Calvin Klein built his name into a global brand which came to define a particular form of elegant and understated American style. Yet Calvin Klein products have had nothing to do with the man himself for almost two decades. By then the jeans, underwear, fragrances, eyewear, home furnishings and other goods which bore his name were already being produced under license by other companies, although Klein himself was usually involved in their marketing and design. In 2002, he surrendered control of his name altogether, selling the trademark to US clothing manufacturer Phillips Van Heusen. The renamed PVH took control of all higher-priced apparel, while key bridge, sportswear and underwear lines were produced under license by another company, Warnaco. In 2012, PVH agreed to acquire Warnaco as well in a $2.9bn deal that united ownership of the Calvin Klein brand under a single roof for the first time. Some clothing lines are still produced under license by third parties, while fragrances are produced under license by Coty. Combined retail sales of branded Calvin Klein products in 2019 were estimated at $9.4bn, making it the 3rd largest designer brand globally after Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. However sales slumped to $6.2bn in Covid-impacted 2020. It is partnered in the PVH portfolio by Tommy Hilfiger, which the company acquired in 2010. That was the #4 designer brand worldwide in 2019 with retail sales estimated at $9.2bn, but overtake stablemate Calvin Klein for the first time in 2020 with $6.9bn. The group has gradually come to focus all attention on juist those two lead brands. It sold its North American rights for Speedo swimwear in 2020 to Pentland Group, which already owned the brand elsewhere. The following year, it agreed to sell most of its collection of so-called heritage brands - led by Van Heusen and Arrow dress shirts, IZOD and Geoffrey Beene casualwear - to licensing specialist Authentic Brands. It retained only the lingerie brands Warner's and Olga. PVH's own net revenues from wholesale and retail reached a new high of $9.9bn in the year to Feb 2020, before slumping in Covid-impacted ye 2021 to $7.1bn. After net income of $417m in ye 2020, it reported a net loss for ye 2021 of $1.1bn. Though smaller than Calvin Klein in total retail sales, the Tommy Hilfiger brand actually accounts for the largest share of PVH's net revenues because it has fewer third party licensees. In 2019, former Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson joined the group as president, and took over as CEO in Feb 2021 from Manny Chirico, now chairman.
Capsule checked 13th August 2021
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Historical profile information for Calvin Klein / PVH
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Jun 2019: Fashion group PVH is to refine its focus on just its flagship Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands. It has agreed to sell most of its collection of so-called heritage brands to Authentic Brands Group for just $220m. That's equivalent to just 12% of those brands' combined retail sales last year. PVH retains the Warner's and Olga's lingerie brands, but the IZOD, Van Heusen, Arrow and Geoffrey Beene transfer to Authentic.
Marketer Moves 3rd Jun 2021: New CEO at Calvin Klein. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd May 2019: Former Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson joined PVH as group president and heir apparent to CEO Emanuel Chirico. Though he lasted little more than a year at Lauren, Larsson has extensive experience in the fashion industry as a result of prior stints at H&M and Old Navy.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Mar 2018: Calvin Klein poached top L'Oreal USA marketer Marie Gulin-Merle to become its new chief marketing officer, filling a role that has been empty for almost two years, since Melisa Goldie departed the brand. Gulin-Merle, who has been CMO at L'Oreal USA since 2014, will report directly to Calvin Klein's new chief creative officer Raf Simons. Gretchen Saegh-Fleming, previously SVP, marketing at L'Oreal Luxe USA, moves up to replace Gulin-Merle at L'Oreal. [Updated: Gulin-Merle left PVH in 2019.]
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Nov 2016: Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer for the Calvin Klein brand has resigned to pursue other unnamed opportunities. In her current role she oversees all marketing for the CK brand, not just fashion but also Coty's licensed fragrance business. Calvin Klein parent company PVH said she won't be directly replaced, but her duties will instead be divided between her team, reporting to CEO Steve Shiffman and chief creative officer Raf Simmons. She told WWD, “I have two really cute kids and I have a brand new puppy. I want to take a long nap. I’m going to take a little time to rest and rejuvenate. I’m taking phone calls and open to opportunities, and I really want to be a part of another brand that I can rejuvenate and make relevant again for the future."
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2016: Ads of the Week "Deep Euphoria". Star of the moment Margot Robbie makes her first appearance in an ad with this steamy campaign for Coty's Calvin Klein Deep Euphoria, from Laird & Partners. If Robbie really has dreams like this she seriously needs to take a pill or something to calm down. And let's hope the interviewer from that recent profile in Vanity Fair (you know, the "Australians are throwback people" feature) doesn't see this - he might literally explode.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2016: Frat boy behaviour doesn't look good on a 32-year-old. US swimmer Ryan Lochte is certainly sorry now for making up a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. In an unusually robust response by sponsors for an athlete's bad behaviour, all four of his sponsors dropped the Olympic Gold medal-winner. The most damning verdict came from ten-year partner Speedo, owned by PVH. "While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behaviour that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for," said the brand. "We appreciated his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience." It will donate $50,000 of his fee to Save The Children's Brazilian subsidiary. Ralph Lauren had sponsored Lochte during the Games, and they issued a statement to say they would not be renewing his contract. Skincare manufacturer Gentle Hair Removal and mattress supplier Airweave also withdrew their support.
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