Meet Calvin Klein, the man behind the legendary label: Net worth, boyfriend, marriages

Did you know that Calvin Klein is actually the name of the fashion designer himself. Some interesting information has been leaked, which has helped create an image of the successful, multimillionaire, fashion-loving man.

Calvin also has has a famous, award-winning daughter? Lets learn some interesting facts and the truth about his staggering fortune…

Scroll down to find out how he managed to conquer the world back in the ‘80s.

Fled from World War II

In 1942, Calvin Klein was born in the Bronx, New York.

His family to the United States following when his father fled his native Hungary to find refuge in New York following World War II in Europe. Calvin’s mother, Flore, was born in the United States as a child of immigrants from Europe.

However, Calvin’s grandmother was a seamstress. She encouraged his love working with fabrics and clothes when he was young.

Calvin, was actually raised in the same neighborhood as Ralph Lauren.

”I was the edgy one,” Calvin told Forbes. “I wanted to look like some tough guy, like James Dean, and Ralph looked like he was from some place, some other foreign country. I remember it distinctly.”

Calvin, was influenced by his surroundings which sparked his love with minimalism.

“I grew up in an environment that was very baroque, and always loved simplicity and purity. Everything had to be pure, minimal and strong,” Calvin told Huffington Post when taking about his childhood growing up in the Bronx. Instead of playing games with the other children he thought about designs and sewed.

He attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan.

At that time nobody imagined that he would become a worldwide face. ”I never thought when I started – when I was in school – that I would be running a global company. I was thrilled if I had a job,” he told Cherwell in 2019.

Fed up with designing tacky coats

In 1962, following his graduation he worked as an apprentice at a cloak-and-suit manufacturer, Dan Millstein. After years of working in New York shops he eventually designing tacky women’s coats. 

One day I saw a woman walking down the street in the yellow suit with the yellow fox collar and cuffs, a yellow hat, a yellow handbag and yellow shoes – and I quit. I was so sick to think that I had been part of making that outfit possible,” he explained in 1984.

In 1968, he founded his first company with his longtime friend Barry K. Schwartz and opened a coat shop.

A woman form a major New York City clothing store ended up on the wrong hotel floor and walked straight into Calvin’s room. Impressed by what she saw, the coat buyer placed an order for $50,000 which kickstarted his career.

His work was praised by the fashion press, critics, and the public, which gave his company a lot of attention. Calvin Klein would become a dominant player on the fashion scene during the ’70’s.  They branched into scarves, shoes, belts, sunglasses, lingerie and eventually took the step to launch cosmetics and menswear.

Their company became a money machine with $30 million in revenue by 1977.

Calvin’s launched his first jeans collection,which gave Calvin the iconic status. In1974, during the first week his sales made $200,000.

In the 1980s, Calvin Klein started conquering the world outside the USA, and the fashion brand opened over 12000 in six countries.

Iconic ads

Calvin’s company’s advertising campaigns received a lot of attention. The provocative and controversial ads gained lots of publicity. Who remembers the underwear campaign when Brooke Shields asked if people wanted to know what was between her and “her Calvins.”

Brooke Shields was just 15-year-old when she appeared in the ad, saying, “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”

Her lack of underwear caused an uproar, as TV stations banned the commercial, Calvin Klein sees it as his most iconic campaign.

”You know there were a lot of people that were offended, but that wasn’t the intentions,” Calvin Klein said in 2019.

In 1979, an advertising campaign for high-waisted jeans was also heavily criticized. Again, people didn’t like how the 23-year-old model Patti Hansen was portrayed and claimed it had a too provocative nature.

“We had someone shoot her on her hands and knees — she had this incredible mane of hair. People were really upset. That didn’t win me a lot of friends, but I believed in reaching people — especially when making products that a lot of people can afford to buy,” Calvin Klein told Huffington Post and continued:

“We never did any of the creative, thinking it would cause controversy… We just thought of creating something exciting that would push the envelope, but not be vulgar.”

Calvin Klein private life

Calvin Klein was a public figure who often appeared in the limelight.

In 1964, Calvin Klein got married to childhood sweetheart Jayne Centre, which lasted for ten years.

Calvin Klein daughter

They had one daughter, Marci Klein, who would become a respected name in the entertainment industry.

Marci has won four Emmy Awards and is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producer’s Guild of America.

She’s probably best known for producing Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. Alec Baldwin has hailed Marci Klein as “the greatest producer in the history of broadcast television.”

Marci revealed details about her upbringing with her world-famous father saying she was often embarrassed when she saw her father’s name on her boyfriends’ underwear.

Married his assistant

Calvin found love again in the mid-80s, when he got married to Kelly Rector on business trip in Italy, which made worldwide news.

Apparently they lived in separate apartments, and there were rumors that the marriage was troubled and eccentric.

However in 1992, Kelly addressed the speculation when she gave an interview with The New York Times.

”I love him,” she said at the time. “I love everything he does. He’s just the best guy in the world. I am his muse. I happen to be very American, look very American. That helps, to fit right into his sense of design and style.”

However, in 1996 after being together for nine years Kelly and Calvin finally separated and the divorce was finalized ten years later.

In 2011, Calvin Klein revealed that he was dating model Nick Gruber they dated for two years and went their separate ways. 

”I met someone and fell in love,” Klein said. “He’s a great guy. And I’m now experiencing life in a whole new way, in a fresh way through someone’s eyes who hasn’t seen a lot of what I’ve seen.”

Calvin Klein has been involved with a new man called Kevin Baker, he never comments on the relationship publicly. In 2016, the couple made their first public appearance together at the American Ballet Theater’s Fall Gala.

Calvin Klein today: net worth

In 2002, he sold his company to Phillips Van Heusen Corp.  Calvin owns several estates but lives a quiet life in a mansion above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

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