Culture

Inside the Game-Changing, Sexed-Up Legacy of Calvin Klein

The legendary designer has released his first book, replete with intimate stories and all those racy ad campaigns

Brooke Shields in those second-skin jeans, a topless Kate Moss straddling Marky Mark, Tom Hintnaus in those oh-so-revealing tighty whities—Calvin Klein’s ads are some of the most memorable—and controversial—in history. Now, a new book from Rizzoli unites many of the house’s iconic images for an in-your-face history of the ultimate American fashion brand. Calvin Klein is the first book released by Calvin Klein—the man—since he launched his company in 1968. Divided into three sections—Rebellious, Minimal, and Stories—the tome will explore the designer’s and his company’s rise and enduring influence via images from photographers including Bruce Weber, Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon. What’s more, the book features Klein’s own behind-the-scenes stories detailing his youth in New York City and how he conceived campaigns that forever changed how we look at advertising and sexuality.

The book’s release comes at an interesting time, considering so many brands, including Calvin Klein, which is now helmed by Raf Simons, are finding inspiration in Klein’s distinctive brand of ’90s minimalism. Klein may have given up control of his company when he sold Calvin Klein Inc. to Phillips-Van Heusen in 2002, but the designer’s influence still reigns, both at his namesake fashion house (remember those racy Harley Weir ads? And the Brooke Shields jeans at Simons’ debut show for the house?) and throughout the industry. That will surely be apparent when pouring over Calvin Klein’s 436 pages, and fashion lovers and experts alike will no doubt jump at the chance to get inside the mind of the man and legend that is Calvin Klein.

Calvin Klein is out now from Rizzoli for $150

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