan Millstein, which allowed him to observe how a brand operated before developing his own.
Following his departure from this company, Klein founded Calvin Klein Ltd. and hired Bonwit Teller as his first stockist. Calvin Klein opened its doors in 1968 as a coat shop, in a local New York hotel.
Its first runway show in 1970 was a massive success, introducing many to the brand and propelling it nationwide attention. From this point, there is no more looking back for Calvin Klein.
Today, Calvin Klein is a major high-street fashion player, with products in many types of apparel – men, ladies, suits, jeans, underwear, and even accessories such as wrist watches. Its contemporaries include local American brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
Calvin Klein has also built a name for itself in the fragrance market with their unisex fragrance CKOne, launched in 1995. Remarkably, it is still sold today, showing its popularity with many.
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Why Is The Fashion Brand So Popular?
Aside from making great, high-quality fashion products, Calvin Klein became popular due to its marketing. Its marketing centers on mixing classic gentlemen’s style with casualness and then adding some flirty elements. Such a brand image makes people come back again and again for it.
Every good and famous brand starts with making great products that stand the test of time, and Calvin Klein starts off as that. Their fashion wear and accessories are fashionable and made with good materials.
As a result, the products appear high quality and are well received by many.
Aside from that, Calvin Klein also gave its brand an excellent image. Calvin Klein targets younger adults and teenagers with their products. As a result, Calvin Klein likes to build an image of cool, casualness, and chill with their advertisements.
On top of that, realizing that young adults are in their prime dating years, Calvin Klein also injects a dash of flirtiness into its brand image.
You can see these concepts in action whenever you see Calvin Klein’s ads and fashion shows. You can see ads with models in casual, relaxed poses, with their eyes looking straight at you as if they ask you to hang out and perhaps flirt with them.
These ads are also often in black and white, with their products in color. The models also look young, attractive, and energetic in their peak physical years.
Such marketing images appeal to many and resulted in many buying into the idea that wearing a Calvin Klein makes them sexy. This makes them go back to Calvin Klein again and again when purchasing apparel.
Why Is Calvin Klein Expensive?
Aside from using high-quality materials, Calvin Klein is also expensive because of what it represents. They have successfully built up the understanding that wearing Calvin Klein gives you a sexy vibe. As a result, people will buy their apparel to feel sexy and be willing to pay more.
There are a couple reasons that made Calvin Klein expensive. First is the brand image. Calvin Klein has injected the concept of the ‘Calvin Klein is Sexy’ image into the minds of many.
As a result, people want a dose of that for themselves. They want to purchase some Calvin Kleins to feel sexy and, as a result, are willing to pay a higher price to own one.
The second is that Calvin Klein has a loyal customer base that does not mind paying a premium to own their products. Surveys have discovered that rich men love Calvin Klein, with the brand being number one in their wardrobe collection.
As a result, Calvin Klein can sell their products expensively and still be able to sell them well.
Calvin Klein is also endorsed by celebrities. One of Calvin Klein’s most successful marketing campaigns was in 1992, where they featured Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss.
The ad was so provocative and flirtatious that it triggered many to purchase Calvin Klein’s underwear to feel that confidence and sexiness that Mark Wahlberg showed.
Calvin Klein is also expensive because of its status as a success symbol. Calvin Klein may be America’s best fashion brand, together with Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
If you are seen with a Calvin Klein, you are immediately seen as someone with status. The idea here is that since Calvin Klein is expensive, you must be wealthy and successful if you can afford one.
Finally, Calvin Klein is expensive because it is made with high-quality material. Their leather goods are made from high-quality leather, and the fabrics used in their apparel are also of high quality. The brand has also embarked on being more ethical with its products, such as using organic cotton and improving the labor conditions of its manufacturers.
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Is Calvin Klein A Controversial Brand?
Calvin Klein can be a controversial brand due to its marketing, which sometimes can shock people. One example is its 1992 ad featuring Mark Wahlberg with a 17-year-old Kate Moss, topless. There was also another ad in 1980 featuring a 15-year-old Brooke Shields, with a provocative tagline.
Calvin Klein’s commercials have a habit that seeks to cross or blur the lines between decent and dirty sensualness. As a result, the ads can be shocking and result in public outcry.
In 1980, teenage actress Brooke Shields appeared in one of the more infamous commercials. The slogan of the denim advertisement, which featured Shields, then 15 years old, was “You want to know what stands between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
To add fuel to the fire, Shields had recently been in a movie as a teenage prostitute. There was a public outcry that the ad was inching too close to pedophilia since it uses a child to represent a sensual slogan.
The 1992 television commercial starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss is another major incident. Due to Kate Moss’s age of 17, many people found it unsettling to see her so close to Mark in this advertisement when she was topless.
However, the controversy did not stop Kate Moss from featuring topless again in another Calvin Klein ad in 1993.
These ad’s provoking nature helps it go further since the ad is picked up by media and talked about in social circles, helping the brand market itself further.