PVH Corp.-owned Calvin Klein has announced that it’s shuttering the Collection division of its brand. This is a change in direction from mid-January 2019 when the brand announced it was parting ways with designer Raf Simons and would rename and relaunch the 205W39NYC brand. At the same time, Cavlin Klein is also halting Calvin Klein by Appointment, the division that houses design efforts related to special occasions including red carpet appearances.
The shuttering of the Collection division will result in the layoff of 50 employees in the New York office and 50 employees in the Milan office. As well, Michelle Kessler-Sanders, the president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Calvin Klein by Appointment, will be let go.
In North America, G-III holds the license for Calvin Klein ready-to-wear, accessories, outerwear, swimwear and dresses. When asked about the dissolution of Calvin Klein’s Collection division, G-III CEO Morris Goldfarb was dismissive. “I never met Raf and he had no impact on our business. Needless to say, I don’t need a replacement,” he told WWD and added that the brand’s decision to end Collection “has nothing to do with G-III.”
During its November 2018 earnings report, PVH Corp. CEO Emanuel Chirico said the Calvin Klein Jeans relaunch under Simons’ direction was “too elevated and too fashion-forward for our core consumer.” He also complained the marketing campaigns were “too skewed toward our higher-end 205W39NYC line and the high-fashion consumer.”
Within less than a month after the earnings report, the company announced it was parting ways with Simons who had joined the company in August 2016. In addition to Simons, PVH Corp. announced it was laying off about 100 employees.
PVH Corps. also owns Tommy Hilfiger, which has seen success by using buy-now runway presentations as a way to market its collections. Hilfiger in 2006 sold the label he founded but remains as the company’s principal designer.
While PVH Corp. is currently pulling in the reins at Calvin Klein and attempting to minimize its losses, it would make sense for the company to eventually follow a presentation model similar to that of Tommy Hilfiger. At the same time, Tommy Hilfiger boasts a certain consistency vis-a-vis its ongoing relationship with it founder that Calvin Klein lacks. Klein, who founded the label in 1968, is no longer associated with the label and hasn’t been since 2003.