Calvin Klein has let it be known it’s parted ways with celebrated designer, Raf Simons, who left the company rather than renegotiate a contract stripping him of oversight and budget. Calvin Klein will not show during New York Fashion Week’s February 2019 shows.
According to WWD, parent company PVH Corp. had grown dissatisfied with Calvin Klein’s spending and turn-around pace and approached Simons in September to reduce his level of control. The company proposed that decisions related to store design, visual merchandising, e-commerce, public relations and communications and corporate social responsibility be overseen by chief marketing officer Marie Gulin-Merle rather than Simons, who had been given total responsibility for all creative areas when he joined the label in August 2016.
While Simons efforts at Calvin Klein were widely praised and recognized with concurrent CFDA awards, PVH CEO Emanuel Chirico hinted at problems in the company’s earning call in November 2018 when he bluntly stated that Simons’ elevated label 205W39NYC wasn’t working.
Addressing the Calvin Klein offerings including CK Jeans, Chricio stated, “From a product perspective, we went too far, too fast on both fashion and price. We are working on fixing this fashion miss, and we believe that our CK Jeans offering will be much more commercial and fashion-right beginning in 2019, especially for the fall 2019 season.” According to Chricio, the company has invested between $60-$70 million on the 205W39NYC label since its inception.
Calvin Klein’s spring 2019 will be shot by Glen Luchford who replaces Willy Vanderperre, who had photographed the brand’s campaigns since Simons’ arrival.