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New Style: Calvin Klein x Raf Simons

Now that the fall collections are starting to hit stores, one of the most anticipated arrivals I'm looking forward to is from Calvin Klein. Last summer, Belgian designer Raf (rhymes with laugh) Simons took over as creative director for Calvin Klein and he debuted his premier collection for the brand at New York Fashion Week earlier this year. During fashion week the collection featured sleek tailoring, structured topcoats, subtle prints, sheer tops with detailing, and plenty of denim. All these elements combined brought a renewed energy to the collection.

Design characteristics

The minimal design and sleek tailoring qualities that are synonymous with Calvin Klein are carried forward in this collection. Brand purists should be happy about that but for others who've shied away from the brand, this might be a great time to explore the collection. There is a youthful, fresh, modern quality in this collection that's very accessible. I hope consumers will find inspiration and see themselves wearing these pieces.

Revitalizing the brand

Prior to joining Calvin Klein, Mr. Simons was the creative director for Christian Dior Couture womenswear. Mr. Simons brings his unique perspective to Calvin Klein at a time when the brand is in need of fresh energy. American sportswear brand Calvin Klein has always stood for tailored, minimal, understated style but in recent years the collections have seemed less relevant and inspirational. Mr. Simons is tasked with reinvigorating the brand and growing sales. Calvin Klein is targeting $10B in retail sales by 2020, currently sales are around $8B.

Final thoughts

Mr. Simons is a well respected menswear designer and will continue to design under his own Raf Simons label in addition to his work for Calvin Klein. Mr. Simons design aesthetic for his namesake collection is quite different and targets a different type of consumer. Mr. Simons' label has a avant garde quality that speaks to a specific customer base. Calvin Klein is a household name and mainstream brand that produces everything from clothing to fragrances to household goods and Mr. Simons has overall control over each product category. I'm looking forward to future collections from Calvin Klein and seeing how the partnership with Mr. Simons evolves. Next time you're in your favorite department store or shopping online, give the latest creations from Calvin Klein a look. For more about Mr. Simons background please check out this link: Raf Simons. Let me know what you think of the collection.

Stay stylish friends...

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