It's an end of an era at the great American fashion label, Calvin Klein, as they announced their decision to move away from their ready-to-wear business, and stop showing runway collections. The PVH-group who owns Calvin Klein will be shutting down it's Milan office as well as laying off staff in their New York office.
In a time where runway collections have become such a vital part of a brand's marketing strategy (Burberry was the biggest champion of turning their runway presentation into a news point with their see-now-buy-now collections), it is puzzling for a luxury brand like Calvin Klein to stop showing collections altogether. Puzzling, but not unexpected. While Raf Simons brought a lot of buzz to Calvin Klein with his runway shows at New York Fashion Week, and bagged himself a few CFDA awards in the process, the 205W39NYC runway line didn't generate the expected commercial results.
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With the amicable parting of ways between Raf Simons and the brand, and the decision to not present a collection during the recent New York Fashion Week, the Calvin Klein strategy will now be refocused onto the core money makers of the business: jeans and underwear. If we were to go by a recent series of campaign images issued by Calvin Klein Underwear—featuring Shawn Mendes, Kendall Jenner, A$AP Rocky as well as former C.K. face Anna Ewers—the new vision of Calvin Klein seems like a return to its old roots.
While we will never know if the brand will ever bring back its runway collection, given its renewed focus on their core business, as well as a burgeoning activewear line in CK performance, this wise step back feels like a step forward.