Calvin Klein Ushers In New Era with New Logo

While many approve, some Instagrammers are upset about the change—but isn’t change the name of the game?

Calvin Klein is getting a makeover. Following Raf Simons’ appointment as creative director in August of last year, the brand today unveiled its new logo via its Instagram channel. Despite garnering over 54k likes (by press time) has gotten a bit of backlash, too.

“Can’t you just appreciate the simplicity of the brand?” one Instagrammer commented. Another wrote, “Are you kidding me? Did you do this on Microsoft Word?” Other followers annotated their displeasure with a simple thumbs-down emoji.

A new logo can be a tough pill to swallow—just look at what happened with Hedi Slimane revamped Saint Laurent—especially for Calvin loyalists who have been looking at the same iconic signage for decades. Dainty and slim, the original Calvin Klein logo reflected the minimalist DNA of the brand. The new iteration is similarly clean and is apparently a nod to the brand’s heritage. It was created in collaboration with graphic designer Peter Saville, a Raf Simons favorite, and based on one of the original brand logos from the 1970s. 

But a new logo is not really about the new logo. The imagery is secondary to the statement. Creating a new logo is really a symbolic gesture, a visual cue, to usher in the new era of a brand.

And while change is difficult, one must ask: weren’t these new designers hired for the purpose of brand reinvention? To transform and modernize somewhat sleepy, storied brands under their creative stewardship? It’s this reporter’s feeling that once Raf’s womenswear takes the runway next week, the Instagram haters will change their tune.

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