Some say Calvin Klein is like the Coca-Cola of the underwear world; nearly everybody’s tried them, nearly everybody likes them and they are widely considered as the original men’s undergarment.
Founded by the New York designer named- you guessed it- Calvin Klein, the American label has been considered as a premier fashion brand for a long time now, noted for offering a modern and youthful aesthetic.
Despite earning a reputation for making fashionable underwear, in 1968 Calvin Klein opened a shop in the heart of New York City selling coats with 10,000 dollars worth of savings- a meagre amount by modern day standards. It was a success though and he soon began expanding the collection to include dresses, sportswear and blazers. By the early to mid 1970s he had started to earn industry recognition with a number of awards, and at the end of the decade the brand’s profile had snowballed to the point that 200,000 pairs of jeans from his new denim range sold in the first week alone.
In the 80s Calvin Klein really changed the game when it came to designing and selling underwear. Men would traditionally buy white boxers or briefs and very few cared which brand they were wearing because nobody ever saw them- but CK made underwear worth shouting about.
The company pioneered the first “boxer briefs”- a hybrid between the two most popular styles- and these were made famous by a series of billboard campaigns starring the musician-cum-film star Mark Wahlberg and his chiselled physique. Of course, it has become something of a CK tradition to use high profile models as per their recent high profile campaign using controversial pop star Justin Bieber. Some have described Calvin’s input as one of the biggest revolutions in menswear of recent times.
Calvin Klein has always championed a minimalistic look and their all-American persona helps draw comparisons to other brands like Tommy Hilfiger. In 2002 the company was purchased by the PVH group which operates a number of other successful fashion labels, but the principles put in place by the famous designer still remain. Today the brand is best known for the underwear facet of their business but the CK Sport and fragrance labels are both prominent too.
Calvin Klein’s input into the world of men’s underwear has seen their product become referred to simply as Calvins, or as many of their cover stars would say in their adverts: “My Calvins”. Shop for your own here at Mainline Menswear.